Monday, June 18, 2018

Discovery Place Science - Da Vinci's Machines

Our homeschool group traveled to Charlotte, NC to Discovery Place Science.  Da Vanci's Machines was the featured exhibit and we wanted to see it.  Most of our group had never been to Discovery Place, so this was exciting for everyone.

We also enjoyed the permanent exhibits and science shows.

This was a great science outing for our group.  They had a great time with all the hands-on activities. We will definitely return when a new traveling exhibit arrives.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Balloon Art!

One of our dear homeschool friends has an adult daughter that happens to be a balloon artist.  Her daughter and two boys were in town visiting and she wanted to do a balloon art class for the kids.  Of course, we obliged!  This was a unique class and screamed FUN!

Christine made balloon kits for all the participants.  Each participant received a huge bag of different sized and shaped balloons plus a pump for inflating the balloons.

She told them about the different types of balloons used and what they were called.  She then gave them a bit of background information on how she got into doing balloon art and how they too could start in balloon art.

Next, she started showing the class how to create a puppy dog from a balloon.  She made it look easy!  Most of the kids caught on fast.  I was helping a younger student and was always afraid the balloon would pop.  Needless to say, I was slow at this process.

After the dog, everyone learned how to make a sword.  Of course, the boys loved this one!

The last thing we made was a flower. This endeavor required the use of two balloons!

She told us between the dog and flower we learned how to twist and create most of the patterns used in balloon art.  Of course, making other types of animals or items could require more balloons of different types and weaving them into the desired shapes.

She had created many examples to give away to the kids.  They were elaborate in design!  She can tie, twist, and shape the balloons effortlessly and fast!  It was mesmerizing to see her work.

This was a fun class and even LM said he really enjoyed it.  He wasn't too sure at first, but loved it!  In fact, he played around making different sizes of dogs with his balloons all weekend! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Nature Outing to F.E.N.C.E. - Wetlands Study

Our nature group explored the wetlands of F.E.N.C.E.  It was a beautiful day to get out and hike.

We started our exploration by hiking the Mountain Laurel trail up the hillside.  We discussed erosion and the cause.  It had rained extremely hard a few days prior to our visit.  We noted the stream that flowed along the trail.  The banks had been cut away by large amounts of water.  We talked about what could be done to help prevent these things.

At the top of the Mountain Laurel trail, we found it connected to the paved Wildwood trail.  This trail is handicap friendly and has several placards identifying various types of vegetation along the trail.  We walked the loop of the Wildwood trail and took in the beauty of wild azaleas in bloom with other small wildflowers popping up.

We traversed back down the Mountain Laurel trail and continued to the Pinewoods trail. This area is repetitively flat and easy to navigate.  It connected to the Hardwoods trail which begins to wind up the hillside.  With the rain we have had, footing on the Hardwoods trail was muddy.  The boys enjoyed the jaunt up the hillside and the descent back down to reconnect with the Pinewoods trail.

Finally, we made it to the pond area.  There is just something about water that the kids gravitate towards!  At the pond, we discussed the wetland area and the purpose of the pond in this setting.  There is a boardwalk trail that is over the bog area.  We learned about plant and animal life in the area and why wetlands are important to the overall ecosystem.

The kids gained a better understanding of wetlands and we had a wonderful time enjoying nature.