Saturday, September 24, 2011

Slightly underwhelming natural history exhibit, saved by the public library

Stick Insect

We visited the World of Wonder exhibit at the Grove City Town Hall and Visitor Center, thinking it would be a good afternoon activity. However, even though the collection was pretty impressive, it is most certainly not for small children.

Green Nymph Stick Insect

 The Visitor Center has a small collection of historical items from Grove City's past and are also currently exhibiting an aisle of display cases containing the Rodney Eaken Collection of crystals, insects, fossils, and shells. Our small group of 2 adults and 5 children walked into the Town Hall/Visitor center, and were greeted only by dozens of small signs warning us not to touch anything. We never did find anyone to answer any questions about the historical items or the natural history collection. The kids enjoyed looking at the insects and fossils, but I found myself having to constantly remind them not to touch, leaving us all feeling tense before we'd finished looking at everything. We'd been pretty excited to see the dinosaur egg fossil, but sadly ended up missing it.

Walking Leaf Insect

Ammonite Fossils


 After a snack and a calm-down on a park bench outside the Visitor Center, we all decided it would be a good time to walk across the street to visit the library. We knew that there were a few more cases of shells over there, and the kids wanted to pick out some new bedtime books.

More enormous shells

 I knew that the larger libraries in town had extensive collections of in-library materials for kids, and computers set up with learning games, but I didn't realize that our little local branch had those resources as well. The kids had some fun playing on the computers, but then found the LeapFrog readers and decided to park themselves at a table for a while with them. It was really cute watching them figure out the systems. They told me pretty emphatically that they want to go back to try the other books soon.

Having fun with soft toys and puppets at the library
 All in all, it was a successful outing. We got to see some really interesting fossils and insects, and the kids are even more excited to be able to go to the Smithsonian Natural History museum someday. We also learned about a cool new feature of our local library, and got to visit with some of our favorite friends. Bonus: the kids stayed awake on the way home, and went to bed easier and earlier than normal. Yay!

No comments: