Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Children's Museum

This weekend, we all needed a change of scenery so we tried out The Children's Museum in West Hartford, CT.  There was a great hands-on science exhibit, where we played a little with centrifugal force, surface tension, and weather forecasting. It was a little crowded with two birthday parties so we didn't get to play as much with the various Lego exhibits as we would have liked, but Jamie and Duncan practiced constructing buildings and testing them in earthquakes. At the live animal exhibit, we saw a raccoon up close as well as some fancy, large eared cat creature from Africa, and the usual selection of snakes, lizards, turtles, owls, lizards, sugar gliders, and frogs. Duncan enjoyed looking at models of dinosaurs and pretending to drive a Jeep. The museum also has a small planetarium, where we watched a show about the skies over Connecticut. Duncan's attention started to lag after about 10 minutes, but some well time pictures of planets, stars, and solar systems coaxed a few "WOW's" from him. At the end, the presenter asked if there were any questions. Much to our surprise, Duncan raised his hand. We asked what his question was, but he wouldn't tell us.  (Jamie thought Duncan was going to ask "Why is this so boring?")  Every time the presenter answered a question, Duncan raised his hand again. Just when I thought we'd escape with Duncan's question a mystery, the astronomer called on us. My shy, introverted child asked "What the name of the planets is?" "That's a GREAT question..." the answer began, and it ended in a discussion of Pluto's declassification as a planet. Bravo! It was exciting to hear the boy who is struggling with attention and focus ask a relevant question in a room full of people. "That was fun, Mama and Daddy."  "Do you want to come back here again, Duncan?"  "YEAH!"

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