Thursday, May 26, 2011

Claude Moore Park

I guess we've taken an Unschooling turn.  And I'm loving it.  Another drizzly spring day and a surprising gem of hands-on child wonder.  Lately, our days together reflect themes of interest from the morning, day before, or a spontaneous moment.   
The kids wanted to check out the Farm Museum so we drove to Claude Moore Park, home of the Heritage Farm Museum.  Also the spot where we celebrated Kaio's 4 year birthday party.  We loved the birthday party: milk a cow, ride a race horse, play in an old fashioned general store...  The kids had a blast.  

 These Loudoun people have been hiding their toys from us.  I tried to find the farm museum by memory and accidentally turned down the wrong road.  We ended up close to the Claude Moore Visitor Center, separated from the farm museum by a service vehicle road.  I parked so we could walk it.  First we went inside the visitor center. Who knew it holds a room full of hands-on nature toys and exhibits?!   
It's a playground of diversity and sensory experiences!  The kids explored for an hour at least.  So much to see and touch: native species turtle shells, two live turtles, sculls, bones, feathers, teeth, and seeds.  

Play dough to press into animal track molds. The kids guessed what type of animals made the tracks.

Lincoln logs to build a house.

Butterfly wings that stay still long enough to inspect.

They have various books to read about bird species.  Coloring pages.  Fishing gear.

Isn't it curious how un-popular things are when they are free?  We were the only people there!?  I mean, I would pay for something this cool.  But we didn't have to.  It's free!  or, um, paid for by tax dollars or something.  Enjoy it people!  It's there.  So much fun for the kids.

After stimulating their minds into exhaustion, we parked in the screened in patio to eat our sandwiches.  The patio overlooks a dozen bird feeders = eating lunch and bird watching.

Following lunch we took a stroll to one of the lakes in the park.  A couple dudes were fishing (which you can do at Claude Moore).  The kids wanted to stick around and see what fishing is about.  One dude even caught a fish!

Overall 10 on a scale of 10.  I raise my blueberry kombucha high in the sky in salute of this wonderful park.  I'm sure we'll be back again this year.

Since our visit, Kaio's been saying things like, "No I don't want to wear my shoes.  I want to make tracks with my feet and toes."  and, "Deer skeletons grow up to be dinosaur skeletons."

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