Posts Tagged “Nocturnal animals”
Tarantula myths debunked; a new appreciation for these giant, fuzzy arachnids.
We are happy to partner with Academy of Natural Sciences to provide this exhibit review as part of a sponsored arrangement. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.
My daughter has had a fascination with spiders for several years… so imagine her excitement when she learned that her favorite science museum is showcasing a special exhibit on tarantulas. Yeah, it was kinda a big deal.
The Academy of Natural Sciences opened its “Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close” exhibit this past Saturday, January 30. It will show until May 30th, 2016 with a small admission price. Get all the details here.
With an invitation a couple months back, we waited for what felt like “forever” for a five-year old but finally the media preview date arrived. Victoria was afforded the day off from school to attend this event, and again this was because spiders are a big deal to her and I knew she would get a lot out of this day trip. Upon check-in, she was given a tiny notebook and pen, and from there we began our journey.
In usual Academy fashion, the exhibit has a variety of show pieces to include an interactive map, photo cut-out and plenty of easy to digest narrative and picture displays. Personally, I appreciated the “Anatomy of Tarantulas” oversized book display. The Tarantulas exhibit has a colorful backyard back drop area and tarantula costumes perfect for photo ops and imaginary play.
Victoria, being in Kindergarten, isn’t exactly the best note taker… but that didn’t stop her from paying absolute close attention and attempting to capture the important facts that Invertebrates Specialist, Karen Verderame was sharing in the Opening Presentation.
Victoria, never without a question, took an opportunity to ask Ms. Verderame what tarantulas like for breakfast before moving about the live spider exhibits. Thank you to Philly Voice for quoting Victoria and capturing the perfect picture of my little journalist in action, as well as this quick snippet on 6 abc news.
That little notebook came in handy, when Victoria learned about the most impressive species of tarantulas. She was quick to copy the name of her new favorite into the notebook. And if you’re curious, her favorite tarantulas are Martinique Pinktoe sporting a unique ability to change from a bright blue color as spiderlings into pink/purple legged adult tarantulas. And then that little notebook accompanied every question she had for the Academy’s staff.
This tarantulas exhibit is ideal for spider enthusiasts, like my daughter, AND those who fear the creepy-crawlers because there is so much misunderstood about these arachnids. I loved NJ.com coverage of this event to highlight some of those myths and truths.
Year after year, we use Halloween as the perfect backdrop for some educational fun. The fall provides for so many opportunities to disguise learning with fun family activities. At our house, we try to find a variety of things to do each Halloween and October weekends.
Hayrides and pumpkin patches remain a favorite with lessons around harvest and healthful foods. This year we accidentally grew our very own small pumpkin. What an amazing family story to have and it also led to a wonderful discussion on farming, pumpkins and the importance of caring for our environment.
It is no surprise that we enjoy dress up… all year long, imaginative play with different props and costumes. So naturally Halloween offers the best time for such fancy things. We enjoy pirates, princesses and period wear. So when we see a flood of costumes around Halloween, I’ll take a moment to drop some facts about pirates and mummies, or whatever might cross our path and have a real application. (So far we’ve stayed away from the creepiest things but when age appropriate we’ll discuss things like witches and perhaps ghost walks like Edgar Allen Poe.)
For the past few years, Homeroom At Home has participated in a variety of Trunk or Treats. Our themes have been skeletons loaded with fun facts about the human body, the skeletal system and body decomposition. This year and last, we’ve focused on Nocturnal Animals with again fun facts that perhaps parents didn’t know either. We found that our theme for creatures of the night was perfect for a large range of audience. Kids love stories and facts about owls, spiders and wolves.
We highly recommend that parents take advantage of the Halloween season for such perfect learning moments. There is so much to delve into no matter how involved or how easily spooked your children may be. Things like Edgar Allen Poe, The Salem Witch Trial or Mad Science Lab are terrific for more mature children vs a tame discussion around bats, spiders and cats.
However you celebrate, enjoy the festivities! Happy Halloween.