One of our favorite places for a nature walk right now is the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. It is situated in LaFleur State Park and has beautiful hiking trails behind the museum. There are miles and miles of trails, but there are also short trails that are perfect for small children or short amounts of time. During our fairy unit, my daughter announced one day that she wanted to go flitter like a fairy outside. I suppose we could have just gone around the block, but when I think fairies I think of gardens and forests, so we headed to the forest.
About the Museum : Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
We have a membership to the museum which makes it easy to 1. make frequent trips and 2. not care if those trips are only an hour or so long. In general, we go to the museum about once a month. We go more often if it is helpful for a particular intest. For instance, when we were learning about Sea Turtles we took some extra trips.
The museum is located in Jackson. Inside the museum are a variety of exhibits including a 100,000 gallon aquarium network and a large greenhouse. This is one of our favorite parts because there are an abundance of turtles. There is also a space used for temporary exhibits which rotate through every few months. In the hallway between the visiting exhibit and the aquarium is a small Discovery Room preschool playspace for children 0-5. It isn't huge, but our kids love the opportunity to dress up and play. Outside there is a garden and 2.5 miles of nature trails. Throughout the year that museum has various events. Our favorite so far was the NATUREfest in April.
Tips for Visiting with Children
*Everything is located downstairs. There are elevators and once you get downstairs it is stroller friendly.
*The museum isn't huge. It typically takes us about an hour to get through the exhibits and then we play in the preschool room or go for a walk outside after that.
*Encourage your child to slow down. Our kids tend to get super excited and start running around if we don't have a focus. Having a plan beforehand to find turtles, look for a favorite fish, or learn something about dinosaurs helps them slow down.
*Bathrooms are located to the right when you are facing the visiting exhibit downstairs or in the hallway at the back of the aquarium section. We usually have a bathroom break at the end of the aquarium before we head into the greenhouse.
Fairy Walk : May Nature Walk
We started outside for this trip to the Science Museum since the focus of our trip was a nature walk. Instead of looking for fairies this time we pretended we were the fairies. Interestingly, one of the ideas in The Nature Connection book for May was to "imagine you live in some magical place." What might fairies do in the forest? My preschoolers had some ideas:
*Flitter and Look for Animals.
*Help make the Spring come. It was later determined that this meant planting flowers which they pretended to do throughout our hike.
*Hide from people by making ourselves really small.
I also added:
*Flitter different ways: fast, slow, forwards, backwards, high, low.
*Watch for birds and then try to move our arms like their wings.
More Fairy Field Trips Ideas:
*go on a Fairy Hunt.
*head to the gardening center to get some flowers for planting. Consider making it a butterfly garden or fairy garden.
*visit a local garden or arboretum.
*watch for birds in your neighborhood.
*go to the hardware store to buy supplies to build a fairy garden or home for a fairy.
comments powered by Disqus