We have been so busy at our house, learning and playing together, and I have been so preoccupied with our new house in Oshkosh – preparing to visit, making it comfortable for Lucien – that I have totally neglected to write about anything we have been doing lately. So here is a whole bunch of pictures, and a brief recap:
We are soaking up the Hawaiian weather! Walking to the beach, playing at the park, climbing some trees, splashing and wading in the water, playing in the dirt and making mud pies. Lots of dirty laundry at this house!
We are playing with the neighbors. Ring around the Rosie inside a hula hoop was fun for me to watch! We also do a lot of art here in our living room, sometime with friends. Lucien is still working on that pencil grip, and getting a lot better at drawing people. He also loves his workbooks, doing things like connect the dots, beginning letter sounds, simple math. We love playing school!
Science with our Clifford science kit is always enjoyable. Here Lucien is doing rainbow experiments and mixing primary colors.
Our favorite activity recently, though, has been visiting the Bishop Museum. We finally broke down and bought a family membership. Boy, was it worth the money! I wish we would have done it sooner. Lucien loves visiting, and we have both learned so much.
There is so much information about Hawaiian culture. We got to watch a live poi making demonstration. (Poi is basically pounded taro root, a traditional Hawaiian staple food.) We learned about lau hala (a traditional Hawaiian weaving) and got to make our own lau hala fish. We learned about endemic species, Polynesian exploration, cultural history, dress, and so much more! When we read the Magic Tree House book about Hawaii, Lucien already knew all about the history and culture – he could have given Jack and Annie lessons!
Lucien loves visiting the planetarium and seeing the kids’ show about the night sky. He can tell me all about the moon and its phases, meteors and how they burn up in the atmosphere because of friction, how all the planets orbit the sun because of gravity, and which planets are which. He is also learning about the constellations in the night sky. It is so exciting for me to see him so excited about science, and we continue to encourage that curiosity with lots of non-fiction books from the library.
He also loves the dinosaur exhibit at Bishop. We are learning all about which dinosaurs were carnivores or herbivores, how we can tell my looking at their teeth and claws, which dinosaurs lived in herds and worked cooperatively, where on the globe they lived, what their habitats were like. Lucien tells me he likes the maiasaura the best, because their name means that they were good mothers, and they take care of their babies in a nest, and we read about them in a Magic School Bus book. We have checked out several non-fiction books about dinosaurs, including a Cat in the Hat science reader, which Lucien always enjoys!
The science building at Bishop is another treasure trove. Lucien is learning how to use microscopes to examine plant and animal specimens. Here, he is also using a microscope to examine sand found at different beaches in Hawaii. We talked about how some were made from volcanic rock, some from coral and marine skeletons, and how the composition of each changed the color and texture of the sand.
We learned about the underwater volcano that is in the process of forming a new island – Lo’ihi. We got to hold an actual lava rock that formed 3000 feet under the ocean. We compared it to other types of lava rock and talked about density. The lava formed under high water pressure was much denser and so heavy that Lucien needed to use two hands to hold it, while the lava that cooled while shooting through the air was very porous and therefore light. Lucien’s interest in volcanoes continues, as does our non-fiction reading list from the library!
We learned all about volcanoes and lava when we attended a lava making demonstration. We got to see how lava melts and cools, and hold about ten different types of lava in our hands! Lucien was so excited for this presentation, I think it was the highlight of his day that day.
All of this activity, plus our normal weekly trips to music class, the zoo, library story time, and the Discovery Center? It adds up to lots of fun.
And this coming week will bring even more fun and excitement, as Lucien and I will be getting on the airplane and flying to visit Grandma and Grandpa on the farm in Wisconsin. We will also get to see our new house, and I can get to work unpacking and organizing and creating a beautiful play space for Lucien. We have so much to look forward to.