The other day I served as a parent chaperone on a day-long trip to the Fernbank Museum and environs. What a great day! We started off by stretching our legs and doing some self-calming on the equipment at school and then we were off. We took in a film, Born to Be Wild, in the IMAX theatre as soon as we arrived. The kids learned about two wildlife researchers who work to repatriate baby elephants and orangutans into the wild. Hands down, everyone’s favorite part was the baby orangutans drinking out of their own bottles – so messy and cute!
An exhibit downstairs tied in with the film, and the kids loved playing with the hands-on experiments to deepen what they had already learned from the film. Our kids definitely love learning through their bodies, so the Fernbank, which takes pride in its interactive activities, was a great place to be! We took turns looking through the telescope and reconstructing artifacts in the new “Nature Quest” room.
They were fascinated with the tornado chamber and the Van de Graff generator in the “Sensing Nature” room. There was so much to do and the kids were so interested that we returned to the exhibits after a sunny lunch and some playtime outside.
As one student put it, we “added awesomeness to a totally awesome day” by finishing up at the Old Fourth Ward Park, where walking on balance beams, spinning, swinging, and jumping on the “spider trampoline” worked to stimulate vestibular systems and strengthen body cores to improve executive function and focus.
I do not always say this: I really enjoyed chaperoning this trip! The Cloverleaf School will always be a small enough school so that frequent outings like this will not only be possible, but manageable and reasonable for all concerned. I am so glad that my son is able to attend a school where he is able to use his body as a strength in his learning process rather than constantly having to fight his general nature.