Friday, October 24, 2008

Art & Ecology

We had 2 wonderful field trips this week with the homeschool groups. The first one was at a place called The Drawing Center in Soho. It is a very quaint, odd little art gallery. We were in a room full of pencil drawings made by one of the very first women industrial designers.
Her name was Greta Magnusson Grossman and she was an influential figure in the Southern California design movement of the 1950s and 60s. After the tour and discussions, the kids got their own boards, white paper and tracing paper to create their own "work spaces" (along with rulers, markers, and pencils). The main pieces were drawn on the white paper and then the accessory pieces on the tracing paper (which you can flip up and down).
Then the kids discussed their projects. They enjoyed it. We brought J's friend A along with us, which worked out perfectly as this class was for 4-8y/os and they got to hang with each other. Some of us mom's walked over to The Scholastic Store after the class. Wow. I love stores like this. They have play areas for the kids, all kinds of books, toys, and games, and the staff was friendly, patient, and helpful.

On Friday, W had his monthly Urban Rangers Ecology class again. We got there early and explored Belvedere Castle a bit, taking pictures from the top. The park and the city around it is just gorgeous. The day was beautiful, too. The kids started out discussing more of the local flora and fauna. The focus was mainly on the various trees in the park. We all did a scavenger hunt - we were provided with a big card of different leaves and different teams had to find all of them. We found gingko, sugar maple, black oak, tulip tree, london plane, sweet gum, etc. I don't know who had more fun, the moms or the kids! We walked a bunch of trails and ended up in a field of different trees where the kids played another game. 2 kids were the "hawks" and had to catch the others who were "birds". The park ranger called out names of trees and the birds had to remember which tree was which and run to it, as that one then bacame "base". W was very proud of himself as he was declared the "winner" at the end.

After the class, a few of us hung around and our boys (ages 3-8) ran around in an area called "The Glade". After an hour or so, we hopped back onto the train to get back home in time for W to make it to cub scouts. We couldn't have asked for a better day.

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