Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dinosaur Summer

We love dinosaurs around here, did you know? My kiddos' obsession colors every aspect of our days together, from the big, such as Sydney's AWESOME picture of a dinosaur that she drew yesterday-- --to the small: see the dinos on Willow's jammies?

We've got some awesome dino-lovin' activities planned for this summer. We'll be practically in the front row for the Walking With Dinosaurs Live show when it comes to Indianapolis in July (we're having to forgo our traditional huge summer birthday bash to afford the tickets, which are OUTRAGEOUS, but it's going to be worth the budget re-allocation, I know), and do not worry, I've already mapped out the locations of the dinosaur museums that we can visit on our June trip to Wisconsin--the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha, and the Field Museum in Chicago, likely. Wisconsin is light on dinosaur museums because it doesn't have a fossil history because dinosaurs never lived there because it was covered in water during prehistoric times; this is what you get to learn when your daughters are obsessed with dinosaurs.

We'll also have the time and the nice weather to do some other dino activities that require more time than Will's three-hour daily preschool would allow (three hours doesn't seem that long while I'm living it, but I have to plan my whole damn day around it!). Whenever we can wrangle Matt (I'm begging him to ask for flex-time at work this summer. I really want him to work four ten-hour days instead of five eight-hour days, and since he's a designer, he actually could use the extra time at work in the evenings, no phone calls, no visitors to his cubby, to focus on his designs), we're going to make measurements on the basketball court over at Bryan Park and then draw life-size dinosaurs in chalk, and I also want to score a load of helium balloons on some calm day and use them to measure out dinosaur heights in the park--ooh, I'll also need a lot of string.

We go creek-stomping around here a lot, and the girls enjoy searching for geodes and crinoid fossils (Willow claims that she is "the best fossil hunter out of all my friends," and I have to say that it's probably true), so depending on how interested they are, it would be fun to add on more of that into our dino activities. Where we live in Indiana is actually a superb place to explore for fossils--a shallow prehistoric sea left lots of little ocean critter fossils, and a glacier later on the same site kept the bedrock from being too covered with subsequent layers of earth, so now you can easily fossil hunt (where it's legal) in most creeks, road cuts, and limestone quarries (but not caves! All the Indiana caves and sinkholes are closed to the public this year in hopes of stopping White Nose Syndrome from spreading. Sucks).

Perhaps we could even find a brachoid!


cake said...

we just discovered the joy of fossil hunting and geode spotting in creek beds. wow. they are EVERYWHERE!

i love how such small children have there own little obsessions. serious ones, that last a long time. i also love how thoroughly you indulge them, and make the most of the educational potential of them.

i'm sad to hear about the cave closings, because i was hoping to get a chance to check some out locally this year. but, thanks for the link, it was interesting (and troubling) to hear about the bat disease.

that is a truly amazing drawing!

julie said...

Our favorite creek for stomping is on the Jackson Creek Trail--you can hike up or down it pretty much as long as you feel like.

I know, I keep meaning to check out the cave closings in Arkansas. We loooooved checking out the little brown bats when we were hiking in Devil's Den, but I'm concerned because those little bats are just everywhere in that caving system, really accessible, and I'm having a hard time imagining that they'd close down Devil's Den.