Monday, August 9, 2010



Aug1_Whale

So here is the answer to the “bones” riddle – last weekend we went to Santa Cruz and visited Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab. This is a working marine research laboratory that also has a small aquarium and museum about marine research. There is this gorgeous blue whale skeleton next to the museum. The skeleton came from the blue whale that was washed to the California beach in 1974.

Aug1_TouchTank

Anna was excited about the museum, but it always amuses me how she is “what’s next?” girl when we visit museums or zoos. She is not the one to spend long on any of the exhibits unless there are buttons to push or… marine life to touch. But even then she quite quickly inspected everything. One thing that both of us found fascinating was a shark egg that looked more like a piece of sea vegetation.

Aug1_Salmon

The museum also had some information about local marine animals and birds. It wasn’t crowded, and the staff was very friendly. There were many buttons to push, she was entertained by old phones where she could listen to different sounds sea lions and whales make, and she enjoyed touching the soft pelts of otters and sea lions. I was surprised myself with how soft and luxurious sea otter’s fur feels – I am not surprised that they were driven to the brink of extinction. There was also a fascinating display about local falcons, how their eggs were affected by DDT and how scientists are working to save them from extinction as well.

It’s a great local trip to make. It was made even better by the fact that Anna was entertained throughout the drive by Little House in the Big Woods audiobook. The full version is pretty intriguing and generated a lot of pretend play in our house related to candy making and preserving food for winter.

Come and share your science activities with young children at Science Sunday hosted by Adventures in Mommydom.

12 comments:

Christy said...

That looks like a very cool museum.

We are big fans of audiobooks. I think they are great for kids.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Awesome museum! I love aquariums connected to research work, because their displays tend to be mroe informative, than other aquariums.

Debbie said...

This sounds like a neat place to visit.

MaryAnne said...

That museum looks fun! And, I think Emma would enjoy listening to the "Little House" books on CD - thanks for the idea!

Kim said...

Looks like a great place to visit! Crumpet likes to run through a museum, check everything out quickly, and then repeat at a more leisurely pace...

Mom and Kiddo said...

Sigh, I love Santa Cruz.

Ticia said...

Oh man would my kids love that place. My kids alternate between being the "What's Next?" kids and "Not yet Mom, I'm still looking."

Los Chicos y Mamá said...

Wow!!! What a great opportunity your daughter had! We do not have an aquarium in Puerto Rico and the nearest zoo is about three hours from our home.. :(

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

What a fantastic museum, and a great way to learn about marine life! I think Emily would love the "Little House" audio books too -- great idea! The whale skeleton is amazing!!

My Family My Forever said...

This looks like a very fun place to visit. Joe is the same kind of kid, "what's next", most of the time. Once in a while something will catch his attention and we have to drag him away:-).

I am SO, SO excited to see that Anna is liking Little House, YAY! Definitely put a smile on my face:-). We love it, and I just finished reading it aloud to Joe and Hanna. Hanna enjoys the whole series. Although I know it's not the same, my favorite TV series always has been and still remains Little House.

Still smiling:-).

Joyful Learner said...

I would love to read the Little House audiobooks after we are done with Magic Treehouse! I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie which became like family because we knew the characters so well.

The museum looks like fun! The last time we went to a science museum, JC ran from room to room shouting, "Look what else I want to show you!" It felt like she was the museum guide. lol.

Pathfinder Mom said...

That whale skeleton is amazing! Tornado Boy is much the same way in museums - he enjoys them, but it's always light speed onto the next exhibit. I'm always amazed at what he's able to retain given that he's always in such a rush.