Sunday, October 08, 2006

"Field Trip" to Central Park

In the last week of September the kindergarten and first grade classes went to Central Park for a field trip. I did a practice walk-through on the previous weekend to see whether it would all work out. John came for the practice and it was all good. (The park really is very beautiful!)
When it came to taking all the littlies their poor little legs weren't quite as prepared for all the walking! My goal for the trip was for the children to experience nature close up and develop an appreciation for the genius in God's creation. I planned to head toward Belvedere Castle where we could get discovery kits for the children to use as we walked through The Ramble. After that I thought we could have lunch and a play in the park.
Things didn't quite go to plan, but it still worked out really well. We paused a lot along the way to feel the bark on the trees, collect acorns, feel the spikiness of fir leaves etc. We stopped for a break earlier than planned and the children ate their snack in a large walkway section where a busker was planning his saxophone. The kids danced around and kicked up all the gravel so that we had a delightful little dust storm. It took quite some effort to then convince them to lift their feet when they walk rather than shuffle them!
We then continued our journey toward Belvedere castle with the frequent "Are we nearly there?" and "Where IS Belvedere Castle?" When we finally arrived one group got the kits (with bird watching manuals, binoculars and clipboards) while the other group looked at the education center in the castle. The Ramble was a lot of fun but only because we had the kits. The kids were looking through the binoculars (with no real idea of how they worked etc)and writing down what they 'saw' on their clipboards. They were very cute!
After we were all done, we ate, bathroomed and headed back to the school. The kids were VERY tired by the time we got back to school and the chaperones even more so.
But, as far as I was concerned, it was a great first field trip.


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