Friday, August 19, 2011

A Quest for Shark's Teeth - An Educational Outing

It all started a few weeks ago when I bought the kids some shark books from a yardsale.  Alpha Boy immediately claimed them for his personal book box. 
The LSG Kids, my niece and nephew, on an anchor outside of the Calvert Marine Museum in Maryland.
One day Alpha Boy was looking at the shark books and we were discussing facts about them.  I had told him that they are always losing their teeth and that there was a place nearby (well about an hour away) that we could go and find some.  And keep them. 

You how you can tell your kids something and then you see a certain light in their eyes and total excitement?  This was one of those moments.  I knew that really wanted to make this happen. 

Today was the day.  I took my kids, my niece and nephew and off we went.  An hour away, 5000 punch buggies, 2 million yellow cars (you had to be there) and 2 quiet game winners later we were there. 
Arrr matey!
Our first stop was the Calvert Marine Museum (which is very inexpensive BTW).  I thought we'd be in and out in 30 minutes tops.  Boy was I wrong, the kids loved it here plus there was lots of stuff to do. 

Looking at the sting rays and skates up close.
We started off looking at the sting rays and skates.  There are very cool.  I got to tell the kids how I caught a skate years ago when I was fishing in the bay with friends.  : )  We got to see skate eggs, which was REALLY cool! 
The boys playing with an interactive trivia game screen.
Lots to see and learn!
The life cycle of a skate egg.
Real live skate eggs.  This picture doesn't do this exhibit justice.  It was really neat how you could actually see the babies moving inside the eggs.  Have you ever seen an egg like this?

 They had an awesome mural which captured Little Bit's attention.
Next we went to the discovery room.  I think we were in there like an hour or so.  There were sea hermit crabs, star fish, turtles and other cool critters.  There was a light house and a really cool boat the kids could go in.  The very best part of that room was the Dig Area where the kids could look for fossils and teeth.  And keep them.  One per kid to be exact.  Alpha Boy hardly left this spot other than running back and forth to ask the lady at the desk "Hey, what is this?" 

The Lil' Chef checking out a small diamond back turtle.

One of the tanks in the discovery room, that contains star fish, sea hermit crabs and several other critters.

Alphaboy was so content to stay at the Dig Area and dig and dig and dig!  The kids could keep one fossil of their choosing.  After finding several things worth to keep he finally settled on a Tiger Shark's tooth.

We got to walk thru the rest of the museum looking the different exhibits, including the many aquariums.  We got to see blue crabs, sea horses, lots of fish and my personal favorite, the jellyfish.  I was asking my little peeps, "How can anyone look at these jellyfish and wonder if there is a God?"  God is just such an awesome Creator! 
Just one of the neat exhibits we saw.

This was a HUGE case full of different fossils, sharks teeth and such.
At the museum they have an open window to one of the labs. The kids learned ALOT.  She showed us how to tell the age of a whale by looking at parts of it's spine.
This women reminded me of my grandma because of her accent.  Come to find out they were both from Munich, Germany.  I told her, "I knew I recognized that accent anywhere."

How can one look at this thing and not KNOW there is a Creator.  I mean, REALLY??

Maryland is know for it's Blue Crabs (and Old Bay).
nce we walked outside we were greeted by two ADORABLE otters!  I contemplaited how I could take one home with me. I could have just sat there forever and watched these playful little guys. 

I wasn't the only one who enjoyed the otters.

We also enjoyed the view from the lower level of the light house that is at the museum.  The top was closed for lunch and we didn't get to make it back.  After the light house, we got to check out lots of really neat boats, some old and some really really old. 

This was a neat little light house, I really wish we could have gone all the way up.

Checking out some old boat.  One of the boats was a two log canoe from the mid 1800's.
Before we left I asked a lady that worked at the museum how far it was to one of the state parks that we were going to go to for sharks teeth.  I also inquired about how far of a walk it was from the car to the actual beach (one place was like 2 miles!!).  This super kind lady told us just to go to her beach.  she offered for us to just park in her driveway so we wouldn't get towed.  Her beach was free and about a 3 minute walk from her house.  She was SO nice.  She even offered for us to just go inside her porch and grab some shark's teeth that they had if we didn't find any.  I really couldn't believe how nice this lady was. 

We were all having so much fun, nobody wanted to leave. 

We really enjoyed the beach, other than a kind older man that helped us find shark's teeth we had the beach to ourselves.  None of us wanted to leave, myself included.  It was so peaceful and relaxing.

On the way home we stopped for sundae's.  It was supposed to be the prize for the quiet game winners but instead everyone got one.  Well except for Little Bits, he had already drifted blissfully off to sleep. 

I really just thought we'd go and dig in the sand for a bit.  I never imagined how cool the museum would be or how much we would learn.  I thought we were just taking the day off but actually it turned into quite the little science lesson.

It was a good day!

This post is linked up over at Let's Hit the Road - Field Trip Blog Hop!  Great blog for the field trip enthusiast!


The Adventurer said...

Great trip, my kids would love doing this:) I am starting a new Field trip blog Hop you might consider linking up your post:)
Let others know the amazing things you and your kids saw:)

danielle @ RLR said...

I loooooove museums! I hope we can squeeze in a few more this year! Gotta say're a braver soul than I. An hour away! Yikes!


Joyce said...

Looks like a great day!


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