Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Museum of Nature and Science

We took a field trip today to the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. It was especially fun because we got to meet up with some cool friends of ours!



I had not even realized that today was the Chinese New Year so what a neat surprise it was to learn that we were going to get to see a Chinese New Year lion dance there. We learned all about the tradition behind the Chinese New Year and then watched an awesome lion dance. The music and lion dance is intended to scare away bad guys and bad luck to make way for the good luck of the new year. The lion threw out lettuce and peppermints for good luck to those who catch them.



Next Nicholas got to be part of the lion dance in a kid-sized lion costume. His feet are the third pair under the lion costume!



Then they let him help make the music while other children did the lion dance.





We learned that 2009 is the Year of the Ox.

Nicholas was born in the Year of the Monkey. According to the Chinese belief, monkeys are fun and loving persons who are always cheerful and energetic. They are very clever. Give a monkey a boring book to read and he'll turn it into a Musical. Better yet, he'll invite everyone to see it free! That's how talented, creative and generous monkeys usually are.

Rachel was born in the Year of the Rat. In Chinese, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. People born in the Year of Rat are clever and bright, sociable and family-minded. They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes. They are gifted in many ways and have an easy going manner. They are active and pleasant, tactful and fantastic, and are able to grasp opportunities. They seem to have interests in everything and hope to participate in doing it and usually do it very well.

This museum is our favorite. It's such a fun place to learn about all kinds of things. We spent several hours there and never even made it over to see the big dinosaur exhibits in the other building.

Nicholas walked into a giant mouth, which he just loved...



Worked as a fireman and rang the fire alarm...



Looked through microscopes, worked on a farm and milked a cow...



Learned about electricity and solar power, dressed up as a bee, looked at a tarantula up close...



Built with blocks...



Wore a Haz Mat suit...



Learned about water movement...



Looked at exhibits about building demolition/imploding, earthquakes, kaleidoscopes, and the human body. Here we are all learning about mucus through an interactive exhibit (eww!).



Dug for dinosaur bones and made giant bubbles....



We had a blast!



We decided to continue celebrating the Chinese New Year once we got home. We made Chinese paper lanterns. It was super easy and fun. All we used was construction paper, scissors, markers, and a few staples.





Next we worked on a really cool art project in which we made our own Chinese dancing lion. We colored a mask that came from the museum and cut it out.



Then we pulled out some cardboard tubes from our recycle bin and painted them blue.



I found some used tissue paper that had come in a gift bag and we used that for the lion's body. We decorated it with markers and glitter. We attached all of the pieces together and we had our own Chinese lion! Nicholas had fun walking around the house making the lion dance while I made lots of music for it to dance to.



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