Monday, August 19, 2013

Fun with 4-H

Last week the three oldest kids headed to 4-H day camp. Even though Madisyn is 12 {and a half!} it still feels very strange to drop my children off somewhere and leave. 4-H events are the only place that I've ever left them outside of leaving them with family. The leader for our club, Mrs. Jennifer, is an awesome lady and the kids all love her. She even gets brought up in day to day conversation among the littles. ;-)

At camp, they learned about bees and honey from a local keeper. I don't think the kids every found the queen but they did discover all that is involved in getting the "honey" from the flower to WalMart. They also learned what an important role bees play in pollinating all plants. There is an area of China where bees do not live. Each spring villagers collect pollen and dry it. They then take cups of the dried polled and climb ladders equipped with paint brushes and pollinate the trees by hand. As a result, their food is every expensive!

They also made a craft to enter into the upcoming county fair. This particular craft was a beaded keychain shaped like a viper snake! Thankfully, the bright colors of the beads keep it from looking like the real thing.

The next morning Liberty was in more of a mood to socialize so we hung around a bit. The kids started the day off with some exercise.

Mary Claire decided that exercising looked like fun and found a place next to Griffin. I'm not sure which one of them was having more fun! I love it when the kids delight in doing things together. I makes me proud and makes the moments when they are constantly fighting a little easier to bear.

Then the group  sang a few songs while waiting for the animal man. Singing silly songs is something I really need to do with them more. There just always seems to be something more important but I so loved singing when I was a kid. And the sillier the song, the better!

The park interpreter was the animal man. He gave a little talk about reptiles and what characteristics they posses. Then he shared the main reptiles that live in our area. He had a corn snake but chose not to pass him around.

I was really surprised that Henry and Mary Claire were willing to look at the alligator. They are my children that are terrified of dogs, no matter how small. In fact, Madisyn has a stuffed dog that moves it's head and barks and Mary Claire will not be in the same room with it. She is convinced it will get her.

Libby decided when the snakes and gators came out that being confined to the stroller wasn't where she wanted to be. I really believe the child has the ability to take off walking across the room but she just won't let go. It would also help if she didn't love bouncing while standing.

The interpreter carried the alligator around and let the kids touch it that wanted to feel of him. I wasn't surprised when Ty and Griffin took a turn and when Madisyn politely refused. However, what happened next really caught me off guard.

Mary Claire and Henry BOTH touched it. Multiple times even. She was a little unsure but I think she decided that if Mrs. Jennifer was willing to pet him, he must be safe.

We really enjoy our time in 4-H. It's a great, safe environment for our children to branch out a little and learn to handle various scenarios without Mom and Dad right there. Plus - I'm never going to bring a snake or alligator in for show and tell!

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