Thursday, June 2, 2011

Maclay Flats

I had the distinct privilege of joining my eldest and her 3rd grade class on a field trip yesterday. They and another 3rd grade class headed out to Maclay Flat's, a popular river access/walking trail/picnic area. We all rode in a school bus together, which I decided isn't my favorite mode of transportation, especially when stuck with 60 some third graders! Once we got there, several folks from the Forest Service were there with 4 different stations for the kids to visit. 

The first one we went to was all about trees & flowers. They learned about how the Ponderosa Pine (our state tree) produces seeds and then they looked at some of our state flower (the Bitterroot) which were not in bloom yet. I actually learned a ton at this station--the most impressive one was that there are actually Bitterroots at Maclay Flats. I had no idea! I'll be frequenting it more often now so we can catch a glimpse of those beauties in bloom. They are my favorite flower. 

The next station they learned about grasses and how they live/die via fire and grazing. The third station was about archeology and was pretty interesting. The kids all got to try their hand at using an atlatl, which was a prehistoric tool/weapon for use with arrows. They also got to "paint" their faces with this chalk stuff, which is what Lindsay has on her face in the above picture. The last station was more about wildlife biology and the kids all had to forage for "stuff" to make art with. It was interesting.

It was an educational field trip but I think the kids all enjoyed it too. I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with Lindz "in her element" since I didn't get to volunteer this year in her class much. I also learned quite a bit, too, so that was cool.

 Thankfully the rain held off for the duration of the trip, too. All these end of the year fun stuff for the kids through school seem to be dealing with some major rain this spring, it's kind of hit or miss for them. Tomorrow is suppose to be a Track & Field day, but we'll see what the weather holds! Then next week they have 4.5 days of school until summer vacation officially begins. I cannot wait!

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