Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer Fun at Bay Lab

On Thursday we spent a delightful 3 hours at First Landing State Park. The Virginia Aquarium offered a program where one of their naturalists took us for a walk along the shoreline of First Landing State Park and taught us about the animals that live there.

Shira, my little nature lover was in seventh heaven.

The event started off in the bay lab where Mike, the naturalist, showed the children different crabs, mollusks and fish. They got a real kick out of gently touching everything. According to Ben, the highlight was when Mike was pinched by a spider crab.

After the talk, we went down to the shoreline where Mike and his assistant proceeded to use a seine net to catch creatures that live in the breakers.

He also gave the children large nets so that they could try to catch creatures themselves.

I was surprised at how many creatures they caught. I was hoping to find a horseshoe crab, but unfortunately we had to console ourselves with some molt.

Ben was delighted with his icky find of decomposing squid roe.

This was a great program. Mike has a real rapport with the children and there were enough hands on activities that the children were constantly engaged. The aquarium is doing another one in August, so if you missed this one, you can still make another one. It's $4 a person well spent. Next month we're going on an ocean collection trip with them.
Seahorses, stingrays, crabs and sand dollars - just some of what can be found beneath the surface of the ocean.

During this 75-minute boat trip, Aquarium staff will trawl the ocean floor for a sample of sea life to bring on board. Kids will have a chance to ask questions about the animals before they are returned to the water.

No comments: