One of my goals for the recent Spain adventure with my kids was to make sure there were educational elements to the trip. I wanted my kids to experience the type of field trips I used to take, as a young child in Spain, at their age. So once we returned to Madrid for the last couple of days of our trip, I decided to take the kids to the Natural Science Museum.
The Natural Science Museum in Madrid, Spain, took us on an experience through all things natural science. Dinosaurs, plants, space and time, animals, and humans, their science book just came alive! They were able to experience science in a way they never could in a classroom. I could see their brains working. It was fun, and they were taking it all in, and they were learning at the same time.
It was really neat to walk them through the museum and teach them, with real life examples, the type of things they used to look at in their school textbooks.
The Mediterranean Fish exhibit, one of the permanent exhibits at the Natural Science Museum, was one of our family favorites. With many fish, even a huge squid (7 meters/21 feet in length found on the coast of Spain), seashells of all shapes and sizes, and other exotic creatures, it felt like we were under the water right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea!
The human evolution exhibit was really interesting. My kids have only known that in the beginning, God created man and woman; so naturally, they asked why God would create a monkey-man. Surely, God did not create that ugly figure in his image. I’m telling you, kids ask the funniest things, but they are important life questions that I’m happy to have had a chance to answer.
My favorite part, of course, were the dinosaurs. But before we got to the dinosaur exhibit, we learned about fossils. And the fossils exhibit led to the poop exhibit. If you want to see kids cracking up at their own jokes, let them learn all about human and animal feces.
The exhibits at the Natural Science Museum took us through evolution and even poop! Yes, my kids loved the poop exhibit and still can’t stop talking about it. They were having so much fun as they journeyed through the different specimens. Seeing all the fossils, many shapes, sizes, and colors, my 9-year-old daughter joyfully says, “They have purple poo, mom!” To which my 7-year-old son follows with, “Look at this one, it’s from a caveman!” Kids will be kids.
The thing is, that I didn’t have huge expectations for the visit. I just wanted my kids to have fun while learning and maybe retain a few facts from the few hours we spent in the museum. But if you have kids, you know that from time to time they surprise you. Just last week, on our weekly library trip, they were telling the librarian about their trip and sharing facts they picked up on our visit.
They have also shared this experience with their 3-year-old brother, who was not with us on the trip. They are now teaching him some of the things they learned at the museum but showing him pictures from our library book. I had a feeling that homeschooling my kids would be fun, but turning their experiences into learning adventures makes it all worth it.
I hope to take them on more trips this year where we can learn and have fun at the same time.
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