Thursday, April 8, 2010

Field Trip

 I still have vivid memories of one of the very first field trips I went on as a kid. I was in first grade, and we had been learning about dinosaurs for weeks, hearing all about their eating habits, memorizing their hard-to-pronounce names and gazing at countless picture books that depicted their strange appearances. My faves? Stegosaurus and brontosaurus, hands down. It was all so intriguing to me, yet so hard to grasp. Which is why I was totally psyched the night before our first-grade class embarked on a field trip to a museum that was featuring a dinosaur exhibit. I have no idea which museum we went to, or even what city it was in, because honestly, at that age, it's so not all about the details. You know what it's all about? Who you're going to sit with on the bus and what you're going to buy at the gift shop. I remember having such a hard time falling asleep the night before the field trip because I was so consumed with a) getting to see REAL dinosaur bones, b) riding a bus and being required to "pack a bagged lunch," and c) getting to spend a few dollars in the museum gift store to buy dinosaur memorabilia. It's all very exciting stuff for a first grader.

And I kinda felt the same way last night as I prepared for today's daycare field trip to the Maryland Science Center. Except this time I was preoccupied with thoughts of a different kind ... ones that ran wild about all the germs and infectious diseases she might bring home from the fully tactile and hands-on section of the museum we would be visiting.

Needless to say, though, I let her touch things and enjoy her little field trip. Once I saw just how much she loved playing with all the contraptions, buttons, balls and water tables (her favorite!), I quickly remembered the importance of just letting kids be kids. And the importance of always having a bottle of hand sanitizer close by.

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