Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Great Day at The Big Dig


Yesterday we hosted our second Literacy Center at Riverside Park, and it was a huge success. The theme for the day was "The Big Dig," and everyone sure seemed to dig what we had to offer. There were several different dinosaur themed activities for the kids to participate in and take home and treasure for years come. The activities that we offered were: Dig for Dinosaur eggs, Create your own dinosaur mask, Dinosaur Fossils, Piece it Together, the "D" station and finally the infamous Dinosaur Egg station followed up by a delicious snack of "Dinosaur Dirt Pudding." Everything seemed to be enjoyed by everyone who attended.

After our first day at the park just a short two weeks ago we were a little hesitant as to how good of an idea it was to have it away from the library. It was originally intended to draw the families who were unable to get rides to the library on Monday's. However, the first trip to the park did not see many people enjoying the literacy fun we had planned for them. But, we did not let that get us down and decided to continue to promote the park and literacy centers even more, and I think yesterday was proof that our efforts paid off. Yesterday we saw about forty kids come through our Literacy Center and it was great to see those type of numbers. We hope to continue to get more and more each time.

A couple of the favorite activities that the kids participated in were the "Dinosaur Egg" station, the "Dino Dig" station and the "Dinosaur Fossils" station. At the Egg station we had already hard boiled eggs for the kids to use as their canvas. We also had prepared Easter Egg die for them to color their eggs however they chose, after of course they put a cool design on them with Crayon. The designs the kids came up with were very interesting to say the least. We had multiple colors of eggs with designs that were previously unbeknownst to humankind. The kids also got a kick out of being able to eat their dinosaur. Some even took it to the extreme by cracking their eggs right on the spot and eating their egg before they left the literacy center.

Another favorite station was "Dino Dig" where the kids could Dig through our sandbox and look for matching Dinosaur Eggs that were buried in the sand. Of course this was a favorite for the kids because it gave them a chance to get their hands dirty as all kids seem to enjoy doing. The kids sat out by the sandbox and dug away for the longest time, often forgetting that we had plenty more to offer to them inside. It was a good time.

A last favorite of the kids was the "Dinosaur Fossil" station where kids had to make their own fossil dough using flower salt and water. This station allowed the kids to dive in and get their hands dirty while learning how to measure out the proper amount of the ingredients in order to create their fossil dough. After they had created the dough they were encouraged to use whatever they wanted to create a fossil imprint on their dough. We had toy dinosaurs for them to use, but they also had the choice of going out in the grass and finding pine cones or leaves to make their own fossils with. After going home they could put the dough in the oven for 10 minutes and it would bake the dough so that their fossil would be saved forever.

After the long dirty day at "The Big Dig" we at the Reading Railroad were extremely happy to see everyone that turned out. It was a successful day for everyone who attended and we hope to continue to see such a big turnout every Monday. And a note to all of my loyal followers out there, don't forget that next week out Literacy Center will be on Wednesday at the Library, not Monday. See you there!!!

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