Houston Children’s Museum & Fire Museum

The Children’s Museum of Houston has Homeschool Day every year. They’re normally closed on Mondays, but open up once a year just for homeschooling families to come see and learn and play. Our group planned an extra field trip day this week to take advantage of the special pricing and, as an added bonus, cover virtually every possible subject in four hours!

Though many of the members who’d planned on going were unable to attend due to last minute surprises, we had three families representing Triangle Homeschoolers. There were four parents and six students, ranging in age from 4-9. The kids got to put their hands on building blocks, use rulers and whisper tubes, microscopes, play chase on a light-up dance pad, climb the three-story tall cat tower, build dams and help boats travel upriver using canal locks, and re-create life in a Mexican village and play at being grown-ups (complete with jobs and salaries and banking) in Kidtropolis.

The CMoH has really put a lot of effort and planning into their museum, and it shows. Every child seemed engaged in whatever activity he or she was looking at, and with every subject covered, there was something for everyone. I haven’t heard any complaints yet, so I think it’s safe to say that this will be a regular trip for our group!

If you’re planning a trip in the near future, be sure to check out their pre and post-visit lesson plans!

This week is also Fire Prevention Week. We met behind the giant dalmatian fire hydrant downtown at the Texas Fire Museum. Interesting fact: the giant fire hydrant was the largest fire hydrant in the world, but it’s third now.

Whatever the status of the fire hydrant outside, the kids had a great time inside the station learning about the history of fire fighting, fire prevention, practicing calling 911 and fire drills in the miniature house upstairs. The firemen’s poles are always a big hit, and they’re redecorated a bit in the activity center so that it’s more interactive.

Some safety tips to go over with your kids this week:

  • your family’s fire escape plan (daytime and nighttime)
  • ‘get low and go’
  • your family’s safe meeting place
  • calling 911 from a neighbor’s house
  • drill your address and phone number with your kids
  • ‘stop, drop and roll’

If you’d like to coordinate your lesson plans with Fire Safety Week, you can visit the National Fire Prevention Association website. There are lesson plans in the left side menu for all grades. http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=2020&URL=Safety+Information%2FFire+Prevention+Week%2FFor+teachers&cookie_test=1

There are some resources at Homeschool Share: http://www.homeschoolshare.com/fire_safety.php and here also:
http://www.smokeybear.com/
http://firesafety.buffnet.net/

Don’t forget to check your fire alarm(s) batteries!

TH

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