Natural History Museum

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Last Tuesday, we joined other homeschooling ummis and visited the Natural History Museum. I was very close to not going due to illness, but as R has known about the trip for some time, I couldn’t disappoint her. Although we have been there many times before, the main purpose was to attend a storytelling workshop. Here are some pictures of our day:

PIC 1: Most of us bought this key stage activity questionnaire. It took us to the rocks section and there were many fun educational activities to complete. It cost £1, but unfortunately we could not visit it. I think another trip to the museum is needed…

PIC 2: A dinosaur skeleton. SubhanAllah!

PIC 3: Stuffed peacock.

PIC 4: Like I said, we have been to the museum so many times before, and every time R sees this stuffed swan with her young, she screams in delight: ‘Look Ummi – The ugly duckling!’ (one of her favourite stories)

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PIC 1: When R saw this fossil, she called me over jumping up and down. Why? Because a few months ago, a dear sis bought R  two fossils from a museum abroad. They came with certificates stating that they were over 1 million years old! The one in the picture looks almost identical to one of the ones we have at home..only this one was very very big!

PIC 2: An escalator taking museum visitors into the Earth section of the museum.

PIC 3 and 4: Story telling workshop on the story of Rapunzel. After the lady told the story, using puppets, she informed us all of many facts. One of them which I am still puzzled by, is that a bunch of humain hair is so strong that it can hold 2 elephants!!

PIC 5 and 6: The same workshop but this time of the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. As a result of this story, she talked about mammals and non-mammals. Gave me ideas of facts to learn from simple story tales!

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My favourite part of the day was a part of the museum we were simply walking through. We came across one of the museum staff who had a few props. We stopped by and stayed for almost 20 minutes. The activity was excellent. She talked about penguins with the kids. She had a large penguin figure with parts of its body missing and asked the children to place the correct wing, nose etc, and asked them why they thought it would be this type of foot and not the other. She then explained how the male penguins hold the eggs containing the baby penguin for months, on their feet, not allowing it to touch the ice beneath them (the egg would die). The female penguin goes out to hunt and feed. When the female returns, the male penguin passes the egg to the female using only their feet (can’t remember the name for penguin feet!). So, she brought out diving flippers, asked for a boy to represent the male penguin and a girl to represent the female penguin – placed a baby penguin onto the flippers of the boy and asked them to work together to transfer the baby to the ‘mother’. The kids had so much fun. Masha’Allah R did it twice and succeeded both times. Here are 2 pics (I do have a few videos…but can’t seem to figure out how to upload them – if anyone knows, please let me know)

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When we came home, R was so excited because not only did we visit other parts of the museum than the same old dinosaurs section. But she saw human skeletons and was thrilled by her new found knowledge. She couldn’t stop talking about the fact that we all have bones in our bodies and that if we didn’t we would be ‘flat’ (as she described it). That we wouldn’t be able to walk or do anything and that they ‘protect us’. I have been talking about bones with her for some time, but it just didn’t sink in. Its amazing that it all came together when she saw the real thing. It just goes to show that hands on education really does have more effects than simply reading up about it in a book or watching a video. She was also talking about earth due to her visit into it via the escalator! Once she had taken a breath and stopped talking (lol) she asked me to teach her about earth and bones. So here come some lapbooks insha’Allah. Watch this space!

And to finish, we visited my favourite part of the museum: the mammals. Inside the main room, is a HUGGGGGGGE replica of a whale. For me, it increases me in faith – just to imagine what Yunus (as) endured and the miracle of our Lord (Swt) saving him. It also allows R to see how large a whale is and to visualise the story of Yunus (as).

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