Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Field Trip: The Works Science & History Museum January 31, 2012

Last week, we decided to play hooky from homeschooling on Friday and meet up with a friend at The Works Science and History Museum in Newark, Ohio.  We used to go to this museum all of the time when we lived in Newark, but since we moved a ways away two years ago, we haven’t been there very often.  It’s a small museum, but the kids love it!  Usually we stay on the main level with all of the science stations, but this time, the kids also wanted to venture upstairs to the area of the museum that talks about the county’s history.

Monkey trying to balance on the skateboard.


Monkey and her new friends. 😉


Bug tossing marbles into the hole.


When the sign said to hang, Monkey had her own interpretation of it....


Bug making a car.


Racing her car.


Jedi building a car.


Bug working with magnets.


Monkey and Jedi with the snap circuits. Jedi was trying to show her how to make a fan.


Monkey and Bug decided to go to the toddler area and pretend to paint a fence.


Monkey with the glow writer.


Jedi loved the lasers!


Here, Jedi was jumping and tossing little felt circles onto the velcro strips.


Playing magnet tug of war with a friend.


Bug making the ball balance on the air stream.


Jedi and his friend trying to make the rings spin on the platform (which was spinning in the opposite direction.)


Monkey and the light table.


Jedi looking at the samples of flint.


Bug playing with the wooden boat. This was in the area about the canals in the county.


The kids loved looking at all of the artifacts from early Ohio!


A life-sized replica of an old factory.


Replica of a mastodon's foot!


Field Trip: Pumpkin Farm #1 October 24, 2011

As part of our weeks off from school not so long ago, the kids went to two separate pumpkin farms.  One was part of a field trip with our homeschool co-op and the other trip was a family trip.  Here are the pictures from the first visit to the pumpkin farm…

The kids jumping on a hay bale mountain


The kids all attended a lecture on rings on a tree


Getting ready to ride the barrel train


Jedi on the train


Monkey on the train


The kids listening to a lecture on pollination


Trying to find the queen bee


Learning how grains from the farm are used in different food products


The kids pretending to drive an old tractor


Bug liked this one!


I told Bug, Jedi, and Monkey to try to navigate out of the corn maze...I went in with them, but they were the ones responsible for getting us out before dark. 😉


Jedi apparently making corn angels


Driving the tractors and bikes


Monkey burying Jedi in corn


Field Trip: Franklin Park Conservatory–Butterflies & Blooms August 30, 2011

This week, we took a field trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.  During the summer, the conservatory has a program called “Butterflies and Blooms” where they released newly emerged butterflies into the gardens.  The tropical/non-native species are released to an indoor garden and the native species are released outside to the pollinator gardens.  Since we raise butterflies to release in early September every year, it was the perfect opportunity for the kids to see the life cycle happen on a larger scale…with hundreds of chrysalids!

The Franklin Park Conservatory has a permanent Chihuly collection, and so Chihuly's works were incorporated into every exhibit.


I loved this was a glass ceiling with this Chihuly work sitting on top of it.


Some cacti in the desert room.


Some smaller cacti


Blown glass pumpkins in a pumpkin patch


Blown glass pears under a pear tree


We all sat in on a lecture on glass blowing


Some Chihuly pieces floating in a koi pond


Jedi watching the fish


Cute little Bug


Beautiful flower in the Tropical Rainforest indoor butterfly exhibit


This blue butterfly was huge! It's hard to see from this picture, but he was easily the size of my hand.


Bug and her daddy


Monkey & Jedi


As she was releasing the butterflies, she gave a talk on the different types she had in her container. We also went to the release of the native butterflies later that afternoon, where she gave a lecture on the lifecycle and migratory patterns of monarch butterflies.


Bamboo garden


Some glass winged butterflies emerging


Walking to the outdoor gardens


It was well past naptime for Bug


Some flowers in the Pollinator Garden


Some pitcher plants


Another pitcher plant


Sunflowers on a gorgeous day


A huge bee doing his job in the Pollinator Garden




Field Trip: Columbus Zoo & Aquarium August 9, 2011

Today, we decided to head to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium with some friends for some socialization time with the kids (as well as a fun outing!)  The Columbus Zoo is a very nice zoo, but very big, so even in the 5 hours we were there, we didn’t come close to seeing everything.  Now, that also might have been in part due to the 20 zillion bathroom trips the kids needed (it was hot and they were chugging the water!) and also due in part to the polar bears being so entertaining that the kids wanted to stay in that one exhibit for well over an hour.  But regardless, we saw about half of the zoo, and the kids had a blast!

Two brown bears


Maybe Monkey should look to her left...


Polar bears wrestling in the water


Taking a break


He really looks like he's doing crunches


My Buggy boo


The bear kept throwing his ball towards us


Polar bears playing


All three of my kids watching the polar bears






The kids brushing a goat




Field Trip #4: Creeking/Natural Play Area at Prairie Oaks Metropark August 3, 2011

The final field trip last week was to Prairie Oaks Metropark to play in the natural play area.  This metropark is quite a ways from our house, but because we were already out at the art museum, we just kept going. 🙂

The kids walking down the trail in the woods


The kid sin the creek with their nets


Bug trying to decide whether to get wet


Look what they caught! A big and little crawfish


Trying to catch more...


In the end, they ended up with one toad and several crawfish.  They also learned that if they want to catch the crawfish, they need to move around the rocks…so they had a lot of fun moving as many rocks as they could. 🙂


As always, comments are welcome, either here or on our facebook page.  Let me know you’re reading along!


Field Trip #3: Columbus Museum of Art

The third field trip we took last week was with the homeschool group to the Columbus  Museum of Art.  The last time we were there, the entire museum was undergoing renovations.  This time, the remodeling is finished, and the museum looks spectacular!  In addition to the wonderful works on display, there is now a large (and very fun) children’s area, as well as children’s activities integrated throughout the museum’s regular exhibits.

Monkey using the magnetic utensil display to attempt to create a face.


Jedi trying to make a face with the other magnetic display.


Jedi taking a moment to relax in a nook.


Jedi & Monkey in the fort building area


Monkey & Bug using the animal parts to create new animals.


Still working on their creations.


Bug looking at the animal displays


Bug & Monkey making a magnetic sculpture


Bug & Monkey sculpting


A beautiful work by Chihuly


The kids making sculptures out of packing peanuts and rubber bands


Jedi working with some friends from The Attached Mama (


A lovely piece of art created with scraps of fabric. I'm pretty sure we will have the kids try to recreate this later.


As always, comments are welcome, either here or on our facebook page.  Let me know you’re reading along!


Field Trip #1…Cosi Science Museum, Columbus, Ohio August 1, 2011

I’m finally back home, settled in, and ready to catch up on a whole list of posts….coming up today, pictures from the *4* field trips we went on last week.


The first field trip we went on was to the Cosi science museum in Columbus, Ohio.  The kids always love this museum, and there is always so much to do for children of all ages.  We never get through the entire museum in one visit simply because there is just so *much* to do to keep the kids’ attention!


Jedi in the Space Exhibit, pretending to use the astronaut bathroom

Learning a little robotics... The kids were able to control these replicas of the robotics used for space exploration.

Jedi controlling the water stream


Monkey trying to control the water stream


Bug wanted to avoid the water play at all in her daddy's arms.


Jedi balancing a ball on a stream of water.


Jedi inside of an old submarine


Jedi trying to control where the laser was aimed using mirrors.


Playing with electricity


Using pullies to pull himself to the top


Monkey using the pully


Bug riding a little scooter


Bug in the toddler water area


Bug & Monkey in the toddler water area


Field Trip #2…Ohio Historical Society July 3, 2011

Over the past couple weeks, Jedi has been studying the Ice Age in Ohio, and the mastodons that roamed Ohio during that time.  And thankfully, there is a complete mastodon skeleton on display not too terribly far from us.  So, we all went to the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus to see it.  And during our trip, we of course toured the rest of the museum as well!  The kids all had a blast.  This is definitely one of Ohio’s gems…even for those who, like me, are not history buffs. 🙂  And if you are concerned that there might not be much to keep the really little ones interested, we went with our 2 year old, 4 year old, and 7 year old…there was a lot to keep everyone’s attention.  And I’m pretty sure it was the *2* year old that had the most fun!

Us in front of the mastodon skeleton

And for the first time in, oh, forever I think, I was actually in the picture. I was taking the picture of the kids while my husband was filling out the membership info, and one of the historians asked if I wanted to be in the picture. I jumped at that opportunity since I'm never actually in any of these. LOL!

Conway's face

This week, Jedi learned about the difference between mammoths & mastodons. And now he was able to see the teeth in person!

More bones in the mastodon display. Poor Bug was all distraught that "that mastodon fell down and got stuck!"

An amazing exhibit! If you live in Ohio and haven't seen the full skeleton, you should go see it!

All three children also loved the animals of Ohio exhibit!

More of the Animals of Ohio exhibit

More of the Animals of Ohio exhibit

Apparently these guys were once rare in Ohio. I'd have to say, I don't think that's the case anymore!

The kids were amazed to see how big a turkey actually is!

Since we have coyotes living behind our fence in the backyard, I made the kids pay special attention to this exhibit...

Bug loved the gemstones of Ohio. Especially this one. Because it was pink. Sounds about right to me.

And then Bug was telling everyone who came in that this was salt. (She was right too!)

Jedi really enjoyed looking at Ohio's fossils

And in Barefoot in Suburbia's version of 'Where's Waldo"...I present to you, "Where's Bug?" She loved this car and would not get out!

Jedi was very amused when I told him TVs weren't always flat screen....

And Jedi was very impressed by the cars

Part of the Great Depression display

Monkey and Jedi

Monkey loved the display of infant prams

This bike amused the children...and now they want one of their own. LOL!

A display of toys used by children in early Ohio

The famous Ohio 2 headed calf

Side view of the 2 headed calf

This was the surprise exhibit of the day for us...something you don't expect to see in a museum of Ohio history. 😀

Bug playing in the house that was set up in the Children's area

She really loved playing in the house. She was trying to make soup on the fire here.

Monkey and Bug finishing the meal preparation game they were playing

Some Native American artifacts

More Native American artifacts

And Bug was *still* playing in the playhouse. We couldn't get her out! LOL!

All three of my kiddos.


Field Trip #1…Beekeeping

The first field trip we went on this past week was to the Columbus Metropolitan Library to hear a lesson by the Ohio Beekeeper’s Association.  Our homeschool field trip co-op set it up, and it was a great time!

Clover, beeswax, and pollen set up to show the various aspects of a bee's life.

Bug, watching the observation hive

All of the children listened to a brief lecture on the different types of bees, and what it takes to set up a man-made hive

Inside the observation hive

More of the observation hive

Jedi interacting with a bee

Jedi getting a lesson on why the clover in our yard is a good thing

Jedi loved the beekeeper's shirt!

After the lesson, the kids wanted to have a picnic on the library's lawn

My three kiddos

The biggest and the littlest watching the fountain

And taking a little walk...

....and goofing off.

All three really really loved the fountain.


Field Trip: The Pumpkin Patch October 24, 2010

Filed under: Family updates,Field trips — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:48 pm
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This week, we headed to the pumpkin farm in Ohio so the kids can play at the farm’s playground, run through the corn maze, and of course, pick pumpkins.  The kids had a blast!  It was a pretty chilly day (and of course, today was near 80…go figure!) but perfect weather to be out picking pumpkins!

Some unexpected visitors at the pumpkin farm...

Playing on the airplane teeter totter. Jedi *loved* this thing--he probably spent 2/3 of his time flying the plane. Then again, he also has been saying for months now that he wants to be a pilot....

Jedi, the human hamster....

Monkey running out of the spooky tunnel

Now, what child with autism *doesn't* like to make corn angels? LOL! Seriously, Jedi was all about this. He was laying in it, swimming in it, burrowing through it. I can't say I'm surprised...

Monkey and Bug digging in the corn

Bug driving a train

Sweet little Bitty Bug, heading into the corn maze

Lovin' the swing!

Gorgeous full moon!

Bug used the giant hamster wheel as a slide--her dad would push it, and she'd slide in it. She loved it!

Monkey in front of the pumpkin tree

Picking out her pumpkin

Clearly loving her time at the pumpkin farm!

Attempting to carry a pumpkin that's a bit too big for her.

Whoa, all three kids in one picture, looking in the same direction! A rarity, for sure!

The beautiful sunset we came home to...