Today was our 3rd day in a row at Zilker Park. We just can’t get enough of it! One thing I love about toddlers/preschoolers is that everything is a learning experience and they eat it up. We spent our morning at the park conquering the playground, exploring the park by train, & experiencing a picnic-style snack. Nature is a fantastic place for kiddos to learn. And, it’s amazing the great mood it puts most people in. You couldn’t believe the number of smiling/waving people we encountered along the trails as we rode the park train. It was like Pleasantville, you know the movie with Reese Witherspoon when the town was set in black & white and everyone gave you the cheesy wave?…exactly like that. God has a way of showing us His beauty that you just can’t ignore. For toddlers, it’s the exciting/slightly overwhelming experience of seeing the things that we often take for granted. My one year old spent the entire morning greeting every bird, dog, and all other animals with a cheery, “Hi!” while they both learned the names of a variety of floatation vessels (kayak, canoe, paddle boat, fishing boat…ok, we might’ve said that last one because I have no idea what the boat was called, but it had a fisherman in it, so we went with it) Education is all around.
After the park, we took in the Austin Children’s Museum. It’s so easy to make learning fun! This museum has great exhibits to get little minds working. Definitely check it out sometime if you’re in the area. Although, if I’m plugging the Austin Children’s Museum, I also have to put in a plug for our museums back home, the Lincoln Children’s Museum in Lincoln, NE & the Omaha Children’s Museum in Omaha, NE , because to my surprise, Austin (although a great museum) had nothing above these two. They are also fantastic! It made me appreciate what has been put into these two museums…thanks to all who contribute to them and stop by if you’re in the area!
Kudos to ACM for their 1 pm storytime as a chance to get kids together for 3 fantastic books. Here are my kiddos scanning through their own selections as they listen to the museum staff read. Getting a book in the hands of a child is one of the best things you can do for them in my opinion. It’s amazing what they pick up just by having books available at all times.
Our last stop for the day before meeting back up with my husband was Terra Toys. This is a fantastic toy store that claims it’s “Texas’ best.” And, I’d have to say they’re right up there with the best I’ve seen. They have such a variety of toys and lots of them out there for kids to experience the fun and, of course, feel the need to take them home. Both my kids did a great job leaving the toys there. I accredit that to our hometown toy store, Susan’s Books & Gifts, as she seems to have as many toys to play with as she does to sell:). So, they’re pretty used to spending time in the store for fun and walking out with empty hands when we don’t need anything more. Thank you, Susan, for being so welcoming in your store! However, at Terra, we didn’t leave empty handed. There was this great find, Rory’s Story Cubes, that I’m super excited about for my 3 year old. I can’t wait to get these out and let the storytelling roll. This comes with 9 cubes in which each side has a picture on it. Roll the dice and create a story from the pictures that are on top. Easy creative brain activity. My mom, the super storyteller & 4th grade teacher, I think will be even more excited.:)
So, there it is, our last full day in Austin. A full day of fun education and great memories that my kids will be talking about for a long time. And, tomorrow, we’ll be taking on the bag-full of educational car activities we packed as we head on down the road…hopefully post to come later from a sane momma due to a calm road trip.;)