Monday, July 26, 2010

Museo de Niños

For awhile now, Leah and I have been talking about wanting to take our kids to the great Children’s Museum in San Jose. We were a little overwhelmed by the thought of how to organize such an event, especially the task of keeping track of all the kids while in the museum. We finally decided we would brave the outing during winter vacation when we would have the help of short-term team members in keeping the kids together in the museum. I called the museum and set up a tour. They even waived the kids’ entrance fee. We decided to limit the trip to kids 8 years old and above, since we only had 20 spots. There were a lot of really sad 7 year olds, but we promised we’d do another trip soon.

On the day of the outing, we had a great ratio of 2 to 1, children to adults. When we arrived at the museum, I was so thankful we had so many helpers. They actually closed entrance to the museum for the rest of the day shortly after we got there, because there were already so many people there. Inside was packed, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. They had a great time weaving in between the crowds, trying out all the hands on activities they’d never seen before. I loved getting to watch the kids investigate and experience so many new things. Julio, my 8 year old counterpart, kept turning around and yelling, “Look at this!!! Look at this!!!”, before dashing off to something new.
The kids had so much fun! For most of them, it was their first experience going to a museum. I can’t wait to take the kids there again. There was so much in museum we couldn’t see as a result of time and it being over-crowded. Hopefully next time I’ll be able to take the 7 year olds too.

Everyone on the bus
From Vacation and Museum

Exploring the Train

Catalina and Marjorie


Reyner learning about banana production, one of the major exports in Costa Rica

Waiting to go into the radio recording studio

"Shopping" in the grocery store and learning about healthy food choices

Several of the kids were so wiped out they fell asleep on the bus ride home, but not Julio.


The school schedule (along with the seasons) here in Costa Rica runs opposite to the United States. We just finished our two week winter vacation. In the Tutoring Center we decided to take advantage of this homework-free time to do extra-curricular activities in the afternoons. The kids had tons of fun and it was a great way for the short-term teams to integrate in with the kids at the center.

We did cooking classes, thanks to a our new stove! It was the first time any of the kids had baked cookies. They loved it and did a great job with both the sugar cookies and oatmeal choco-chips.

Roger helping me put the cookies in the oven.

Everyone waiting for the cookies to come out.

The remnants

One day we painted animal puzzles Jeremy Janzen made for us in the wood shop, one of SI’s other sites in Los Guido. Puzzles are one of the favorite break activities in the Tutoring Center, so the kids were super excited to make their own puzzle to take home with them.

On the last day of vacations we had a play day in the Community Center next door to the Tutoring Center. Luis Diego and Cindy, our newest staff members helped lead a bunch of games with the kids, which was a blast. We also did Readers’ Theater with the book, Where the Wild Things Are, a favorite read in the Center. The kids thoroughly enjoyed making masks and playing the part of the monsters in the story. It was a great way to end the fun-filled two weeks.

Costa Rican version of "Snake in the Grass"

The team acted out the story the first, and the kids thought it was hilarious. They couldn't wait to do it on their own.

Catalina was in charge of giving the crown to Max during the storytime

Cynthia, Sharon, and Ana playing "Simon Says". Sharon didn't follow along all that well, but still had fun.