Monday, August 11, 2008

Head on over to the county fair!

I'm traveling with family this week and, unfortunately, we are missing the week-long county fair at home. I enjoy attending the fair each year with my sons. We usually head first to the special barn that houses the baby animals. Often, we get to pet a few. I point out the baby ducklings and geese peeping about, tell my sons to avoid those animals that bite, and finally we stop at the display of honeybees and look for the queen. I remind the boys that bees are in decline and that we shouldn't be afraid of them or squish them.

We then wander among the displays near the barn. I pick up a free car trash bag and fill it with various science-themed items: a baby seeding from a forestry group, some compost from a local compost retailer, a few pencils from the 4-H club.

We stop by the 4-H building next. Along with admiring the food and crafts, we learn about science in its various forms: keeping lifestock, raising plants, growing vegetables, exploring the food chain. Right outside of the 4-H building, we see a gigantic walking "tree", talking to kids and teaching them about conservation.

My younger son favors the rescue vehicles, so we always walk over to learn about "stop, drop, and roll" while playing on the inflatable firetruck and inspecting the real ladder trucks. The craft displays are also favorite of ours, since we often enter items in the fair. My sons are especially fascinated with the Lego® and K-NEX sculpture competitions.

If you haven't stopped by your local county fair lately, you might give it a try. There are a variety of things to see and do and you can pick up some great low to no cost science education materials. Drop by County Fairgrounds, USA! to help plan your next trip!

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