A young asian girl walking through tall grass holding hands with her mother and father.

First Bell: Summer 2021

By Darrell Roberts

Take a field trip from home

COVID-19 has made rainy day activities like visiting Halifax’s museums far more difficult. The Nova Scotia Museum (which is comprised of several museums around Nova Scotia) has a myriad offerings to help your child feel like they’re on a real field trip. Your kids can practice saying Gaelic words and phrases and learn about the legend of the fairies in Gaelic culture. They can also listen to Roger Lewis, the Nova Scotia Museum Mi’kmaq cultural heritage coordinator, talk about the history of the Mi’kmaq and Mi’kmaw place names in a series of short videos. 

The Museum of Natural History has printable activity sheets and educational activities for kids (and adults) of all ages. Go for a walk in the park and bring one of their checklists to help you spot and identify various species of birds or trees. Embark on a scavenger hunt or investigate everyday objects using skills from archeology. 

Check out the Nova Scotia Museum blog for instructions on how to become a “museum maker.” Kids can learn about museum curation by collecting specimens and objects outside and from their own possessions. When they’re done, they can give you (or a friend or family member) a tour. The blog has a list of questions that will help your child think about the importance of preserving history. naturalhistory.novascotia.ca/learning-home 

Discover something new

This summer, shrink down to the size of a bug when you visit the Discovery Centre’s new exhibit Amazing Butterflies. Created by the Natural History Museum in London in collaboration with Minotaur Mazes, kids will navigate an interactive maze of giant leaves, grass, and trees as they learn about the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. While you’re at the centre, visit other exhibits focused on energy, health, flight, oceans, and more.

Stuck at home? Check out the BiteSize Science and Discovery@Home video series, originally developed at the beginning of the pandemic. These interactive science workshops include a list of required supplies (which can usually be found around the house), an instructional video, and a learning guide. These workshops range in topics from geology, to architecture, to music. thediscoverycentre.ca

Let your imagination run away

Wonder’neath Art Society is a public studio space on Maynard Street in Halifax for both professional and amateur artists of all ages. Although the studio is currently closed to the public, the society is offering free art kits for pickup from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday. Each kit is based on a specific theme. For example, a recent kit was called “Enchanted Painting” and included water colour paints and a paint-by-numbers print from artist Merle Harley. Although there is a specific project every week, the studio also encourages kids to use their imagination to make their own creations. For more information, find them on Facebook and Instagram or call 902-454-6860.

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