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Monday, February 6, 2012

GratiTuesday - Storing Up Memories

Last year, after my Big Helper began kindergarten, I wanted to find a way to have some structured learning time for My Little Man with other kids - but I didn't feel the need to have all-out preschool time.  I wanted something along the lines of field trips, with lots of the trucks and vehicles that he loves, and other kids that might like the same thing.

I thought that perhaps I could find a handful of other kids who might be interested in a few of these field trips, so I made a few calls and sent out a few emails.

For our very first playgroup field trip we visited our local DOT headquarters.

Much to my surprise, My Little Man was not completely enthralled with the loud vehicles, and he was rather shy around all the other boys.

Flash forward a year and a half.

He's still sometimes shy when we first arrive at our destination, but most of the time he settles right in.  He really loved this trip to the fire station in December.

 And our group is little no longer.  We grew from those few friends to a rather regular cluster of nearly twenty - and more than 20 families now receive my emails and join us when our schedules match.

I'm so thankful for the friends that we've made and the experiences we've had together.  From being nervous each week about the new places we might end up, My Little Man now eagerly looks forward to each trip, and he asks questions of our hosts, as well.  While he's still usually pretty quiet on our visits, he talks non-stop about what he's learned a few hours later.  His big sister has learned all about Kyrgyzstan and Korea and honey bees and what grows in a river vicariously through his experiences.

With kindergarten registration looming and the end of our playgroup visits in sight, I'm happily planning the most exciting field trips I can find - and I'm thrilled that we have such great friends making these trips with us. With My Little Man eagerly asking each day if today's the day that we visit the race track or the ball park, I'm happy to see him out of his shell - and being able to make these special trips with him is something I'll never forget.

If you'd like some ideas for fun field trips, you can find descriptions of many of our trips here.

For more GratiTuesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.

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