Field Trips

We’re Moving!

moving box

We’ve Moved! 

Our family has moved on to a new season in life and away from regularly taking field trips. We’re no longer regularly monitoring this blog or updating/adding information.

I’m excited to announce that Texas Unschoolers will now be home to all these resources. Not only does this allow me to preserve all the information I’ve gathered over the years, but I will be periodically blogging for them in the future on a variety of topics of interest to our family.

Thank you for all of your support and I hope you’ll join us over there!

Please note: Someone else purchased the .com domain that we used to own.  We are not affiliated with that site.

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Categories: Announcements, By Age, By City, By Cost, By Month, City Parks, Day Trips, Events, Factory, Field Trips, Grab Your Calendar, Museums, State Parks, Theater, Tours, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

InterActive Theater

We attended our first performance by InterActive Theater Company this morning.  We decided to take advantage of Homeschool Happenings ~ discounted performances for Homeschool families.  Tickets were $6/per person.

We registered online and within 24 hours received an e-mail confirmation.  This morning we were greeted at the entrance by the box office manager (who also happened to be in the cast) and paid for our tickets.  We headed upstairs and found a seat.  One of the cast members gave an informative talk about how the performances run.  The cast encourages audience participation during the entire performance.  Sometimes via all responding, pointing to a certain audience member and asking for their response, or inviting various audience members onstage to take part in the show.  Today’s performance was “Fantastic Four Founding Fathers”.  In sixty minutes they covered the birth of our nation and gave a quick introduction to “key players” in the colonization, American Revolution, and early government.  A mixture of slapstick, puns, literary & historical reference, and general zaniness ~ we spent the entire time laughing.  After, the cast took questions from the audience.

We are definitely looking forward to their next performance and would recommend InterActive Theater to our friends.

Our trip to Interactive Theater Company's Homeschool Happenings. Learn more at HoustonFieldTrips.com

Recommended ages:  All ages.  Family friendly.  Many families had infants/toddlers.  Stage is on the second floor and there is an elevator available for wheelchair & stroller access.

Anything we wish was different?  One of the actors had a heavy accent that could sometimes be difficult to understand if he wasn’t directly facing the audience or he was speaking quickly.  Also, perhaps we’re a little spoiled by A.D. Players, but we missed having the opportunity to take pictures with the cast after the performance.  It’s also nice to have a Playbill &/or cast photo for our scrapbook.  However, none of these recommendations would keep us from attending in the future.  Updated: We contacted the Theater and were told that taking pictures during the performance is OK. 

How do I set up a trip?  Homeschool Happening rates are already discounted from standard admission, so no need to organize a group (but you’re more than welcome to).  Reserve your tickets via the website and pay at the door.  They accept cash & credit cards.

A note about parking.  Homeschool performances are held at the Church of Christ at 1548 Heights Boulevard.  I highly suggest you use the directions posted to the website as we heard from others and experienced ourselves that smartphone mapping programs do not give accurate directions.  The parking spaces are very close together ~ aim for the middle!  Parking is free.

What else is there to do nearby?  You’re only 2 miles North of the Art Car Museum, which is also on Heights Boulevard (just South of I-10).

Categories: $5.01-$10, Field Trips, Houston, Theater | 1 Comment

Planning Awesome Family Day Trips

This post appears in the Natural Family Today e-book “Natural Family Guide to Summer” which you can download for FREE when you subscribe to their newsletter.  

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Day trips are a great option during the Summer months. They are an economical way for your family to explore an area outside of your everyday perimeter without a huge financial or time investment. From a day on the beach to an all day adventure at a nearby amusement park there are a variety of options to meet the needs of families no matter what your ages and stages. 

Where to Go?

A variety of factors come in to play here. The ages of your children, how far you are willing to travel, your budget, and what interests your family. Be sure you are taking your children’s “car tolerance” into consideration. Some families can handle a day trip that is 3 hours each way, while others may need to limit themselves to an hour round trip. You are  probably already familiar with the closest amusement park, so I wanted to share some ideas that may bring your family closer to nature.  (As this post was written for a broad audience, links provided are for national organizations and are not specific to the Houston area.)

Aquarium
• ArboretumIMG_1305
Audubon Preserve
• Beach
• Boat Tour
• Botanical Garden
Bureau of Land Management
• City/County Park
• Environmental Learning Center
• Japanese Gardens
• Lake
National Park Service
• Nature Preserve
• State Park
US Forest Service
Zoo

Our family has been traveling, camping, and enjoying field trips with our children for 10 years. We’ve found two things significantly contribute to the “success” of a trip:

1. Being Prepared
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff & just enjoy the adventure.

Be Prepared

Know all you can about the location. Where is it located? This may seem simple, but many families rely on their GPS only to end up milesfrom their desired destination or stuck on a street that hasn’t been completed yet. Venues with websites usually offer directions & maps ~ use them. Where is the parking? Are there bathrooms? (Yes, we went to a park once to find they had locked all the bathrooms on weekdays.) What is the appropriate age for visitors? Do they have any special events/programs that day? Is there a place inside or nearby to picnic? Are they busier on certain days of the week or certain weeks of the Summer? Can they accommodate any special needs you have? Can you bring outside food? Is it appropriate for strollers or wheelchairs? Is there an area for diaper changing or nursing?

Invite your children to help prepare. Have conversations with children about the plans for the day. Discuss any family rules about distance from the parent (holding hands, arms reach, line of sight, etc.) Plan where they should go or who they should talk to if you’re separated.  Until they memorized our cell numbers, we used a Sharpie to write it on the inside of our children’s shoes. If applicable, let them know of any specific times for presentations, snacks/lunch, exploring or at least the order of events. Ask them which ones are important to them and make those a priority. If there will be “extra costs” once inside that you’ve decided to skip (like the midway games at the fair), be clear with your children that it isn’t in the budget this time around. Oh, and our kids’ favorite, “How long is the drive?” We like to print an
extra copy of our directions from Google maps so they can help navigate.

Stock the car. Nothing dampens a trip (and everyone’s mood) like having to leave because you ran out of diapers or the 4-year-old spilled his drink & doesn’t have another shirt. If you’re tight on trunk space, prioritize on what is most important (or most likely to be needed) and be sure to bring it along. We regularly bring: prescription medication, first aid kit, sunscreen, change of clothes (even an extra shirt for Dad & Mom), extra snacks, water, picnic blanket, rain ponchos, camping chairs, Kleenex, a roll of paper towels, beach towels, and a collapsible wagon. Also be sure to include activities to keep all the passengers busy. While iPads and DVD players can be nice ~ we’ve been pleasantly surprised how much our children enjoy games like Car Bingo, mazes, connect-the-dots, tic-tac-toe, and other printable car games. Audio Books make a great selection for the car. Borrow from your local library or you can make your own CD’s for
only the cost of the disk. 

Set a budget. Planning for all the expenses helps avoid any fretting or family strife in the middle of the trip. Consider things like: fuel, tolls, admission, and parking fees. Do they accept cash, checks, &/or credit cards? Are there any additional costs for extra activities/experiences once there? Will you be bringing or buying snacks & meals? How
much do you have to spend on souvenirs? Are the kids allowed to spend their own money?

Enjoy the Adventure

At some point, decide that you are as prepared as possible and you are just going to enjoy yourselves. Don’t stress over small hiccups, be flexible, and keep the attitude that everything is a learning experience ~ even if it doesn’t go as planned.

Categories: Announcements, Day Trips, Events, Field Trips, Free, September | Leave a comment

A.D. Players ~ Children’s Theater

We’ve been attending the Children’s Theater performances at A.D. Players for a little over a year now.  Our family has enjoyed plays based on books like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Velveteen Rabbit, and Bunnicula as well as adaptations of fairy tales like Cinderella and Thumbelina.  Lasting approximately an hour, these are the perfect introduction to theater for kids of all ages.

After the show, the cast remains on stage to answer questions from the audience about everything from acting and props to decisions about differences from the books.  While videography and photography are prohibited during the performance, the actors will line up after the performance and pose for pictures with your children/family.  The cast also gladly autographs a cast photo (purchased for $1) or your program.  We have found all cast members to be kind, engaging, and deeply interested in the children’s questions and comments.

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Recommended ages:  All ages.  We’ve attended with infants through high school with all having a wonderful time.  On occasion the length of a show may prove to be too much for some toddlers.

Anything we wish was different?  Because they do not sell concessions during the day time shows, it would be nice if they would allow snacks in the theater.  This would be especially helpful to families with small children.  Their current policy is bottled water only.

How do I set up a trip?  The shows are open to the public.  Individual tickets are $12/each and can be purchased online or by phone.  Group rates are available for $6/each with a minimum of 15 attendees.  A 25% deposit is required and final payment is due 2 weeks before the show.

A note about parking.  The “Three Maps to Bethlehem” production was held this year at the St. Luke’s Rotunda.   However, unlike years past, most shows are now at the Mainstage Theater.  There isn’t a lot of parking, so carpooling is highly recommended if feasible.  Parking is free.

What else is there to do nearby?  The Mainstage theater is located less than 5 miles (approx 10min drive) from Hermann Park and the Museum District.  If you want spend the whole day out, consider an afternoon at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo, or any of the sights Hermann Park offers.

“The Jungle Book” will be on stage from April 16th – May 4th.  Mowgli has been raised and protected by the Seeonee wolf pack his entire life, but his mortal enemy, the vicious tiger Shere Khan, has a plan to scatter the pack. It will take all the wisdom Mowgli has learned from his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther to survive the tiger’s vengeful scheme. This thrilling adventure is about growing up and the strength of true friendship.

For those on a strict budget, or to just enjoy the performance again: “The Jungle Book” will also be at Miller Outdoor Theatre on May 30th at 11am.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre performances are free.

Categories: $10.01-$15, $5.01-$10, Elementary, Field Trips, High School, Houston, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | 4 Comments

WaterWorks Education Center

IMG_1202Yesterday we had the pleasure of visiting the WaterWorks Education Center in Humble with our local homeschool group.  I cannot speak highly enough of our experience ~ both from the ease of coordinating the Field Trip and our experiences on the tour.The tour began with a 15 minute slide-show presentation explaining water, the water cycle, ground water, and how the City of Houston captures, cleans, and distributes water.  Our presenter did an excellent job engaging the children (and adults) with questions throughout the presentation.  She was also open to students asking questions during the presentation instead of requiring they wait until the end.

We were then led to an interactive exhibit winding around behind the theater.  Children were given a clipboard and asked to “find” answers to questions. Younger children/pre-readers were given a list of pictures to participate in a “scavenger hunt” on their own level.  I loved that the employees were available to help the children if they were interested in finding everything in their sheet ~ but weren’t overly concerned if the children just wanted to explore the exhibits on their own terms.IMG_1213

We ended in a “classroom” setting with tables and chairs.  Another presenter spoke in further detail about the water cycle.  We then played a game where various “parts” of the cycle were scattered around the room.  Each station had a box of pony beads & a large “die” or “cube” to be rolled.  The children were each given a lanyard.  They picked a starting point, grabbed a bead & then rolled.  The die for that “station” would have each “next step” in the water cycle on each side.  Depending on what they rolled, the students would proceed to the appropriate station and collect another bead.  This was a great way to reinforce the various ways that water *moves* throughout our world.

Each child was given a bag of “goodies” to take home including: crayons, coloring/activity books, stickers, bracelets, and cups.  There were also resource materials for parents & teachers to take home.  

IMG_1204Recommended ages:  The center is completely prepared to meet the needs of any age group.  Even as a homeschool group bringing toddlers to high school age students ~ they were able to adapt & split the presentation to meet each student on their level.  I made the mistake of failing to inform them ahead of time that the majority of our registrants were young elementary age ~ they still quickly and without any fuss adapted the program.  For that, I am incredibly grateful.

They offer programs for public, private, and home school groups.  They also offer tours for adults.  They are willing to adapt the program to meet the needs of your group.  I think that this would be a perfect trip for our Cub Scout Pack to earn their Weather Belt Loop and Pin.

Anything we wish was different?  At this time, visitors cannot tour the actual treatment facility.  It was quite cold the day we visited.  We were told when the weather is nice, they will go out and look at the various parts from the Education Center parking lot ~ but it’s not possible to actually walk through the plant.IMG_1208

How do I set up a trip?  Call or e-mail WaterWorks Houston.  There is a form available to download that can be e-mailed along with your request.  I would suggest inquiring as to which tours are most appropriate for the age group you plan to bring.

A note about parking.  DO NOT USE YOUR GPS ~ it’s not going to be correct.  WaterWorks provides directions & a map on their website.  Use them!  The directions can seem a little counter-intuitive (as you are asked to make a right turn in order to u-turn), but once you are there it makes complete sense.  There’s also several, albeit small, blue signs to help keep you going to right direction.  You must check in at the security gate and all adults must present a valid picture ID.  Parking is ample and directly in front of the entrance.

What else is there to do nearby?  We’re still exploring the area ~ but here are some places we’ve visited in Humble.

Categories: Elementary, Field Trips, Free, High School, Humble, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | 1 Comment

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

This day was supposed to be a relatively informal gathering of families from our homeschool group.  However, torrential rains on Sunday and the prediction of more on Monday had my phone buzzing with texts from families canceling.  After the remaining family dropped out, I sat down with the kids and explained the situation and asked if they still wanted to go.  The answer was a resounding “Yes”.  So in addition to our normal preparations of lunches & water bottles, we packed TWO changes of clothes for each, several beach towels, and double checked that the rain ponchos were still in the Suburban.

Nestled just inside West Loop 610 on Woodway Drive, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is an oasis in an area filled with high-rises, shopping, and fast paced life.  It turned out to be a blessed experience.  First, it didn’t rain. At. All. The entire time we were there.  Second, it appeared that the rain had scared everyone off.  With the exception of a few Tyke Hike participants, we had the place to ourselves.

We started in the Discovery Room which provides interactive and observational opportunities for visitors of all ages.  There are aquatic tanks at various levels and little steps to higher exhibits (great for those toddlers in the “me do it” phase), lift the flap quizes, ecosystems, skeletal remains, and the cross section of a 100-year-old tree.  Particularly engaging was the wall dedicated to the “Life and Work of Trees” explaining how they gather water, photosynthesis, protection and their service to woodland creatures.  They also had a library section.  Why read about it when you can go outside & live it?  The kids were ready to hike!

The woman at the information desk shared helpful suggestions on trails for first time visitors.  We started on the Inner Loop, but soon ventured to the South Meadow Trail and the R.A. Vines Trail.  Walking surfaces consisted of mostly gravel or foot bridges.  There were several look-out decks built along the marshy areas to allow a close-up look at the habitat.  There were a few signs labeling some plant life, but those wishing to beef up their botany should bring a field guide.

We took a break for lunch.  There were plenty of benches available, unfortunately the recent rains left everything saturated.  We opted for lowering the back seat in the Suburban & camping out there.  Even in the parking lot we watched squirrels playing, listened to birds sing, and saw the occasional dragon fly.   While not listed on the map, the woman at the information desk mentioned a playground and the kids were ready to check it out.

While not massive, the play area offered a variety of climbing, crawling, and jumping options.  There was a rope bridge ~ just high enough to scrape a knee when falling off but nothing too perilous, a crow’s nest lookout, tube to crawl through, and several balance beams.  This is where preparing allows you to “Say Yes” to fun adventures.  We watched as other kids were told by their parents that they could not fully explore enjoy this area because it was wet and muddy.  First, isn’t that the point?  Wet & Muddy are fun!  But given that perhaps they had somewhere else to go ~ towels, a package of baby wipes, and a change of clothes would have allowed the parents to embrace the opportunity to stomp in the puddles.

Recommended ages: This adventure is appropriate for all ages and you can even bring the family dog.  Families with strollers or wheelchairs can easily navigate several of the trails though the Discovery Room might prove a bit tight on a busy day.  This is nature.  Talk with children about not “collecting” souvenirs and keep an eye on adventurous ones who might be tempted to wander off trail or test the water.

Anything we wish was different?  Not that we experienced.

How do I set up a trip?  The Arboretum is free and open to the public 7 days a week, 7am to dusk.  I would recommend checking the schedule if you wish to include the Discovery Room as part of your visit.  It is often booked for classes and guided tours.  We haven’t utilized any of their offerings, but you can find out more about organized group visits by clicking the “Learn” tab from the main menu.

A note about parking.  Parking is free at the Arboretum.

What else is there to do nearby?  Just East of the Arboretum, Woodway merges into Memorial Drive and immediately thereafter is the exit for Memorial Park.

Categories: Elementary, Field Trips, Free, High School, Houston, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | 4 Comments

Cockrell Butterfly Center

We have visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science on many occasions, both for organized field trips and casual family visits.  Recently we visited the Cockrell Butterfly Center for the first time with our Homeschool Group.

The center is divided into two parts: The Brown Hall of Entomology and the Rain Forest Conservatory spread over three stories.  While not forced, there is a general flow to the exploration.  (Don’t worry, if you want to back track or need to make a quick trip to the restroom, there are several short cuts.)  Visitors enter on the main museum level.  Be sure to bring your cameras as there are numerous photographic opportunities.

We were immediately encouraged to go upstairs to the “Amazing World of Arthropods”.  Our group spent over an hour in this highly interactive area.  Not only does it showcase live creatures (hissing cockroaches anyone?), there are also video presentations, a quiz-like game for multiple players, lift-the-flap discovery boards, and a Chrysalis Corner where we watched new butterflies hatch.  One of my favorite parts were the giants casts made so that we could see what an ant’s tunnel system looks like.

After a bit, we entered the rain forest section.  We were absolutely blown away by the number of butterflies about.  We had to be incredibly conscious of the fact that they would land on the ground where we were walking.  Almost immediately they began to rest on any child who stood still for a few moments.  (Not every child thought this was fantastic and one became quite upset.)  The walkway winds around and downward through the habitat allowing plenty of opportunity for kids of all heights and interests to have a convenient view of a variety of plants and butterflies.

As we made our way to the main level, we were thrilled when an employee took the time to show the kids where butterflies had laid their eggs on various leaves.  She even gently pulled some higher leaves within view so that we could see the caterpillars on the back.

Again the walkway descended and we made our way past a fabulous waterfall.  (See featured image at very top)  After spending another hour, we passed through the main rain forest exit leading directly into “Entomologist’s Lab.”

We were greeted by microscopes, books, and trays of bugs to examine.  There were also several exhibits on how various cultures make meals from an array of insects.  Again, several video screens offer an in-depth look into topics such as bee keeping while interactive games allowed our children to help the spider hunt down their meal of flies.

Visitors are then directed back up to the main level for the “Land of Beeyond”.  Lined with several benches, this is a great spot for Dad & Mom to relax while kids continue to explore.  They can pretend they are in a giant bee hive, sort wooden shapes into various plant structures, or sit and read.

Recommended ages: Any.  Those who normally have toddlers in strollers might consider parking them for this adventure.  While there are elevators & ramps in most areas ~ you’ll find it cumbersome to explore in this fashion.  We were pleased with how the exhibits had something for all ages and heights.

Anything we wish was different? We’ve had friends who have gone in the past who had the opportunity for more interaction with the bugs and even a green iguana.  Perhaps we missed it or they weren’t doing it on this particular day, but it would have been nice to have posted times for special animal showings.  It would have been great if the reading nook had contained books about bugs.  Most of them were just “generic early readers”.  It was definitely a missed opportunity.

How do I set up a trip?  For an individual family visit, tickets can be purchased online or at the door.  On this visit we booked via Field Trips and received the school group rate of $2.50 per person.  We have found HMNS to be receptive to homeschoolers, incredibly flexible, and excellent at communicating regarding what to expect.

A note about parking.  There is a parking garage adjacent to the museum for $10.  Those on school field trips receive a discounted rate of $6 (payable inside at the box office).  There is a great deal of free parking around the museum.  These spots have a 3 hour maximum.  Within a very short walk, there is free parking at the Houston Garden Center.  This also has a 3 hour maximum.  However, when it’s not busy (like during the school year) they generally don’t enforce it.  You’ll know they’re tracking if they chalk your tire.  😉

What else is there to do nearby?  For additional admission costs, you can explore HMNS’s Permanent Exhibits, Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Burke Planetarium, or Special Exhibits.  HMNS is directly across from Hermann Park.  There are numerous places to spread out & picnic as well as playgrounds and walking paths.  We have often “made a day of it” and visited Houston Garden Center, Japanese Gardens, or the Reflection Pool.  Each of these are free admission and within walking distance.

Categories: $5.00 or less, $5.01-$10, Elementary, Field Trips, High School, Houston, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Apple Camp ~ Day 3

For more on our experiences with Apple Camp, please see Day 1 and Day 2.

Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.comProbably the most exciting thing about Day 3 for Boy & Girl was the fact that Dad was able to join us.  We could smell the popcorn before we even entered the store.  Staff had set up a projector and there was a giant screen covering the Genius Bar.

After everyone settled in with their popcorn, we sat down to watch some incredibly creative productions.  The staff had strung them together into a single showing that included their names introducing their films.  Boy and Girl were delighted to see their names across the screen.  Dad & Mom were impressed by the wide variety of topics and effects used by all the kids. Some of them had an excellent sense of humor.Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.com

After the showing, each child was called up and handed a certificate showing they completed the class.  Dad & Mom were blown away by what Boy & Girl received ~ not only in “goodies”, but in experience, knowledge, and encouragement.  We could not have been more impressed with the staff.  We would strongly encourage anyone with children aged 8-12 to consider Apple Camp.

Categories: August, Elementary, Field Trips, Free, July, June, Middle School | 1 Comment

Apple Camp ~ Day 2

Check out the 1st post in this series explaining signing up for Apple Camp as well as our experiences on the first day.Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.com

We arrived on Day 2, iPads in hand with footage of monsters & Minecraft.  Our leader gave an overview to the students of iMovie.  We then headed to the Macs to upload our footage.  The store had increased the staff ratio to assist with this, but it did take a little additional time for those with non-Apple products to move their footage onto the Macs.

Girl basically left her footage intact and just created an opening & closing scene.  Boy enjoyed the opportunity to add the music he created utilizing Garage Band as well as editing the footage with special effects.  Mom was impressed with how well the staff worked with the kids and encouraged them throughout the process.  They also gave the kids plenty of time to be creative and work through all their options.

Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.comWhile they were editing, another staff member gave the parents a demonstration on the “Parental Controls” for the Macs.  Mom was quite impressed with all the options available: restrictions can be placed on length of time, time of day, websites, activities, etc.

The day closed with every child being given their finished iMovie on a flash drive wristband.  Boy & Girl thought this was a fabulous bonus.  We were invited to return on Saturday for a showing of all the movies.

Click here to see Day 3 where Boy & Girl show off their creations.

Categories: August, Elementary, Field Trips, Free, July, June, Middle School | 2 Comments

Apple Camp ~ Day 1

Through the homeschool grapevine ~ we learned of Apple’s “Youth Camps” offered during the Summer.  While it’s entirely possible employees told us when we purchased our iPads a year ago ~ it seemed like “news” when we heard it at the beginning of the Summer.

Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.comNot only are these camps free, but Apple does everything it can to ensure that you don’t have to spend a penny during the entire adventure.  Granted, you leave needing wanting  all of the technology you haven’t already acquired in previous visits to the store ~ but you don’t have to own anything except for some type of recording device (digital camera, smart phone, etc.)

Overall, it was an incredibly positive experience and we would highly recommend it to anyone.  Especially someone trying to determine if an Apple product will meet their expectations.  The registration process online was smooth & simple.  Someone from the store calls a week ahead of time to confirm that you’ll still be attending.  The store opens early to accommodate camp with minimal distractions and full access to the various products used throughout the week.

We were the first to arrive at 8:30 Monday morning (it’s a bit of a drive & unsure of traffic at that time of day, Mom opted to allow plenty of time for travel).  The store was open and the employees were ready for us.  Boy & Girl each received a bag containing a T-shirt, ear buds, and a lanyard with their name tag on it.  They were free to play on store iPads or Macs while waiting for the rest of the participants.  The class began with an introduction to the employees leading and a basic overview of what would be covered each day.  They then passed out a blank storyboard and encouraged the kids to think about what they wanted their films to be about.  Mom was impressed with how encouraging the employees were and that the kids were given plenty of time to develop their stories.  Each participant was then handed an iPad with Garage Band loaded onto it.  After a short overview of the basic features, the kids were let loose to play, compose, record, & create to their hearts content.  Once finished, an employee helped them save their compositions to the store’s computer.  Boy & Girl were given homework to shoot their footage and told that the final film length would be approximately 2 minutes.Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.com

While Boy & Girl were crafting in Garage Band ~ Mom and the other parents were treated to an introduction of iMovie on the Mac.  This program comes as an included feature on Macs.  We were told that a simple version can be purchased as an iPad app ~ though we haven’t perused that option yet.

That afternoon, Girl came up with the wild idea that she wanted to finally finish the Cuddle Monster kit her Grandparents gave her to create the star of her film.  So, Mom & Girl spent 3 hours designing & sewing.  (who says technology doesn’t spur on other interests?)   Boy was absolutely thrilled to have Dad record him playing around in one of his Minecraft worlds.  Though, he took the “2 minute” time limit to heart as his limit of video.  Due to editing options and features on iMovie, Mom would strongly encourage a few extra minutes of footage to play around with.

Learn more about Apple Camp adventures from our Day 2 post.

Categories: August, Elementary, Field Trips, Free, July, June, Middle School | 2 Comments

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