Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kids, Kids, & Much Fun @ Pueblo Grande Museum

Pueblo Grande Museum hosted their July 2011 summer programs for children ranging from ages 7-12. The programs were fun and educational, teaching information on the Hohokam and Native people of the Southwest.  Our latest Visitor Services intern/employee from the Phoenix Indian Center, Marieka, had a chance to work with the instructors and kids during the programs and see what Hohokam Experience was all about! Read all about her "Hohokam Experience" experience.

Week 1: Those Crafty Hohokam

Sandy Oglesby taught the children Native crafts from replica weaving to making shell jewelry. The excitement the kids had from beginning to end made them want to stay longer. Getting their crafts done and entertainment from the instructor was tons of fun - Not only for them, but for me too! They did not have to make that trip to the nearest toy store to be amazed or entertained. All it took was a dried squash and cup to make a game similar to a ball on a paddle held by a rubber band. The shell jewelry they made had them rubbing against the sidewalk to make holes for the necklace. The most popular was the weaving, which is similar to rug weaving. In the end, everyone was happy to take their crafts home and plan on returning next year.

Week 2: Stone-Age Survival Kit

It was a pleasure to meet Naturalist Vincent Pinto, who was the instructor for this class. The children were taught survival skills and emergency techniques used to survive in the wilderness. Each child went home with a handmade bag that held the survival kit which included a stone saw, fire-making kit, digging stick, fishing rod, and much more. The amusement the kids had with the fire-making had them determined to start a fire on their own. My favorite was the fishing rod that was made from agave cactus (for the string), a stick (used as the rod), and a hook (taken from the barrel cactus). All the materials used came from the plants found in our Arizona deserts and forests, and rocks off the ground. Great to know we can survive with just about everything around us, and the kids can have survival tips on that next camping trip.

Week 3: Preserving the Past: Archaeology for Kids

Archaeologist, Gina Gage had the kids excavating, digging and cleaning artifacts, and just learning about history from what is buried by years and years of sand. The kids were very interested in archaeology and how much hard work had to be done in order for history to be told and revealed. Many theories had the kid’s minds wandering how people once lived back in time. Even with the hot temperatures outside, they enjoyed the excavation the most.

The summer program came to an end and had them already planning to come back next summer. When it was time for parents to pick up their children at noon they did not want to go. All the fun they were having during these past weeks will have them sharing their experiences with others.

Posted By M. Dallas, Visitor Services

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