Monday, August 24, 2015

Our field trip to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden

We recently took a little field trip with some friends to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden.  Drew and I have been talking about going to this fun place for years, but just have never made it out to visit.  But, with all of the other fun things to do around Austin, it just hasn't made it on our schedule during the weekends.  When I found out recently that admission was free through August, I decided a field trip before the end of the month was definitely in order.  So, we let some of our friends in our homeschool co-op know, and some of them decided they also wanted to visit.  It was officially a field trip.    It was a gorgeous day, and we even got a little much needed rain at the beginning of our visit there.  Because of the wonderful rain, we decided to start out inside.

The Umlauf has some fun activities for kids to complete for both the indoor exhibits and in the garden.   This was wonderful, as it kept their interest in the sculptures for a much longer duration than it may have otherwise.  For example, in the indoor exhibit, they ask specific questions about some of the exhibits.  To get the answer, you must find the exhibit and inspect it.  Question 1 was, "Remember Eve from the Bible?  She was Adam's wife and Cain and Abel's mother.  The sculpture shows her before she eats from the Tree of Knowledge.  What is in her hand?"  Then, there was a connect the dots activity on the page which revealed the answer (in this case, an apple.)  After they completed each of the activities on the scavenger hunt sheet, they received a special sticker.

Here are some of the kids inside, completing the indoor scavenger hunt activity sheet:
Then, it was time to begin our scavenger hunt in the garden.  The garden was gorgeous.

The kids began closely inspecting the statues after checking them off on their scavenger hunt sheet.  Hmmm...what is this statue doing?  Of course, the boys' first thought was that perhaps the statue was about to use the restroom. 

Oh, okay.  Maybe the statue is diving.

The outdoor statues could be touched, thankfully, because the kids wanted to touch them all.   It was all part of the learning experience.

And although it was a sculpture park, they found many wonderful distractions along our walk.  Of course they wanted to build a little mountain on the trail.

And you know what question the kids asked about each statue?  I am going to be honest--" think he is pooping?"  Sorry.

Abbey wanted me to take a picture of her in front of the statue.  I think others may be investigating the possibility of whether the statue is about to poop.

 And you know what they are discussing here.  They ARE little kids.  ;-)  But don't worry, us moms did our best to provide some education to the kids on what the statues actually represented.

Here, Luke was using his sense of touch and determined the statue was likely made of stone:

And then they were off on the trail!  Running...

 and climbing and balancing...

Abbey wanted to help the youngest of the bunch along...

I'm not sure why she is holding his arm instead of his hand, but it's still sweet.  You can see some of the boys climbing over the stones--they have found the top of a little waterfall.  And little Grace is right there with all the big kids as well

  And this is where the kids spent the rest of our visit at the garden:  

They were thoroughly checking this "waterfall" out. 

Abbey enjoyed throwing small items in from the top and watching them make their way to the bottom.

And when Luke finds a stream of flowing water, the first thing he usually wants to do after throwing a couple of rocks in is build a dam.  And that is what he and his friends did:

We finished our visit at the waterfall.  But, before we left, we somehow were able to get them all to sit on a little bench and then we snapped a couple of photos.

Here is their "silly face" picture.  Their sweet face picture is at the top of this post.

 It was a lot of fun.  The kids enjoyed the "hiking"part so much, that us moms discussed taking another hiking adventure soon at one of my favorite local museums that also has outdoor artwork:  Laguna Gloria.  They have free admission on Tuesdays, and we are planning that soon for the fall.  I love homeschooling.  And, it's fun to get to learn right alongside my kids.

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