Brynn’s First Academy of Science Visit

This week we took our children to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. This was a special trip for us because it was our daughter Brynn’s first visit. At just a year old you may question our excitement in bringing her because she probably won’t remember but we have plenty of reason.

We have been taking our son to museums, zoos, National Parks, and playgrounds since before he can even remember and have continued it with our daughter. During the holiday Mike decided to use some vacation time he had to be at home. We briefly discussed driving to the Monterey Bay Aquarium but decided to stay more local. We checked the hours and began to plan.

Traveling, even just going out for an afternoon with two kids can be challenging. We thought it was hard with one but two is an even bigger to do. We decided to get there when they opened because our kids are generally up pretty early. We backed a few snacks, extra clothes, diapers, and water and headed out.

Nathan, our son, was elated. He of course had been here before on numerous occasions and was excited to show his sister around. The first thing he wanted to show her was the rainforest but it wasn’t open at 9:30 when we arrived. Mike had the great idea to grab some coffee with Brynn while Nathan and I looked at some skeletons and California plants. From the plants we moved to the aquarium. This is where we spent most of the morning. Both Nathans and Brynn loved it. Brynn must have waved and said hi to nearly every fish.

By this time, there was a line to get into the rainforest but we were happy to wait. From the moment we walked into the humid dome both kids were beyond thrilled. There were so many plants to see and butterflies where flying everywhere. It was a great experience for all of us.

Next, we made our way to the African Hall and the other exhibits. Once we saw everything we wanted to see we decided we would make our way home. Still on the high of the trip driving home, we asked Nathan what his favorite things were and told him ours. Keeping conversation is very important to us as parents. He tried asking Brynn but she had already passed out in her car seat.

So why was taking a baby that can’t even engage in the conversation about the visit so important to us? She won’t even remember. But we will. Having conversations later and having photos available to show the great time we had will(and has with Nathan) spark excitement to go again even thought she doesn’t remember going. It is so important to us take our kids to places like museums and parks because that is what keeps the organizations going.

Every time they experience something at a different point of their lives it will mean something new and they will take different memories away from it. It is so easy to stick them in front of a television but they are so young and impressionable that it is far more important for us to let them experience new things. Did Nathan particularly enjoy seeing the Oscar De La Renta exhibit at the De Young museum? Probably not. It probably wasn’t one of Mike’s either but it was something that sparked joy for me and might have with him.

Now we aren’t by any means experts in parenting. Our four years of experience in now way have prepared us to write the end all be all book of parenting. However, we would urge parents to start taking their kids to museums and national parks early. There is no disadvantage to teaching them to love learning and experiencing something new even if it is somewhere you or they have already been. And frankly, kids are free to most places under the age of three.

So thats the rant on why we take them to these places multiple times even if they will not remember. We will never regret going on these little adventures with our kids. At times it may be frustrating at times but we as parents wont remember every single tantrum but we will remember all the fun we had with our children.