It has been a busy busy April, I can tell you that! The warmer Spring weather brought with it a whole slew of fun activities and new things for us to do. Sam is of age where she can appreciate all these little adventures in and around town, and Jamie is old enough as well to participate (as far as her memory goes, it will have to be through the pictures!).
Last weekend we went with Elie and some of their friends to the 4th Annual Touch-a-Truck Event at the University Mall. Sam was because she knew we were going to be hanging with Elie for the weekend (I think if we’d put them in a box the excitement would be the same!), and also because as we pulled up to the parking, she saw all the vehicles already parked. She also caught sight of the bouncy house, another plus in her book.
The event was a winner all-around. The standard entrance fee of $5 a head (kids 2 and below are free) helps benefit the North Carolina Children’s Hospital’s Promise Grant program and Troop 39’s community service projects and activities. By nature of the event, the kids can explore all sorts of trucks and vehicles of all types in a safe environment. They had actual firemen, state troopers, a K-9 dog, medics and owners and drivers of the vehicles talking to the kids about what their vehicle could do and how it operates. The kids were allowed to wear helmets, honk horns, sit in the driver’s seat and play with the knobs and all of that. It was pretty interesting! Some of the vehicles were also on call; in fact the medics had us nicely climb out of the Ambulance we were playing in because they had to leave to pick up a patient! Heehee!
Sam was thrilled with the activity because she got to “drive” the different big vehicles that she normally just sees in books and on the road passing us by. The State Trooper even let her sound the siren in her car twice! Sam was not shy in the least and approached the police officers and firemen with a big smile. She answered all their questions (politely!) when they talked to her too. I was impressed.
We even got to watch an actual helicopter land! That was a first for me.
It was a nice warm day out, and thankfully there was a stand outside that sold cold water and refreshing soft drinks. The girls were troopers too (no pun intended). There were a lot of vehicles and a lot of people standing in line to try each one out; so Sam and Jamie ate their lunches while waiting for their turn.
The kids took home a lot of free things, such as construction hats and Junior Trooper stickers. Sam got her hands painted for free twice. We even signed up for a free trial Art Class for Jamie next month!
I am obviously a Touch-a-Truck fan. I love how activities like these make learning fun, relevant and interactive for the kids. Sam asks to see the pictures we took everyday, and she tells me which truck is which and re-lives the tidbit of information that she picked up from that particular vehicle. She is asking if there will be another Touch-A-Truck Event soon as she already wants to go back.
And while I know the last four years they’ve only done it once each time, I am hoping that somehow there are other activities like these in our immediate future.