Monday, January 31, 2011

Back to the Cretaceous Period

I've mentioned that I work at 6 different Kids Discovery Clubs (KDC's) around the park, so since my roommate happened to stop by this past week and take pictures, I thought I'd share about the Dinoland U.S.A. KDC in more detail.
After you walk under the Dinoland U.S.A. archway, you enter a period from the past; namely, the Cretaceous Period (at least most of Dinoland is focused around this time). Once you walk under the "Olden Gate Bridge" (ha...) you follow the pathway to your immediate right and stumble across the KDC.
Here, guests of all ages can help a presenter solve their prehistoric puzzle. After digging up fossils from 4 different dinosaurs, the presenter accidentally mixed up the dinosaur's jaw bones.
You're asked to reach in, grab a jaw, and take a shot at matching them up. We often ask Guests to look at the teeth and colors of the fossils to try to identify which goes with which. It's also a great way to talk about how we can look at fossils and bones to determine what animals ate. Once the bones are back together, they generally look somewhat like this...
The next challenge is to name all of the dinosaurs (I'll post the answers in the next blog, for those of you who'd like to take a guess in the comments below). After all of the dinosaurs have been correctly identified, we like to share a conservation message with our Guests (go figure, a Conservation Education Presenter likes to share a conservation message... huh...).

Each message is up to the presenter, but one of our favorites is about protecting endangered animals. We ask kids if they see dinosaurs around in their backyards, and why not? We discuss how it's important to protect animals that are still alive today, and ask them to come up with several ways to do that. It's really fun to see what their creative minds come up with.
At the very end, we give them a Kids Discover Club Card with a T-Rex stamp as a reward for all of their hard work and let them go back to share their archaeologist endeavours with family and friends. It's also fun for them to check out the American Crocodile chillin' out across the path.

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