ROCKINGHAM — Discovery Place KIDS is kicking off its April theme at high altitude Saturday and Sunday.
“Take Flight” activities are scheduled for 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., but flight is only the beginning of this month’s high energy exploration of our home state.
Director Katie Rohleder lights up as she reveals the broader aspects of the theme.
“All months have a theme as a way to make things new and exciting,” she said. “Nifty North Carolina is the theme for April, and we’re beginning this weekend with flight. We’ll be talking about the Wright Brothers at the lab. Later in the month, we’ve got pirates and even legends. We have some excellent resources from Charlotte right here, things for the kids to pick up and hold. And keeping things fresh means we always have something new to offer. We definitely want people to come back.”
It’s no accident that the theme for April is closely related to North Carolina’s fourth grade social studies curriculum. Program specialist Lauren Vuncannon knows the importance of working with people who have been involved in the public schools to keep the most relevant play experiences on the cutting edge.
“We try to pay attention to the standards and align our activities with what happens in the schools,” she said. “It’s a good way, too, for parents to get involved. This is a great form of informal education. Like this year, they are learning about the honey bees and they become interested in that and other things going on in the county that are related.”
This weekend, visitors to the center will be treated to lessons on aerodynamics and lift thanks to the paper airplane making skills of Wayne Webb, creative play specialist for Discovery Place KIDS. Webb brings his vast experiences from working in Richmond County Schools to the imaginative venue with a smooth transition. He’s a natural, Rohleder and Vuncannon agreed.
“He’s got some different models (of paper airplanes) and will talk about the ways to make a plane. He’s going to talk about the Wright Brothers, and I think there is going to be a demonstration of flight this weekend as well,” Vuncannon said.
This weekend’s flight-oriented learning adventures will fall between the regular puppet shows, big fun and science shows that are available throughout each day.
“Story time changes to tie in with the theme, as well as the science show,” Vuncannon said.
Future weekend activities for April include:
April 12 and 13 — Arggghhh, Matey!
April 19 — Egg-citing Easter!
April 26 and 27 — Carolina Beaches
For more information, visit http://rockingham.discoveryplacekids.org or call 910-997-5266.