ROCKINGHAM — School bells will soon be ringing and some kids will hear them for the first time.
To help them get a taste of what they will be doing, Discovery Place Kids hosted an event Thursday evening with a variety of special stations.
“Countdown to Kindergarten is a great way for kids to build confidence as they get ready for their first day of school,” said Kaitlin Rogers, director of public relations for Discovery Place, which is based and Charlotte and has a similar DPK in Huntersville.
“It’s a lot of new activities and and a lot of experiences, like carrying a heavy lunch tray or waiting in line, learning how to use new tools like scissors, or writing your name with pencils, coloring in the lines,” she continued. “It’s a great way to get kids confident with those new skills and introduce them to what school is going to look like.”
As the tikes walked through the museum’s doors, they were greeted by representatives of each of the county’s elementary schools — East Rockingham, L.J. Bell, Fairview Heights, Mineral Springs, Monroe Avenue, Washington Street and West Rockingham — who sat at tables offering school information and assorted goodies, including candy, bracelets, pencils and coupons.
Volunteers from Richmond Senior High School’s Beta Club were on-hand to help with scissor safety and offer healthy snacks of blueberries and oranges.
There were also representatives from the county library system, and information for parents on how to start college savings plans.
Downstairs, Joanne Taylor, a kindergarten teacher at Washington Street, welcomed future students into a mock classroom, which featured coordination games and puzzles, books and a telephone.
At one point, she sat down with 5-year-old Carlos Zamora as he wrote out the word “iguana” and drew a picture of the reptile from a book on the alphabet.
Back on the main floor, Wayne Webb read a story about starting kindergarten to the kids who had gathered round.
Afterwards, museum director Katie Rohleder announced during a lunch tray relay, which helped the students-to-be learn how to navigate possible obstacles with a tray of food .
Outside, a school bus awaited the kids, with a driver inside to open the door, as she would if she were pulling up to a bus stop to let them on board.
“Cool!” said Jack Carter, who will be going to Wagram Elementary, as he walked up the steps, then down the aisle to the back of the bus. “This school bus is amazing!”
In addition to the special stations, children and their families had free access to the rest of the museum’s normal exhibits.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675.