Little Pip has been fascinated by dinosaurs for years now. So you can imagine delighted she was that they are the current subject of learning at her nursery. After she came home yesterday afternoon, we began a conversation about it, during which she asked if we could go and see the dinosaurs. So this morning we went on a trip to the National Museum Cardiff.
It is by no means our first visit. I think it might have been our fourth. I first took her shortly after we moved to Cardiff, when she was only two. She was engrossed and loved it but was too young to learn much. It’s been wonderful to take her back every now and again to see what new pieces of information she can take in.
Today we arrived in the huge entrance hall and, to my surprise, Pip knew exactly which way to go for the dinosaurs, despite it having been months since our last visit. In the natural history area, we started off by walking through an exhibit about how the earth was formed and about different kinds of rocks and fossils. She was full of questions, as ever, so I explained why there are different kinds of rocks and how fossils form. She loved seeing rocks that had come from space – I think it just struck her as incredible that she could touch something that was not from our planet. I left her to her own devices a bit, just following her around with camera in hand.
Then we reached the area she’d wanted to see: dinosaurs. There are quite a few skeletons and some models too. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a triceratops, her favourite, but she didn’t seem to mind much. She told me all about how the dinosaurs became extinct when a big rock hit the earth hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years ago. She then listened in as a tour guide spoke to a group of older school children. The guide was telling them about paleontologists, who go and find dinosaur bones then study them as a job. She turned to me, a look of awe of her face and in a whisper asked me if this was true.
So now her ambition of being a chef and restaurateur is long forgotten and she wants to be a paleontologist!
Lastly we visited the museum’s current exhibition about the Victorian evolutionist, Alfred Wallace. I took the opportunity to explain how animals evolve. I’m not sure she entirely grasped the idea but she was interested, at least.
I’m so proud of how interested Pip is in learning about the world around her. I’m looking forward to our future visits to the museum as she takes in more and more!