School for us starts Monday, so we are trying to get in those last minute summer fun trips. This one was a trip to the mountain town of Hendersonville, North Carolina to go to a great place called Hands On. Of course, I travel with my posse (Benjamin, Cava, Megan, and her sister Madison).
For the drive, we had our tunes and our travel games (such as going through the alphabet and saying, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm taking an apple . . ." Then the next person says, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm taking an apple and a banana." We go around with each person saying whatever the ones before them said and adding one according to whatever letter came next). It made the drive go quick.
But once we were at Hands On, the kids really had a blast!
Here's Cava in front of the big world map they had in the kids' travel agency. He was excited that he could find Ukraine on it and told me, "That's where I'm from!"
Cava being Cava, he found a puzzle of the United States and immediately set to work putting it together.
And was proud when he'd finished it.
I was concerned that he would, once again, stick to more solitary activities while the other kids played together, so I encouraged him to branch out. At first, it was nothing more than getting him to build a Lego car to race down the track. This took some doing since he didn't have any pictures to go by and he had to use his imagination and creativity.
But he did it and cheered as his car raced down the hill.
Soon the others got in on the action.
From there, they painted (Once again, I was ecstatic that Cava was creating something):
Or made bubbles:
They all enjoyed serving up pretend ice cream in the ice cream parlor:
Or working the grocery store.
It was cool to see Cava running the register and having to use math to add up the cost of each item and then count out the money. He struggles with even the most basic math still.
But, by far, their favorite thing to do was put on plays! Lots and lots of plays!
I was really happy to see Cava join in. I was extremely proud of him for branching out of his solitary comfort zone and interacting with other kids, both those he knew (such as Benjamin, Megan, and Madison) and those he didn't. To me, this was a big step for him. Normally, when he's around groups of kids he becomes very anxious and fidgets nervously. I didn't see that with this trip.
Of course, they brought me in on the act and I ended up very decorated. I think I look quite stylish.
When they weren't on the stage performing, they had their puppets doing skits.
We took a short break for lunch and the kids also enjoyed their food, especially their Funyuns glasses:
Before we left Hendersonville, we took some time to pose with the bears. It's interesting the difference in poses between Benjamin's and Cava's:
As we headed back home, we were all a little bit sad that this summer is drawing to a close. It made me happy, though, to hear them say that this had been their best summer ever. I am extremely grateful and have thoroughly enjoyed the time I got to spend with them and the memories we all made together.