Monday, September 10, 2007

Move it! Dig it! Do it!

First, let me say that I know I should have posted this event to my blog before the fact--but I will say, in my defense, that I e-mailed everyone I could think of who lives with little people (i.e. children), and I did see many of you there, so I feel like I helped get the word out.

Second, I must sheepishly admit that I did not take my camera along--so you'll have to just take my word for it that it was AWESOME. (And you can check out Ted's photo, above, of the happy worker wearing his hard hat from the event.)

Move it! Dig it! Do it! is an annual fundraising event for the Iowa Children's Museum. This was only the second year, and while I think they still have a few bugs to iron out (more on that later), it was a really fun event for the kids and it appeared to be hugely successful, especially considering that it's such a new event.

Here's the deal. They bring out all sorts of awe-inspiring and kid-beloved vehicles and machines--think dump trucks, cranes, tractors, a city bus, a HELICOPTER--to the county fairgrounds, and they let the kids climb around on them and check them out. You have not seen sheer joy until you have witnessed the glee of a three-year-old boy behind the wheel of a fire engine WHILE THE SIREN IS GOING. Arlo was manic, leading us around by our hands from one vehicle to the next, and successfully naming most of them by their correct titles.

Interspersed among the big machines were waist-high (to adults) piles of sand, equipped with shovels, buckets, etc., available for the children to scale and dig in and roll down. There were tents set up where kids could make and taste salsa, make concrete stepping stones for your garden, paint rocks, make "grass head" dolls (read: Chia pets without the copyright infringement). Arlo's attention was entirely monopolized by the multitude of big machines, so he couldn't seem to settle in at any of the crafting stations, but he did also enjoy petting the cows in the small petting zoo they also had set up--twice. And mom liked the petting zoo area because it was in the shade.

My only complaint is that they ought to have had some stations set up where folks could grab a quick drink. The only way to buy a bottle of water was to stand in line for half an hour, and I wasn't about to miss all the fun standing in line behind thirty families waiting to buy $3 PB&J sandwiches for their grumpy kiddos. I was just beginning to have some dehydration-induced contractions when I found some water available at the salsa-making station. Thank goodness! I sucked down half a dozen Sponge Bob Dixie cups full, one right after the other, before filling up four more to rehydrate Arlo and Ted. I might send an e-mail to the event organizers to suggest this, but I also need to make a mental note to always have my own water supply at hand if alternate supplies are uncertain...especially while I am still in this advanced state of gestation.

Oh, wait. I do have one more complaint. No tow truck.

All in all, though, this reviewer gives Move it! Dig it! Do it! a rave review of 4 1/2 starts out of 5. We'll definitely plan to go again next year.

You can read the Press-Citizen's account of the event here.


writermom said...

We had fun, too, and it was nice to see you ... if only for a brief chat. Like you, I forgot our camera and adequate water supplies. It seems these days we're lucky to get out of the house with both kids and a couple diapers.

Anonymous said...

Jen and fellow Gemini,
I received your blog from an alert I have for The Iowa Children's Museum. I am the current volunteer board chair and like to find out what is being said about the museum. I am glad you and Arlo had fun at the event. I have three grown boys, but they would have been ecstatic to attend and event will big machines, loud horns, and sand when they were little. Thanks for your suggestions. Last year the weather was on the chilly side and we didn't even think about a water station, until Sunday when the sun was shining and everyone needed water. We had already talked about a water station next year. I will also make it my mission to find a tow truck for next year. Thanks for supporting the ICM.
Sheila Boyd