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05/26/2010

Take Your Preschooler to College

IMG_8365 On a recent weekday, my four and half year old visited two museums, a nationally recognized library, dozens of ancient and diverse trees, several historical markers and a 40 degree north latitude marker.  Admission was free on all accounts and nothing was crowded.

Where were we? The Ohio State University Columbus campus.

We saw a replica Tyrannosaurus Rex skull fossil, fossilized mastodon teeth, and fluorescent minerals in the Orton Geological Museum.  Though the main exhibit hall was closed at the Wexner Center for Arts, we were still able to view many outdoor installations.

My daughter and I walked through the enormous stacks of reference material in the newly opened Thomspon Library.  I rambled on about how books are important and the amazing things you can learn when you read.  The most fascinating lesson in my daughter's opinion came when she spotted 'paper holder things', aka the card catalog, in the geological sciences library.

Walking through the Ovals, common green spaces, we read plaques and climbed rocks.  My daughter loved all the different species of trees and wildlife.  Students and staff alike were charmed by my girl, the only sub-teenager around.

As a child and grandchild of Ohio State University alumni, my daughter was thrilled to see so many people wearing scarlet and grey.  She danced through the renovated student union mimicking a recent flash mob and kept her eye out for OSU mascot Brutus.

In a three hour visit we barely broke the surface of the interesting opportunities for visitors to the university.  Chances are a school near you will be smaller than OSU but still filled with museums, historical displays, libraries, well manicured lawns, and a welcoming spirit.  Take advantage!  Your child will love to explore college before her time.

This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post.

Rachel Tayse cooks, gardens, and writes about it at Hounds In The Kitchen.  OH!

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