If you don’t have small children, then you could be excused for not knowing about the Ivy Schools Carnival Event that took place this past Saturday at the Solana Mall. But if you do have kids six or under and you missed the event, then you missed out on a great interactive learning experience. When I showed up at the Carnival, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Rather than merry-go-rounds and booths with games of chance, Ivy Schools Carnival was all about getting kids to engage with the arts and sciences for little hands. At the heart of the event was a circle of learning stations under blue tents with an impressive number of activities. Children were engaged with modeling clay, pottery, and painting. They made hats, kites, geometric shapes with marshmallows, and somehow mixed chalk with salt to create rainbows in bottles. There were vats of colored goo to dip hands in, liquids to mix, and other wonderful things to dig their little hands into. At each station, experienced educators from the Ivy Schools guided and encouraged the children to ensure the kids received the most out of each activity. I always enjoy seeing teachers who look like they are having as much fun as the kids they are working with.
Along the perimeter of the Carnival were a number of booths set up promoting summer camps, micro-scooters, medical services, and Beijing United was on hand with a first-aid station. There were boxed lunches for each child with additional food provided for parents at a moderate price. Much to the delight of the children, there was a Spiderman-themed inflatable castle that had kids bouncing off whatever energy they had left after going through all the workstations. I checked with one of the organizers and she told me that there were over 200 families in attendance, which I thought impressive, but she told me they could have handled up to 400.
Unfortunately for my family, Reina had a fever, so she was not able to attend, but she eagerly looked at the photos I brought back and told me she wanted to go next time. I’m certain next year, we will both be there and I’m sure we will proudly return home covered with paint, goo, clay, and sand. No doubt one of us will have a few marshmallows and toothpicks stashed in our pockets too.