Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Boys' Natural History Museum

Over the Christmas holidays the boys decided to create a natural history museum in their bedroom. Most of the things they have had in there for a while but the gifts of some gorgeous new playsilks from a dear friend and my mother-in-law's kind help in deep cleaning their room with them, fueled their choice to do something extra special with their space!

{Welcome signs and admission information as well as the Museum's curator's names. (I should clarify that the Natural History Museum was entirely Matthew's and Ethan's idea as shown by the bottom sign on the door. {see close up of said sign below, click to zoom on any of the pictures} Logan really had nothing to do with it, as in his very mature 14 year old-ness he was just happy not to be crunching 8 zillion legos underfoot!) }
{The ______ Boys Natural History Museum.  Do not touch anything. 25¢ Please Knock}
(Family name blanked out to protect our privacy :-) }

{The two _____ boys, Yes Matthew and Ethan No Logan) {Matthew explained to us that this was to avoid any confusion over who was responsible for the Museum}

{Matthew said that this is their dragon who was discovered by some friends of theirs. It appears legless, but he further explained, that is only because it was caught while in flight! Dragon's legs apparently tuck up underneath them while flying!}

{Mexican Rose Knee Tarantula... yes this is actually living in my boys' room, in a tank on their nightstand... sweet dreams my angels! Better them than me, having that for a room-mate!} 

*And for the record she has only escaped once. Back in 2009 when I was pregnant with Claire, Ethan had fed her some crickets and left the lid to her tank ajar... the next morning we realized she (the spider) was missing. Much frantic searching ensued with no luck whatsoever. After a few weeks we assumed she had died and forgot about her completely. Not terribly smart on my part... but you know, I was pregnant and had other things on my mind. One night a few hours after we put the kids to bed we went to bed ourselves. Rodrigo fell right to sleep but I decided to read for a while before going to sleep. I was laying there nestled all snug in my bed reading, the house peaceful and quiet, when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a huge shadow move up across the wall right beside me. I turned my head and crawling above me up the wall was a very hungry, very huge and hairy tarantula. Honey, you have never seen a pregnant woman move quite so fast! I am actually not normally afraid of tarantulas or any other spider... but this was the middle of the night and I was really startled! I woke  Rodrigo up (by jumping completely over him and out of his side of the bed, while screaming!) and insisted that he catch that big hairy thing immediately, or I would never be able to sleep again! He did and she is happily back where she belongs~ bigger and hairier than ever! 

OK now back to the tour of the Natural History Museum. ;-)

{A white tail deer drawn by Matthew.}

{Genuine Australian Boomerangs. A gift from the boys' Australian great-Uncle Magnus} 

{Hammerhead Shark and Bottle-nose Dolphin drawn by Matthew.} 

{A silk pirate's treasure map and the world's largest "diamond" which it led to...}

{The Native American Indian area. Complete with dioramas, ceremonial masks, arrows, shields, and various other artifacts, displayed on a new rainbow silk.}

{The Penobscot  Indians, diorama by Matthew} 

{Cliff dwelling Indians, Diorama by Ethan}

{Pretty! Matthew had asked for a Leopard gecko for Christmas this year. His grandparents got him this little beauty!} 

{The Wall of Curiosities and Wonders. Top shelf: a handmade flute from a small village of river dwelling Indians from the Peruvian Amazon and Whitetail Deer's antler almost out of the picture. Second shelf: Drawing of American Goldfinch by Logan, and a wooden carving from Bali. Third shelf: a collection of skulls from our travels. Black bear from a friend here in the Tennessee Mountains, Dog Skull from the woods behind my mom's house, Agouti Paca Skull from a walk through the jungle in Guatemala, Raccoon skull from Kentucky, Wild cat (possibly Margay also found in the jungle in Guatemala, Coati Mundi skull found near Tikal National park Guatemala. And a real dart blow gun brought from Peru, by my parents for the boys. With real darts made of porcupine quills... it really shoots them. Thanks mom! Bottom shelf: Plaster casting of a raccoon's footprint, a raccoon skull, various seashells, and a cow's vertebrate.} 

{Candles from Africa, shells and another plaster casting of a raccoon's footprint}

{Close-up of a few of the skulls... Why yes, that is washi tape holding the raccoon's lower jaw together... what would you have used? ;-)} 


  1. I read your story with a smile on my face.
    But I am happy that there is not an tarantula in my house.
    I am very scared of spiders especially the big one. brr.

    Greetings, Gonny

  2. That looked like they had a blast putting it together. So much learning going on there, learning and fun who knew.

  3. Your sons rock!
    that is a great collection and so wonderfully displayed I think they should see if they can get an apprenticeship at a local museum.
    For them to put that much thought and respect into everything.

  4. How wonderful that your boys made such a great museum, how creative, and quite a nice collection!! Yikes about the tarantula, I would have completely freaked out!!

  5. I love their museum! Especially those boomerangs - very cool. My kids have been talking about having a museum in their room forever and they start it but it always looks like a bunch of clutter and junk to me. Maybe what they need is the deep-clean first and more organized space. Ugh. Well, maybe these pictures will inspire them to do that part themselves. :)

  6. This is fantastic!!! My boys would love to visit your museum ( & the price is very reasonable )!

    As for the tarantula, I would have done the same thing & like you I'm not usually afraid of spiders. I hope none of my children ever want one for a pet.
    Hope you have a wonderful week ~ lovely to catch up on your news

  7. This museum is SO AMAZING! These guys definitely love science and nature and cultures...I LOVE all of their stuff!
    BRAVO for their museum project!!!!!!!


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