Last week we went to The Padilla Bay Interpretive Center – it is a wonderful place for children to learn through play.  The center has 3 rooms to learn all about estuaries and the animals that live there.  In the main exhibit hall  there are lots photographs, maps and animals that explains estuary science and stewardship.  The aquarium room is newly remodeled and has 1 large and 3 small tanks to observe the estuary animals.  And it has an exceptional hands on room.  The room is full games, puzzles, puppets and books for learners of all ages.

What is an estuary?  It is where rivers meet the sea.  Here is a bit more from the center’s website: Padilla Bay is an estuary (a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea) at the saltwater edge of the large delta of the Skagit River in the Salish Sea. It is about eight miles long (north to south) and three miles across. In 1980, this bay was selected to be included in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

Here is a wonderful interactive poster from the center’s website that shows the many different animals who live in an estuary.

The Hands on Room

The room looks so fun and inviting to children.

The Giant Metal Salmon

This is in the book area

Cool posters all over

They even made the ceiling great to look at.

So many things to keep their hands and minds busy.

To feel the softness of the fur.

Recipe for making estuary soup

A felt board wall - we currently have it mixed up.

I loved this box!

How they put stuff in

How to use the quiz board

There were at least a dozen different quizzes to take.

Then there was the game section.  We could have spent hours playing all the games!  These are just some of them.

I loved the storage for the games.

Go Fish - or it should be Go Bird

Memory Game

Food Web Game

Radical Ravens

Track Matching


Both Jillian and Wesley had a great time.  But Jillian (who is 3) was not able to get as much out of everything as Wesley (4 1/2).

I hope we get to go back again soon.  This time with Joshua.  He really wants to go with the kids.  :)


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