RIVERDALE — Several weeks ago, Wynn Palmer’s 7-year-old daughter, Savannah, along with some of her friends, asked to learn about dinosaurs.
So, Palmer pulled out a book and started going through the various time periods and dinosaurs. He thought it was just a one-time curiosity, but ironically enough, it evolved.
Now, it’s become a neighborhood “dino club” with meetings every Monday at 3:30 p.m.
“They kind of told their friends, they told their parents, their parents told other siblings and then before you know it you’ve got 14 people in your living room asking to learn more and more and more about dinosaurs,” Palmer said.
According to Palmer, the meetings include a lesson and some sort of activity.
“We’ve done a lot of different activities,” Palmer said. “We’ve had digs. We’ll go and have them dig up fossils and things that I’ve hid in the backyard and they’ll use some tools that we’ve provided and dig (them) out.
“Just basic terminology: What is a fossil? What are the different periods?”
It’s meant to be instructive and fun as well as a way for kids in the neighborhood to come together. The feedback from the parents, Palmer said, has been positive.
“It’s kind of cool because I feel like they do learn a lot, but I think more importantly, they feel a sense of belonging, and (it’s) something that they look forward to,” Palmer said. “It’s been a fun thing to witness.”
Palmer — along with his wife, Michelle — is a veterinarian at Animal Care Veterinary Hospital in Roy. The development perhaps shouldn’t be considered a total shock because of how naturally inquisitive Savannah is. Palmer calls her a “deeper thinker.”
“She asks a lot of questions, and she’s always been really skeptical of just about everything,” Palmer said. “I remember when she was probably 3 or 4, she said, ‘I don’t think Santa’s real.’ I said, ‘Why wouldn’t he be real?’ (She said,) ‘I just think it’s something parents tell their kids to make them feel better about Christmas.’”
As far as what Palmer thinks will become of the club, he doesn’t really know. He has hopes, however.
“It’s something that started really small but kind of took off, and I don’t know where it will go or what it will do. But right now, it’s just something that I think the whole neighborhood looks forward to and enjoys. And I’m wondering if it’s something if other people heard about, they could replicate and be a way to kind of bring communities together,” Palmer said. “That’s the pipe dream. I don’t know if that’s realistic. It’s kind of a simple thing, but it can be a good thing.”