Hands on Learning.
There's a lot to see and do in this country. A list of the variety of things we have done is on our education page.
There are many factories across America that give tours. We
have seen many tours from crayons to hot sauce. How do we find them?
We have a book called "Watch It Made In The USA". It tells you about
factories all over America, the location and when it's open. You
learn a lot about their product like Tabasco makes there own salt (Avery
Island, la) and Jet Puff's marshmallows main ingredient is air (Las Vegas,
NV). The tours are fun and you learn a lot about what you eat or
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National parks are all over America. Some are, memorials, reserves, battlefields or historical parks. Every park we have been too has some unique and enjoyable feature. The Visitor Centers are the first place to stop. Most offer a short film or slide show that provides an excellent orientation. The visitor centers also have good displays to learn about the geology, ecosystem or historic nature of the park.
All of the National Parks offer The Junior Ranger Program.
The kids pickup a Junior Ranger booklet from the Visitor center. As they
visit the park they fill out the pages, answer the questions and do the
games in the booklet. Some include a requirement to attend a ranger
hike or presentation. Each park has created their own booklet and
required activities. They are all different and vary in duration
from 1 hour to 3 days. They have different levels of difficulties
for different age groups. When completed the kids return to the Visitor
Center to receive a certificate of completion and a junior ranger badge
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We have visited many of the top science museums. For and extra $20 we became members of a science museum in Santa Fe and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. This entitled us to free admission to 270 other museums around the world. For the extra $20 we have explored twenty to thirty other science museums. Some of the best were the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the Museum of Science in Boston (excellent), and the Kirby Science Discovery Center in Sioux Falls South Dakota.
In addition to science museums we have visited the Smithsonian,
art museums, natural history, aeronautics and others. Most cities
and many smaller towns have at least one museum. Here's a warning,
kids get real tired of seeing Indian baskets after the third or fourth
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Life Skill Activities
What I have to say is true whether you travel or not. Kids should be involved in the daily activities and chores of life. We involve our kids with the usual cleaning and cooking, but also the unusual stuff that comes up. It might be replacing the water filters, replacing a frozen water pump, or electrical switch, fixing a cabinet latch, repairing an electrical outlet, propane line or other repair. I think the only difference, now that we travel, is the amount of time that we have to spend with the kids and more variety in the types of things we stumble across.
Copyright Nodland 1999