Tag Archives: travel

Books Open Your Imagination


First the Photo:  Where do you enjoy reading?  Have you ever read a book outside?
Second the Question: What are your favorite books?  Do you chose a book by its pictures or by its story?  Do you enjoy silly books or books with words that paint a story for your imagination?
Third Next Steps: How often do you visit your local library?  Does your library offer unique ways to visit?  Like a book mobile or a bike mobile? Or smaller satellite libraries?  A Library is like a pirate ship..climb abroad and let the adventures begin..You can travel anywhere..pick a book about time travel, the oceans, animals or one full of cake recipes.  One fun way to spend a rainy afternoon in the library is to put together a library scavenger hunt for the whole family.  Compile a list of books, DVD’s, travel videos, Cookbooks, craft books, nonfiction, artwork and see who can find the entire list first.  It is a wonderful way to re-introduce everyone to the wonder of Libraries.

When you need courage..Think back

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First the Photo: Can you name this National Monument?  Can you find where it is located on a map of the US?

Second the Question:  Do you know it is referred to as the Gateway to the West?  There was once a time in American history when many families packed everything they owned in a covered wagon and headed out on a journey that would last months.  It would required them to walk miles each day, cross raging rivers, climb mountain passes and go for weeks without seeing another living soul.  Can you imagine leaving family and friends behind, knowing that you will never see them again and heading to a place you have never seen, even in pictures, to begin your life anew?  That is serious courage.  Many people would never survive the trip.  They went for one reason: the hope of a better life for themselves and their children.  Would you make such a journey?  If so, where would you go?

Third Next Steps:  Spend some time as a family imagining life on the trail.  First what would you pack up and bring with you..a treasured piece of furniture?  A keepsake from a past relative?  Remember that your wagon could only hold the bare essentials..and needed to have space for all of you to sleep too.  Next using just recycled items build a diorama of a homestead you would live once you arrived.  This is a fun thing to do around Thanksgiving.  As you build your diorama remember that everything you include, someone would need to create…every sock you wear, someone needs to knit.  Every new piece of furniture you acquire, someone needs to cut and split the wood to build.  Every meal you eat, needs to be hunted, gathered or grown.  It boggles the mind the talents and courage that people needed just to survive. Would you move and be a farmer, a rancher, a store owner, a teacher or pastor?  What skill would your family offer to a new settlement of people?  Go to the library and check out some books about pioneering life.  It sure makes us thankful for the comforts we have today.  Whenever we feel stressed by our modern life..spend a few minutes remembering people of the past and let the gratitude of their sacrifices sink in.  How grateful we are for their courage and our comforts.

What would you do, if you made all the rules?

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First the Picture(s):    Can you locate the place where each of these pictures was taken and can you name the type of civilization each of these communities once represented?

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SONY DSC

Second The Question:  There are as many different ways to rule a group of people as there are civilizations to rule.  You could be President of a Democracy or King/Queen of a monarchy.  You could be a Pirate ruling the seas or a Dictator commanding an Empire.  If you were in charge..what rules would you make?  What things would you forbid?  What would you make mandatory?  Would you allow others to give input or would you demand that everyone do as you say?

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Third Next Steps:   After you dream of all the crazy rules you would make..try to think of the problems that come with being in charge?  Can you see any down sides to ruling a group of people?  What happens if the people you govern don’t like your ideas?  What steps would you put in place if someone disagrees?  What are things that rulers provide for the people they govern?  Safety, structure, input, education, food, jobs?  What would you provide?

Think of small communities and the people who rule them..Like a Family.  Try letting each person be in charge for a day. Write down the rules you would set and then try to list the consequences of that rule.  If you let everyone sleep as long as they want..what would happen? Or if each person ate whatever they wanted at every meal.  Who would pay for all of that food?  It is challenging to maintain balance within a small group of people imagine how hard it would be to run a country.  You can see that it helps if the people that live in a country have the ability to give feedback and input to the rulers in charge?

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Tweet Friends

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First The Picture:  What do you know about birds?  Do you know what type of bird this is? Can you tell if it is a boy or a girl? What things help us to know the gender of a bird?  What types of things do birds eat?  Do you put out food for the birds?

Second The Question:   Some birds stay throughout the year and some birds migrate in and out of areas seasonally.  As the winter months change to spring your bird population will change. This is a wonderful time to pay attention to birds outside and begin to notice your unique local bird population.   Can you list the different types of birds that are in your area? Try to find images of the birds, both male and female on the computer or at the library.   What is different between boy and girl birds?  Why do you think they look so different?

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Third Next Steps:  Birds are amazing colorful, sweet sounding creatures.  They add so much beauty to our world.  Spend some time walking outside or watching out a window and see how many different types of birds you can find.  Go for a hike in a park or at a nature center, bring along a pair of binoculars and spot as many different birds as you can. Spend some time sitting quietly and listen to the different calls that birds make.  Visit you-tube and pull up videos of different birds.  Another fun thing on-line is: the National Eagle Center has a webcam on their eagle’s nest where you can tune in and watch as they build their nest, lay their eggs and hatch out some eaglets. Click Here  One of the most amazing things to do in the spring is to attend a bird banding.  Look for nature centers, or regional parks in your area.  Go to their website and look at their educational programming options.  Many have bird banding sessions in the spring and they love to have help.  It is usually free for you to attend.  The experience is unforgettable.  They actually gently catch birds in nets and then have volunteers hold the birds and place a band on their leg. Children can help with the guidance of an adult.  It is awe inspiring for little ones to see a songbird up close and get a chance to feel their soft feathers.  A truly memorable way to interact with our amazing bird population and a great way to kick off the spring!

 Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

History Comes Alive

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First The Photo:  Where was this taken?  Hint: It was once the main residence of the infamous King Henry VIII….

Second The Question: History comes alive through stories, movies and visits to famous places that allow you to see and experience the sights, sounds and smells of civilizations that once inhabited our world.  It is fascinating to learn about the past, both good and bad.  We come away with a deeper understanding of what shaped us into the people we are today.  What is your favorite time of history?  Do you have a favorite historical story?  Do you like to learn about the times of inspiration or do you lean towards hearing about times of strife?

Third Next Steps:  Take a trip to your local public library.  Venture into the nonfiction sections, either in the children’s department or in the adult sections.  Check out a book, story book or nonfiction video tape about a time in history.  Choose a historical event that is relevant to youf or your family.  Share some background with your child before you begin watching the video or reading the book. Spend time after debriefing about what you learned.  It can also be fun to watch videos that are fictional stories set in specific times in history.  Examples are: Sound of Music set in Austria during WWII, or The King and I set in the Far East while England was still a major power there.  These are both fun family friendly versions that bring history to life.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Do you have a Mentor?

First The Photo:  Do you recognize where this lighthouse is from?  Hint number one:  It is located in the state that has the most lighthouses in the country.  Hint number two: It is not on an ocean shore.  Have you figured it out?

Second The Questions:  Do you have a person that serves as a guiding light in your life?  Someone who guides you in your decisions?  Talk to an adult and learn about the mentors in their life.  Most people have learned from someone else along the way.  Mentors can be very important people who support and encourage us along life’s path.

Third Next Steps:  Our third Explore Galore Kids Book:   The Guiding Light of Others available here, is a wonderful, in-depth exploration of the mentors in our lives.  It helps children of all ages begin to talk about the people in their lives who love and support them.  This book is a moving journey for parents to take with their children as they begin to explore how mentors can serve as guiding lights throughout our entire life.

Discuss:  Look up where lighthouses are located.  Talk about why they exist.  They were meant to show weary travelers that land was close by, but navigate with care.  What do you think people on ships were feeling when they finally saw the light of land?  What do you think life was like living for many weeks and months in the close quarters of a ship? Can you imagine the important role that lighthouses served back in the day of ocean travel?  What do you think it was like to live in a lighthouse?  How was there light in the tower before electricity was discovered?  Don’t know the answers to these questions?  Look them up?  Go deeper, learn together.  Find the closest lighthouse to your home and plan a road trip.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Road Trip USA

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First The Picture:  Summer time is a fun time to jump in the car and explore the world around you.  Whether you are road tripping an hour to Gramma’s house or across the country to see the wonders of America.  There are so many fun things to discover, places to see, people to meet and things to learn about. Pull out a map and find the destinations illustrated in our road trip collage.  These are all signs that we have seen while driving through the roadways of the USA.

Second The Questions:  Where are your favorite destinations for road trips?  Do you like to explore big cities, or do you like to head out on rustic camping adventures?  Do you enjoy the journey towards a destination best, or do you like the trip back home better?  Do your family road trips typically involve a visit with a relatives?  Or do you usually plan your journeys to include state parks to hike through?  Do you go to the same place each year or do you road trip to new adventures each time? Where would you like to go next?

Third Next Steps: Map out a dream road trip.  First determine your mode of transportation.  Would you rather travel by bus, car, train, camper or maybe even boat?  Next determine what you would most like to see.  The largest ball of twine or the deepest cave?  An orca whale breach out of the surf, or a chance to pet a seal on a rocky Maine coastline. To walk in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s footsteps or see Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace?  To see Old Faithful’s spray or view Teddy Roosevelt’s profile on Mount Rushmore? There are so many amazing sites here in these United States that the choices are endless.  It might be fun to search images on-line and pull up some fun places to explore across our great country.   If you already have a road trip planned..click on our Create Together page and assemble some fun Look and Find jars to take with on your journey.   Remember there is nothing like the thrill of a Road Trip to bring out the explorer in all of us.  Enjoy the adventure!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books:

Summer time is family time

 

 

Remember the steps of the post..

  • First The Photo:  Where do you think this was taken?  Can you find it on a map?  If you think you know the answer share it back..This one should be pretty easy if you look for landmarks
  • Second The Questions:  Start the discussion:
    • What is your favorite landscape?
      • Do you like rolling hills?
      • The flat Midwestern farm land?
      • Jagged peaks?
      • Or seaside?
    • Start a mini vacation in your mind by imagining your most relaxing landscape..
  • Third Next Steps:
    • Easy one: Go out for a walk together and point out the things that you like in your favorite landscape.  Use the word and help your kids to understand what a landscape is.  Point out favorite vistas!
    • Fun at Home:  Head home after your walk and pull out the dough..make your own and use pre-purchased.  Challenge each other to make your favorite thing in a landscape and see if you can guess what the other person made.  Is it a tree, a lake, a hill, a cliff.. This is a fun way to add in some basic fine motor skills, with a purpose.  Plus this is something kids of almost any age or ability can do.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/