Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy July! Vacation Memories

Happy July my friends! Sorry for the silence, but we have been out of town enjoying our family and learning about our United States! We visited Springfield, Illinois to learn about our government and for the kids to learn all about what was going on. After a day there, we spent the rest of our vacation in St. Louis, Missouri.
We are a Disney World family and are constantly saving for the next trip along with our big trip to Europe that we are hoping to take in 3 years. That was all changed when we purchased this little Passport to Your National Parks!! This is the most fantastic thing I have ever seen! It's full of National Parks in the USA and has places to get your passport cancelled when you visit those parks, just like a real passport! There is a large map, stamps and other fun things included in this. This is absolutely perfect for homeschoolers, talk about hands on learning!! Many of these places can be done on a long weekend, on the way to longer trips and are all great adventures to take your children on. Our first destinations of Springfield & St. Louis were 2 of the places in this passport that we could tackle in one trip and our first adventure was planned!
We made sure not to rush the trip, which allowed us time to take in so much, but there was still so much more to do!! This is definitely a trip that must be repeated. We made sure that there was a learning aspect to all of our stops and the kids didn't even know it was happening. They thought this was a vacation from school!  We learned about how kids played in the days prior to electronic toys and enjoyed learning how to play many of the games.
The Botanical Gardens had us smiling and relaxing as we watched winged creatures up close and sometimes even land on our heads. Sitting and watching these Butterflies made for quite a Science lesson.
There was a lot of walking where we calculated how much we walked and the distance to certain destinations. We learned how to use maps properly and also calculated long driving distances.
Every time we go out to a new city, we visit children's museums and taking them in is a learning experience in itself! Here we are examining Gabriel's eye and exploring the new place.
Beautiful fountains you can play in?? City Gardens in St. Louis got our vote for the #1 fun family thing to do that was FREE!! It was a great way for everyone to cool off and enjoy a break in the day.
Vacation Tip? Buy postcards and mail some to yourself so that you can have postmarks from your destinations along with memories of what you did that day! I like to have the kids each write 1 line about what we did in that location and then at the end of the entire trip, we have the front desk mail them out. It's a fun and inexpensive diary of our vacation.
Where have you vacationed to recently? Share your destinations with us in the comments!

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