Family Field Trips and a Parent Tip!
Parent Tip for Summer Survival:
When my children and my best friend's children were little, we devised a mother's scheme in which the goal was to never hear the words "I'm bored" or "There's nothing to do" or anything remotely close.
We each created a Bored Jar. It was a large clear jar that sat on the kitchen counter in full view (in case anyone needed a reminder). In that jar were little folded pieces of paper with "jobs" on them- and one slip had to be taken from the jar and done, if such words were uttered. Some "jobs" were fun- for example, go for a bike ride, help make brownies, play a board game...and some were positively yucky!- For example, wash the bathroom floor, clean up the dog messes (when the kids were old enough to), wash the car, vacuum, dust.... One never knew which slip of paper/job he or she might pull from the jar! AND, for those years when we instituted the Bored Jar, we never once had to listen to those words! So I wish you a fun summer with your children!
When my children were little, we had some fun little adventures they called "Mom's Adventures and Field Trips". (Some were more adventuresome than others; some my kids prefer not to remember(!), others were favorites!) So, in the spirit of Building Family Memories, here are some suggestions from me for your family for the summer- but please don't stop there! Email me some of your ideas and I'll share them right here!
-We've been reading about our capital, Washington DC, and many of the monuments and memorials. One that really interested the children is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. We are very fortunate that the moving Vietnam Wall is coming to Brocton (the American Legion Post) this next September 10-14. It will be available 24 hours per day for those 4 days. The moving wall is an exact half-size replica of the Washington DC memorial. It has traveled around the United States for the past 20 years, and I'm very excited that the children may be able to see it. Please mark your calendars and make every effort to take your children!
-Buffalo Airport- It's great fun to just watch planes take off and land, to go inside that beautiful terminal, and to drive through the Aero Drive tunnel that runs underneath the runway!
-Downtown Buffalo- See the newly restored portion of the Erie Canal lock, have a picnic at the Erie Basin Marina on Lake Erie, climb the lighthouse, and watch the sailboats. OR, ride the subway for free!- downtown all the way to UB and back. The Erie Canal is a big part of 4th grade Social Studies.
-Lockport- Erie Canal locks again, but here, there are several, and you can ride a canal boat.
-Panama Rocks- in Panama, gorgeous and huge glacial deposit of rock- take pictures, climb, have a picnic...
-Star and planet-searching on a clear night...
-Niagara Falls- need I say more? There's the Maid of the Mistboat ride for a really hot day...
-Thayer Hill Park (now known as Luensman Overlook Park) in Portland- wonderful picnic area, hiking trail, and a view to die for, because it's so high up!
- Cooperstown- home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Farmers' Museum, and more
- Howe Caverns- in Howes Cave, NY, just east of Cooperstown http://www.howecaverns.com/
Washington DC- especially Air and Space Museum, Washington Monument, Jefferson, and Lincoln Memorials, the Capitol and White House, the Mint, the life-size Triceratops on the Mall...
Boston, MA- some of the children have expressed interest in that area- the site of the Boston Tea Party, the Freedom Trail...This is also a big part of 4th grade social studies (relating to the Revolutionary War) There is also the new, huge, marvelous New England Aquarium and a great Children's Museum. And there's Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall and Paul Revere and the Old North Church....Boston is a wonderful family trip.
Gettysburg- again, this is Social Studies. We've touched on it briefly. One overnight, and it's a fascinating trip.