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Learning Toys for Airplane Traveling Preschoolers

My special needs son enjoys preschool level activities.  Since we might have some airplane trips in our future, I thought it might be a good idea to create a list of quiet, self-contained, toys that have an added bonus of being good for learning too.  If you're a homeschool family ( like we are ), then these activities would also be great for keeping a littler one occupied and happy while schooling the older ones.  Click on the colored links, so you can pack an amazing backpack of fun toys for your next trip or rainy day at home! My criteria for these activities is as follows- SELF-CONTAINED- These activities often come with their own tin or case or are easily slipped into a backpack without additional packaging. NOT TOO MANY PIECES- This one seems pretty self-explanatory, but if you're traveling with little ones, you want to make sure you don't have too many tiny things to keep track of as you go about your trip. QUIET- None of these toys make noise or encourage the chi

Mom Kit for Airplane Travel

At the beginning of the year, I always think about the vacations we can go on that year.  My mother-in-law recently moved too far away from us for a road trip, so we're talking about flying to visit her.  My husband and I haven't flown since coming home from living in Africa ten years ago, and we've never flown with kids, so I'm going to be doing a lot of blog posts as I get ready for such a big adventure. I was in a Facebook group recently, where people were sharing their airplane travel tips.  One lady talked about the "survival kit" that she takes out of her larger carry-on and puts in the seat pocket of the seat.  It contains the things she wants to have access to as an adult, like reading glasses, medications, and chapstick.  Her list of items got me thinking about putting together a similar kit for moms!  The following list is all the items I'm considering for my own "survival kit." We usually road trip our vacations, so packing small and l

South Dakota History Bucket List for Families

 Our family has been reading through "Our 50 States" geography curriculum with Notgrass publishing this school year, which has given me so many more things to add to our family road trip bucket list.  I have very fond memories of driving through South Dakota with my family as we headed to my grandparents' house in Illinois.  Frequently, we'd take an extra day or two of our trip to visit some attractions around Rapid City.  Now that I'm the mom, I'm excited to share all of my favorite places with my kids.  Here's what's on our "hope-to-visit" list: The most famous attraction in South Dakota is Mount Rushmore.   I've been three times now, twice as a child and once as an adult.  We visited last summer, and were very disappointed about the entire experience.  Of all the things we visited, this was our least favorite.  My kids were totally unimpressed and we spent less than fifteen minutes there.  Should you go there with your family?  Sure

How to Make Adventurous and Yummy Food While Camping

I have a confession to make- I wasn't planning on writing this blog post, so I don't have any real pictures to share.  You'll have to use your imagination.  I'm also not sharing any recipes, because that's not the type of blogger that I am.  This will be a list of suggestions more than it will be a compilation of recipes. People have been asking my parents for years- don't you get tired of eating hot dogs all the time?  Everything I've learned and will write about today has been learned from them.  In fact, we still camp exclusively with them.  Our group is usually larger- between 10 and 20 people, so several of my ideas will relate to larger family/group cooking.  Oh, and if it's not clear from this huge list- we car/popup camp, so most of this list won't be good advice if you're a backpacking family. Hot Dog Roasting Stick Probably the simplest way to cook over the campfire is with a  Marshmallow Stick .  Of course, you can use th

Wyoming Dinosaur Center- Family Friendly Attractions

Last year, I wrote a blog post about the Dinosaur Museums on our family bucket list.   After we saw one of our favorite Youtubers, Coyote Peterson, visit the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, the kids were even more excited to see the fossils there.  We really enjoyed it and it made a great compliment to the Mammoth Dig Site, as we spent a lot of time comparing the two types of animals. As amazing as it is to see full dinosaur skeletons, it's even cooler to see the variety of life we can find in the fossil record.  From piles of trilobites to fish, crabs, plants, and more, a significant portion of biological life is on display at the museum.  The smaller collection, though, means that the amount of each species isn't boring or overwhelming for kids.  They were fascinated! The museum hosts a very impressive collection of swimming, flying, and stomping dinosaurs!  According to my research, there are about 60 animals represented.  The kids especially loved the plesiosaur and

Idaho Bucket List for Families

Idaho is full of beautiful natural places to visit and many Idahoans spend a lot of time in nature whether white water rafting, mountain climbing, skiing, fishing, boating, camping, or foraging.  What's lesser known, even to most Idahoans is all the man-made attractions we have in our state.  From history museums to amusement parks, here are 10 places you must put on your family bucket list. 1- Cataldo Mission The Cataldo Mission at Old Mission State part in Northern Idaho is the oldest building in the state.  It was built between 1850 and 1853 in a cooperation between Catholic missionaries and the Coeur d' Alene (CDA) tribe.   If you're coming through Idaho on I-90, this park a few miles outside of CDA makes a great 1-2 hour educational and cultural field trip and a lovely place for a picnic. 2- World Center for Birds of Prey A few years ago, we visited the Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, SD, and really enjoyed it.  We missed their raptor show, though