Young children can get a little stir crazy riding in cars or planes for long distances en route to a national park vacation. That's where books -- yes, books! -- come in. And with My Nature Book: A Journal and Activity Book for Kids in hand, your kids can prepare for their vacation while heading there, and then document it in the same book.
In this, Linda Kranz's second edition, your kids can use their imagination to describe an animal never before seen by humans, or draw a picture of a mountain setting. They can draw trees as they appear in the four seasons, or keep a journal of where they went, why they went there, what the weather was like, and what they saw.
At home, kids can work on projects such as creating luminarias, or "water windows" for peering into the neighborhood creek. There's even a recipe for making trail mix to take on your next hike.
There are plenty of idea starters scattered throughout the book:
* "Write about a few of the 'firsts' in your life," such as the first time you climbed a tree or went on a hike.
* One journaling page opens with the question, "How does the night sky in your town or city compare to the sky in the wilderness."
* Another asks, "What are the ten things you enjoy about nature?"
* Yet another asks, "If you were given a canoe, camping gear, and food for a week, and you could choose one person to go along with you on the trip, who would you choose to go with you and where would you go? What do you think your adventure would be like" Describe your dream getaway."
Not only will this book keep your children occupied, in a learning mode, while on the road, or preparing for a vacation, but it also turns into a keepsake for you, and them, to treasure years down the road.
"I love rereading the adventures we've had over the years as we explored different places," notes Ms. Kranz a foreward to the journal. "I'm glad we have the journals and the photographs to remind us of these very special times."