Recently our family took a day trip to a nearby historical site in our area–the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. Museums and historical sites are definitely a great place to learn about history, art, and culture, but they’re not always kid-friendly and probably not the first place you think of taking your kids on an adventure day.
A few years ago, the thought of taking my crew through a museum was terrifying. Especially when we could barely make it through the grocery store without a major meltdown (or three!).
But the kids are getting older, and parenting has stretched my comfort zone beyond what I could have imagined.
While my introverted side still begs to stick to books or videos, I want learning to come alive for my kids in ways only hands-on experiences can give them. And so regular “adventure days” are a priority for us, and over the years we’ve learned a few things to help our family field trips go smoother.
About that dreaded obligatory walk-through-the-gift-shop-before-you-can-exit.
We handle it by letting the kids browse for a few minutes with a pre-set expectation that they can buy something if they’ve brought their own money. On the occasion I decide to purchase a “souvenir,” I usually get a children’s book(s) related to the trip. It’s fun to jot a little note in the cover of the book as a later reminder of the adventure day.
After the trip we read the book, and then shelve it. My favorite is when the kids bring it back out with excited “remember when we visited. . . .” conversations. (And that there are no knick knacks to dust!)
On this particular trip to Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace, we came home with a few read alouds–one of our favorites being the historical fiction Abe Lincoln at Last, from the Magic Treehouse series.
Have you introduced your kids to the Magic Treehouse series? Jack and Annie’s adventures have been a go-to for our family, and my early-chapter book readers have devoured the predictability of the simple text and adventurous story lines, all while being introduced to historical events, science, and literature. The non-fiction “fact tracker” companion series also make awesome fact guides for beginning research projects or expanding further knowledge.
After visiting and reading about “Honest Abe” we applied our newly-acquired knowledge by creating an interactive flipbook writing project.
Here’s how to create this interactive flip book:
- FREE Abraham Lincoln flip book printable
- glue stick
- colored pencils/crayons/markers
1. Begin by printing the pages, then cut apart along dotted lines, and layer the pages in order.
2. Line up each page on the left side and staple together. The pages are meant to be staggered, with the top being the shortest, and the bottom the longest.
3. Color the illustrations.
4. Paste the pictures throughout to illustrate the biography flipbook, if desired.
5. Write about Abraham Lincoln’s life, obstacles, speeches, presidency, and more.
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