Ah… I don’t know about you but I am SO enjoying the warmer weather. Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE winter, and the spring with the flowers that seem to burst out of the ground… I love it! Tulips and daffodils just make my heart smile after the mud and much of winter turning into spring.
My lad has been asking if I think we’ll be able to get out for at least a week of vacation this year, and I freely admit to him that I hope so, but I can’t guarantee it at this point… I might be, if I’m very careful, be able to swing a weekend. Wouldn’t that be fun?
One of my favourite things to do on vacation is to bring along books to read. Granted I love getting out with the fellows on the kayaks and seeing the beauty that is in the world around us, but curling up with a good book and having friendly chipmunks scope me out for food, and listening to birds chatter in the trees around me… is just a wee taste of heaven for me. I simply ADORE that time.
Another joy I have is discovering new passions and ideas to pursue and guess what I discovered? Lonely Planet has come out with a neat book called First Words Mandarin. This purse sized book is filled with 100 words to learn in Mandarin. The words are clearly presented on one page, with a full colour image on the accompanying page to make sure that students of all ages are able to know what they are learning to say. AND if you have access to the internet you can even go to first audio (on Lonely Planets) to hear exactly how the word is spoken. (if using a smart phone they have a QR code). It’s that just the coolest thing? I am looking forward to learning a smattering of Mandarin this summer.. with or without a road trip… though it would certainly make the time travelling down the road pass sooner wouldn’t it? 🙂
One of the things we like to do while travelling in the car is to listen to a good story. Currently, we are going through a Percy Jackson period. We’ve listened to those books and then decided to delve into a series that predates Percy called Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard. It’s a fun listen that often makes us laugh. We’ve also listened to The Ranger’s Apprentice, Brotherband Chronicles, The Unwanteds, Down Gilead Lane and Percy Jackson. As we listen sometimes the lad will play on his tablet, and other times he digs into one of the creative books we have floating around the place.
Isn’t that a great segway into StickerWorld Museum? 🙂 Sticker World Museum might sound like it’s just another sticker book, and it does have stickers in it, but it’s more than just a sticker book. It has colouring, drawing, mazes, dot to dot and more. Things to delight and keep hands and minds busy as they create their own museum. Written by Becky Wilson the reader is drawn into the world of a museum, filled with painting, sculptures, displays, mosaics and so much more.
It’s a great way to introduce children to the fun of a museum, and all the parts of them that make them interesting.
Another activity we engage in along the way are various car games, games like Cow! Where you look for cows (and count them by the field) and for graveyards. A graveyard on your side kills the cows on the opposite side. Or the ever popular liscense plate game or alphabet game. We’ve done lots of pass the drawing games as well (where you each draw a head, and then pass it to the next person who draws the torso, and then you pass it along until you see what you finally come up with. It’s a ton of fun with three or more people. 🙂
When on vacation a person can find themselves in places they have never been before. One will find themselves needing a map. And oh, we all know how a new city can be a maze of unknown streets and new sights that capture the eye and the imagination, so perhaps a book on City Mazes will continue your journey into amazing places. It’s a rather creatively done book using the streets of cities from around the world as a maze, and along the way points of interest are numbers and explained. For instance in Berlin you pass by Louisa’s Place (a 1904 building), in London the Churchill War Rooms, and while in Copenhagen the Rosenborg Slot. All sorts of places to amuse and entertain. 30 cities around the world to visit, most of them from European countries.
Sample page below, see the fine detail and small images of points of interest.
City Mazes, Sticker World Museum and First Words Mandarin are all Lonely Planet books and are distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books. These titles are available at select bookstores across the country and on Indigo.ca. Aren’t they all excellent ways to help spend your summer vacation? Learning, seeing, discovering, and keeping yourself busy as you travel the roads.