May 16, 2020
5 Ways to Celebrate Parks at Home for Parks to Kids Day
Today is the 10-year anniversary of Kids to Parks Day an initiative founded by the National Park Trust to get kids out into nature and into our wonderful city, state and national parks. This year, due to the realities of isolation and social distancing, the parks are coming to the kids in the form of Parks to Kids Day!
What is Kids to Parks (Parks to Kids) Day?
Kids to Parks Day is a national day dedicated to outdoor play and exploration of local, state, and national parks. “While discovering and exploring our parks, kids learn about park stewardship, outdoor recreation, STEM and the history of our country and its amazing national treasures – because kids need parks and parks need kids!” Learn more about Kids to Park Day at kidstoparks.parktrust.org.
Get the Buddy Bison’s Park Activity Book
Buddy Bison is the National Park Trust mascot for Kids to Parks Day. Buddy will help you safely plan a trip to a park and plan an action or activity to take such as park clean up, listening to nature and more. You can also download, print, and color one or all of the National Park coloring sheets from the National Park Trust where you can explore locations such as the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Padre Island National Seashore, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Katmai National Park and Preserve, and more!
Please note: If you are planning to find an isolated park spot to enjoy the day, please make sure you observe social distancing and wear a mask in the park if you are not able to do so. Please check the park’s website for other closings or restrictions. Seasonal fees may be in effect at state parks.
Become A National Park Junior Ranger at Home
Completing the steps to become a Junior Ranger is a fun activity many children enjoy when out on family visits to National Parks across the country. Since that is not possible right now, why not become a Junior Ranger online? While you’re at it, why not start here in Delaware and become a Junior Ranger for the First State National Historical Park? You can earn a virtual stamp at one of three levels depending on how many activities you complete. Learn more about earning your FSNHP Junior Ranger stamp online.
Go beyond Delaware and explore Junior Ranger programs at other National Parks, and find some really cool info and activities too. Yellowstone, Appomattox Court House, and Grand Teton National Parks, among others, offer online and virtual Junior Ranger programs.
Explore 3 Top National Parks, and More, at Home
Set up camp in your back yard or living room, grab your favorite watching device, and take a quick trip to explore Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Biscayne National Parks. Then take a deeper dive by exploring National Parks through virtual tours and video hikes, as well as videos on Mud Pots, Devils Tower, and even the once restricted Minuteman Missile site. Top off the night with a nature documentary such as Yellowstone National Park for Kids or wind down and Spend a Relaxing Hour in Yellowstone’s Beautiful Landscapes, both available on YouTube, or watch National Parks Adventure on Netflix.
Plan a Fantasy Trip Going from Sea to Shining Sea and National Park to National Park
Let’s plan a fantasy trip across the USA traveling from National Park to National Park! Here are some tools you will need to do it. First, if you don’t have a map of the USA on hand, print one here and get started. You can do this however you like. Start with a park you really want to go visit, maybe Grand Teton National Park, and then connect the states from here to there finding a National Park in each state that interests you using the “Find a Park” tool. You can also start at home and plot the course to the west coast finding new and lesser known National Parks along the way. Draw your route and take the time to learn a bit about each park making note of what you and your family are most excited to see at each park! Do you think you might camp? Get a room at a fancy lodge? Canoe down the Colorado River? The sky is the limit!
Plus, if you have a library card, you can also check out some e-books about our national parks at hoopla. Don’t have a library card yet? You can get one now online and gain access to all online resources.
Pack a Punchy Park Picnic
Hungry after all of that (virtual) exploring? Make some fun snacks to pack a punchy picnic (say that three times fast) to enjoy in your own personal backyard park.
If venturing (safely) outside of your yard make sure to leave no trace and remove all trash from your picnic.
- Ultimate Healthy Trail Mix, via: Five Heart Home
- Butterfly Sandwiches, via: Taste of Home
- Celery Snails and Caterpillars, via: Good Housekeeping
- Green Bug Juice Punch, via: Cooking Mamas
May 5, 2020
10 Sweet, Savory and Simple Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, and it will be a bit different this year, but with our help Mom won’t miss a thing. We’re delivering you 10 sweet, savory and simple recipes that you can prepare in your own kitchen and no one will know they weren’t prepared by a pro!
If you are able to be with your Mom on Mother’s day consider yourself lucky and be sure to make it memorable!
First, let Mom sleep in, leave her a note to join you for a Pajama Brunch- whenever she’s ready. All Moms are different so it’s up to you to decide whether she would want you to set the table for a formal meal, plan an alfresco meal on the deck, or maybe a brunch buffet is the way to go.
If you don’t live with Mom but she is close by, prepare a meal to deliver. You can drop and leave it with a heartfelt note or plan an outdoor picnic (observing proper social distance of course). She will appreciate YOU and the time you took to make her day special.
Here are 10 simple recipes that look spectacular- make one or make them all!
Happy Mother’s Day!
May 4, 2020
5 Ways to Spice Up Your Family’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Home
Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and we have five fabulous ways to spice up your celebration, from lively fiesta decorations to fun family activities you can enjoy at home, alone or with your family.
Before we start, it’s important to know why we celebrate...
On May 5, 1862 a small Mexican force went up against a large French force and won the Battle at Puebla. It was a huge morale boost for the Mexicans and Cinco de Mayo is still celebrated today. In Mexico it is more of a ceremonial celebration and in America it became a celebration of American-Mexican culture whose popularity grew as a result of Super Bowl ads from the 1980’s.
1. Set the Scene for Your Fiesta
Cinco de Mayo fiestas are filled with fabulously bright decorations, music, dancing, laughter and games, so let’s get started!
Let’s get colorful! You can’t have a fiesta without a colorful setting, so are you ready?
Woven Paper Placemats
Make your own brightly colored woven placemats out of two pieces of construction paper; you choose the colors!
Set the Table
Break out your brightest dishes and glassware; matching is not necessary.
Tissue Paper Flowers
Tissue paper flowers are oh so easy to make and will complete your fiesta table décor.
The Ojo de Dios or God’s Eye is said to have originated with the ancient Huichol Indians of Mexico. Early accounts of the brightly colored combination of yarn and sticks represents the power of seeing and understanding unseen things.
Take a peek at step-by-step directions to create this colorful treasure: God’s Eye
2. Add Some Fun!
Make a Party Piñata
What’s a party without a piñata? In the U.S., piñatas are popular for Cinco de Mayo, birthday and Christmas celebrations. You can make your piñata out of paper mâché or cardboard then fill it up with candies or toys, whatever you choose. Let everyone in the family take a whack at it…blindfolded! When the candy falls, it’s a free for all.
Shake Your Maracas
Make your own music or turn on the radio; no Mexican fiesta would be complete without music. Dancing shoes are optional; music + dancing = fun for the whole family.
Kids of all ages will love making their own maracas using plastic spoons, leftover plastic eggs, lentils, foil, and tape!
You can also make maracas with recycled plastic bottles, dried rice, beans and more. Find out how by clicking here: Bottle Maracas.
3. Fill Those Bellies
Salsa y Tacos
Spice up your “comida” (meal) by serving up some Mexican specialties. You don’t have to use hot peppers in your dish, but they are a tasty part of the complex and social Mexican food culture. Most Mexican dishes are linked to a specific cultural celebration using preparation techniques that have been developed over thousands of years with ingredients that are native to Mexico.
Mexican-American food and Mexican street food are extremely popular and a variety of dishes can be created in your own kitchen. Now all you need to do is decide what tickles your taste buds and then get to chopping!
4. Play a Game
Pass the Sombrero
It’s like playing Musical Chairs without the worry of falling on your you-know-what. Find a Fiesta Music playlist online, or shake your newly made maracas, and let the fun begin!
Follow these easy steps:
- Find any hat to use for this game.
- Have everyone playing the game stand in a circle.
- Turn on the music or shake your maracas and have participants pass the hat until the music stops.
- The person left holding the hat when the music stops is out of the game.
- The last person left holding the hat is the winner.
5. Habla Español? Learn to Speak Spanish at Home?
Impress your family by learning some Spanish in time for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
- Spanish Numbers and Colors
- Free Online Spanish Lessons For Kids
- Free Online Spanish Lessons from Your Library through Transparent Language