Monday, April 29, 2013

Washington DC

I didn't think the kids would be very excited about my library books on American History. I thought they would perhaps glance at them as I stuck the books beneath their chins. I was pretty certain they would be passed by for better reading or better games or better fighting with siblings.

To my surprise, they kept asking me for more, and I ran out of books to give them (I think I brought twenty or so)! I'm not sure every word was read, actually, I'm positive not every word was read, but they picked up a lot of information I've heard them recite back to me since.

This was the hands down favorite with everyone:
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So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George (presidential facts are fascinating for unknown reasons—celebrity maybe?)

They also loved this:
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Two Bad Pilgrims by Kathryn Lasky (true, funny story)

But they also waded through this:
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Lafayette and the American Revolution by Russell Freedman

And after going to Mt. Vernon, everyone wanted to read this: (the kids really loved Mt. Vernon)
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Give Me Liberty by Russell Freedman

The kids were excited about this because I get the facts on this event mixed up all the time:
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The Boston Tea Party by Russell Freedman

And after going to Ford's Theatre where Lincoln was shot, everyone wants to read more about him:
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Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass by Russell Freedman (you will notice these are all by Freedman, an expert in writing nonfiction for children!)

This has always been a favorite—Shaemus read it several times!
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John, Paul, George and Ben by Lane Smith

And this book is fantastic:
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Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

I was a little disappointed in DC itself. Not the place itself, really, but the crowds and how incredibly not kid-friendly it is. No food or snacks allowed inside ANY of the museums. You can't leave backpacks or strollers anywhere, so you have to walk around all day without any food to give your kids. And the food in the cafes is so expensive. We went to a Nationals baseball game and had to throw away our water bottles. And it was so crowded—did I mention how crowded it was? We weren't even there during a holiday! We took the metro everywhere, which was a huge mistake because it also costs a million dollars. We would have been better off driving and paying for parking. (I understand, by the way, that they have to take these safety precautions because of the fear of bombs, etc..., but it is still makes traveling with children almost impossible).

But still! It was an experience and overall good. It truly did get my kids excited about history, and even better, excited about books about history!!! I've got to make use of this excitement for as long as I can.

Have any of you seen any great movies (fairly accurate) about American History that youngish kids could watch and enjoy? I'm looking to make this an ongoing theme.

Here's some pics of our trip:
A really awesome battleship that probably has a specific name, but I don't know what it is.

We toured the capital building. It was cool, but they made us throw our entire backpack full of lunch and snacks in the garbage, which I didn't think was cool.

Mt. Vernon was gorgeous!!!

This was taken before we walked a hundred miles to get to the Lincoln Monument
(I am hunched over here. Mary is NOT taller than I am. Yet.)

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