Our niece is getting married in a few weeks, and my girls can't wait to head out to Tennessee, the "Volunteer State." They're excited about being flower girls in the wedding, of course, but they're also eager to sightsee in a new state and visit Civil War battle fields, which seems strange, doesn't it? Although I am uncertain where this new interest in the Civil War came from (a Magic Tree House book, I think), I will not look a gift horse in the mouth, and I will embrace the opportunity to teach my girls a bit of history about this land of ours—the USA!
Teaching our children about the country we live in is a fun and natural part of our everyday lives. Just the other day one of my daughters was asking why it's always a man's face on our coins and bills. It was a wonderful opportunity to share tidbits about how women used to be treated as being less than men, how women couldn't vote until the early 1900s, and how we've never had a female president. My oldest daughter said, "But some women are actually smarter than men. Like, you're smarter than daddy." She's always been an observant child.
Of course, this is the same daughter who loves to read the book about Thomas Edison that I gave her when she was five. There are so many books, toys and games that are great resources to ensure a fun-filled history lesson for all. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Children's Encyclopedia of American History
1. Washington D.C. (JACKPOT!)
2. Mount Rushmore in South Dakota
3. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in New York
4. Liberty Bell in Philadelphia
5. Alamo in San Antonio
6. Aztec Ruins in New Mexico
7. Fort McHenry in Maryland
8. George Washington's birthplace in Virginia
9. Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana
10. NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Can't you just feel the wind in your face as you drive down the highway listening to Neil Diamond's "America"? So pack up the suitcases and hit the open road—history is calling!
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