Getting That Toddler to Hike!

DSC02782You know that feeling when you are so excited to hit the trails?  You have everything planned out, everyone is all ready to go, the weather is perfect…and then the toddler decides it is one of those days.  The type of day where her feet must never touch the ground.  I love the snuggles, but Boo weighs over 30 lbs now.  That means 35+ lbs of baby, pack, water, stuff (babies require a lot of stuff).  Hiking like this gets exhausting…and painful…and quite a bit less fun.  I’m not saying I won’t carry her at all, it would just be nice if she’d carry her own weight from time to time, ya know?  So, my tip to get a toddler to hit the trail?  Props!

#1 – Boo’s top pick for toddler hiking gear – A hiking pole just like Mommy’s!  We have Black Diamond hiking poles.  They adjust with a simple clip, so it is super easy to break them down to Boo size!

#2 – Her very own digital camera!  I take a lot of pictures and Boo has finally noticed.  That means she steals my camera to take pictures and I am out of luck.  We ordered her a Nerf digital camera from Amazon for $10.  We ordered this exact product and got something that looks quite different, but we are quite impressed with the camera (and never even noticed the differences until just now!), so we never filed a complaint.  Seriously – this thing even has a video camera!

Most of her pictures are as expected, but occasionally she surprises me!  It is interesting to see things from the viewpoint of a 2 year old!

#3 – Kid-friendly binoculars!  This one is similar to the camera, but just different enough to keep her interested!  These were gifted to her, but there are many reasonable options on Amazon.

We also have a cheapo Dollar Tree magnifying glass ready to go, but we have never made it that far through the list!

When You Can’t Scratch the Travel Itch…

I want to travel all.the.time.  There just never seems to be a moment when I am like, “Gee.  Sitting at home is just so much fun.”  Nope.  It’s like that knuckle on my left hand that has been itching since I was 6 years old.  Seriously, does anyone else out there have an itchy knuckle?  Just me?  Ok.  So traveling constantly – yes, please!

Like most people, I have a job (that does not require/allow travel) and a budget.  I also have a husband who seems to work opposite hours.  Traveling constantly is just not realistic in our world (right now – I can always hope!).  I do travel whenever possible.  Whenever we get a break from school, I am gone!  Yay for that glorious (and well-earned) summer break!  {On a side note: Teaching just for the summer break – totally not worth it.  You really have to be in it for more (In case anyone was wondering!)}  Most of my trips are local – 5 hours or less, but occasionally I get to venture further!  I’ll take any traveling I can get, but I really yearn for big adventure!

On the last day of school last year, my students introduced me to GeoGeussr.  (All of the images that follow are screen prints from the game.)  I guess this isn’t strictly math related, but it does require logic and reasoning as well as attention to detail and perseverance – all essential skills in math!  Just watch me justify class time for this awesome game!

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Doesn’t that just sound wonderful?!

This game uses Google Street View.  You are “dropped” somewhere around the world (frequently on dirt roads in the middle of nowhere) and your goal is to figure out where in the world you are!

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(Montana)

You can investigate your area by “walking” around (anywhere the Google cars went).  Clues are gathered by any means possible – like trying to read street signs or interpreting the local flora and fauna.

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(Serbia)

Then you try to match your location on the world map.  The closer your guess, the more points you receive!  Our record is 2.5 yards away!  Husband and I are always after that elusive perfect score!

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We choose single player mode and spend hours scouring landscapes for the tiniest of clues.  This sounds a little obsessive (and perhaps it is), but this is definitely our favorite date night (Plus, its free and we don’t have to get a babysitter)!  This game is awesome because we get to explore beautiful countrysides and adorable little villages that we would probably never even think (or be able to afford) to visit in real life.  I can’t even tell you how many places I have added to my bucket list because of this game!

Norway
Norway
Mexico
Mexico
Peru
Peru
New Zealand
New Zealand
Indonesia
Indonesia
Brazil
Brazil

Just a heads up…this game is just a little addicting.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!