"What do you want to do fun today?" I often ask the kids this, and it usually means my creative juices have stopped flowing and I'm relying on their creative juices. Michael suggested Chuck E. Cheese--not really what I had in mind, especially since we were just there, and definitely not educational (this is a school day after all). Jacob thought it would be really fun to "go to a hotel." If I took him literally, we could actually have pulled that one off--there are plenty of hotels we could "go" to. Stay in one, though? For the day? Again, not really very educational, plus they'd tire of the close quarters very quickly (I know from too many first-hand experiences!). Alex had the best suggestion and an activity I've been promising for a long time: letterboxing.
Letterboxing is sort of a treasure hunt. You get clues and directions online to letterboxes in your area. After following the clues, you uncover a container of some sort with a guestbook and a special stamp. After stamping the guestbook, you use the stamp in the box to stamp your book, recording the visit both for the letterboxer (the one who created the box and hid it) and the letterboxee - us!
After running a few errands, we headed to one of the letterbox destinations: Suwanee Greenway, a paved walking/jogging/running trail. We picked up lunch and I had it in mind to stop along the trail for a picnic so we headed in. It wasn't long before we found the bench near which the box was hidden. After unpiling some rocks, we found the container hidden under a log. We did our stamping and re-hid the box. Of course, the kids were hungry at this point as was I. However, the kids were having a bit more fun than I; I was a little uneasy on this trail by ourselves as it was quite isolated and, besides the occasional jogger, we were quite alone. The fact that the one woman I saw by herself was jogging with two big dogs was enough to start my narrator! So, instead of enjoying a nice picnic on the bench under a lovely shade tree, we quickly headed back to the beginning of the trail where we soaked up some sun while we ate! Needless to say, it was a quick lunch.
And so we had another exciting adventure today, though not half as fun as yesterday. As noted before, it is a school day today for us, but luckily my worksheet-loving little girl doesn't mind a bit completing her work in the car while we head out on our various excursions. We've got another week until our school year officially ends, and I'm ready for a break. Hopefully, a vacation will replenish the dangerously low levels of creativity I have felt capable of putting into their lessons as of late. If all else fails, there are a lot more letterboxes out there to be discovered!
(For more information on Letterboxing, visit www.letterboxing.org.)