Yosemite, with kids, revisited, part 5

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Places To Go

Our trip to Yosemite is still very much on our minds. Jared is still digging Half Dome and wants to know when we can go back. As for me, I've saved my favorite memory for last.

The visitor's center in the valley has some nice exhibits, including a six-foot three-dimensional map of the valley and surrounding area. There's also the info desk where I've gotten many a backcountry permit. And there's the bookstore where you can get maps, books, and even DVD's.

At the visitor center bookstore, we picked up a Little Cub activity book for the two older kids. It involved looking around for colors, listening for sounds, learning about Yosemite and the animals that live there, and so on. One of the activities had Jared pick a color that he was wearing and then find that same color somewhere around him in nature. He chose yellow, the color of his shirt, and then pointed out the yellow grass in the meadow we were passing. The Little Cub book is for kids 3 - 6; there is also one for older kids. When the kids had completed enough activities, we took it to the visitor's center so they could get their Little Cub button.

Jared sat down with a ranger and she asked him some questions about what he had learned, then she had me read the oath to him so he could promise to learn more about Yosemite and take care of it. I had a hard time reading it because right at that moment a massive dust storm hit, causing my eyes to tear up. I made it through, however, and he promised. The ranger then had him stand on the bench while she called for the attention of everyone there. She announced he had completed his book, said he was now a junior ranger, and called for a round of applause. People clapped and Jared bowed twice for everyone. I think he'll remember that; I know I will.

All in all, we had a great trip and the kids had a blast. Would they have been just as happy somewhere other than Yosemite at such a young age? Perhaps, but then I wouldn't have been able to begin instilling my love of the most beautiful place on earth in them as early. If you have the chance to take your kids, go.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.