For my family, science and reading are a top priority. This is mainly because my husband and I both met while working in the zoo field. (Enough with the jokes.) Anyway, after 12 years of working at a zoo in Texas, I left my job with the birth of my first child. We have since moved, but my husband now works at the world’s largest waterfowl park in North Carolina. So needless to say, my kids get a LOT of science lessons – whether they realize it or not.
We also have an incredible home library with rows upon rows of books about animals, nature, biology, conservation, and field guides. Need a field guide on the bats of Papua New Guinea? Got it. Or how about one on the birds of Venezuela? A guide to the reptiles and amphibians of the Smokies? Or maybe the birds of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Sí. Sí. And yes.
These last two came in handy this summer when we went camping in the Smokies. It was a quick trip – only two nights – but that was good enough to get the kids really excited. Going on nature hikes proved to be the most exciting part of the trip for all of us, as the kids had gotten it into their heads that they wanted to search for salamanders. And amazingly, we did find them. Híjole did we find them!
Our family actually tries to go camping every summer. Most of the time we camp in a State or National Park. If you’ve never experienced this before, you would not believe how much fun it is! There is so much to see and do and learn. Every kid should – in my humble opinion – have this opportunity to explore and discover. This is the best way to really bring science to life and make learning about our natural world FUN.
¿Qué dices? You’re not into roughing it? Don’t worry. Many parks offer campgrounds with RV hook-ups and restrooms and/or bathhouses. Some of the National Parks even have cabins and luxurious hotels! (Now that’s what I’m talking about!)
But our national treasures do need to be taken care of and supported. Especially in recent years, since economic depression and environmental problems like pollution and climate change have begun to take their toll.
So my kids and I have embarked on a new project that not only teaches them about recycling, social responsibility and community action, it also directly benefits our National Park system. We are joining Nature Valley® and Patricia Shultz (author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die) in their quest to help the National Parks Project with its restorative work at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Biscayne National Parks.
We encourage your family to start the school year off with an easy project. We are buying specially marked boxes of Nature Valley Bars - which are 100% natural AND are fabulously healthy for you AND sabrosos, too! – then we save our wrappers and mail them back in to the address below:
National Parks Project
PO Box 450328
El Paso, TX 88545-0328
Nature Valley will not only recycle the wrappers, but will also contribute $0.10 to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) for every wrapper received (up to $600,000 in total). To learn more about the National Parks Project and how you can make a difference, check out PreservetheParks.com
To help you get your kids in the spirit of adventure, Nature Valley has kindly agreed to offer one of you a “prize pack,” which includes a mini backpack; a military grade compass; a solar-powered, key chain flash light; a reusable water bottle and a copy of Patricia Shultz’s 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List. (Can you say, “Aventura?”)
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY, simply leave a comment below telling me which National Park your family would most like to visit someday and why. (We totally want to visit the Grand Canyon for the amazing landscape and wildlife that it has!)
For additional entries, you can also:
• Join our Facebook page
• tweet the following: Enter to win an adventure prize pack from @latinmami. Ends 8/12. http://www.mommymaestra.com #giveaway #contest #myblogspark
• Subscribe via rss reader or email
• Blog about this contest
All entries must be in by Thursday, August 12th at 11:59 pm EST. Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be notified via email. (Please be sure to provide a valid email address with your entry.)
Disclosure: The Nature Valley products received, information, and giveaway were all provided by Nature Valley through MyBlogSpark, but the opinions expressed above are completamente my own.
This giveaway is now closed.