There is a small chance I may have gone a 'little too far'. What am I talking about? The little guidebooks I'm making for the kids to take with them when we travel.
As you know I thought it was important they have something which gives them hints and tips about staying safe while we are in the National Parks - bear safety, wolves, bison, rattlesnakes etc. I could just tell them every day but they'd drift off and not listen so thought making them read it was a better idea. I also thought I'd list the hotels we're staying in so they know and give them a map of the routes we plan to take just so they have some idea of what to expect each day. They can pick up leaflets and guide books from the visitors centre's we'll be visiting also if they wish and I could have just handed them one of those each day but I didn't want them to have bits of paper here, there and everywhere. I then thought about giving them a bit of info about the places we'll be visiting. From that it grew to add in a little quiz at the end of each day (I've told you about those). How I want them to interact with their surroundings, find out and learn what they can. Doing so is the only way they will be able to answer some of the questions. I know these kids; I know how they work. They're not the kind to ask questions (unless they ask me). They can be quite shy about such things. I also know they have a competitive side when it comes to each other which is why there will be some kind of financial gain at the end of the day for whichever one gets all the answers (I've done some treasure hunts with them before and they loved hunting out the clues as much as I loved watching them - sometimes they worked as a team but mostly they competed against each other - thankfully they compete in a friendly way).
Anyway, the more I got into writing bits for the guidebook (I've added in some blank pages each day for them to make notes as I always write a diary if I am away and thought they may want to do the same) the more ideas I've come up with to the point I pretty much have a novel sized guidebook for them. !! A novel it may be but it's a mighty impressive one. I've amazed myself at how well I've laid it all out and the info I have. I've made up every question in the travel section quiz myself - which I've had to research first. The information in there is my own wording (I've read so many different pages on just one subject) with the exception of the wild animal safety. I got those from a website - I contacted the owner of the site and got their permission to copy their wording; I have a cousin who is an author so I always make sure I obtain the owners permission before I print/copy something. Most people are happy to let me without even wanting a mention but there have been a couple who were quite arsey about it. I bypassed their sites and found much friendlier ones. I've designed it all around them and what I know will keep it interesting for them and I've made the whole thing as interactive as I can without electronics. The only time they will be allowed their electronic gadgets will be in the evenings when we're back at the motels. We're going "old school" and I think they may end up being surprised at how much they enjoy the "old fashioned" stuff.
I may have to reduce the font size on the pages though so I can condense a few or it will cost me a small fortune to print them all out :) While it does look like a lot of info I've scaled back on what I could have (and wanted) to put in there :) I definitely don't think I shall hear the words "this is boring" or "I'm bored" at all throughout the whole 18 days. I can't wait to get out there now. I'm going to be really disappointed if the kids are unable to (or change their minds and don't want to) come with us now, for the book will be of no use to me at all - I already know the quiz answers :)