Field Trip Journals Now Available!

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase.)

I have been the leader of a homeschool group for a while and have had the opportunity to organize many field trips over the years. I love having my daughters record their field trip experiences, and they have been doing that using free field trip logs I had found years ago.

Unfortunately, all of the individual papers aren’t organized very well, and I couldn’t find logs that included all of the information I wanted to be recorded. So, what did I do? I (finally) created my own field trip journals. I’m excited to announce they are now available for sale on Amazon (here).

The field trip journals offer space to record thoughts before, during, and after up to 24 different field trips. Below is a look at the first two pages.

Field Trip Journal pages 1-2

Check out more of the interior pages on my sneak peek of the field trip journal.

My daughters and I are looking forward to using the field trip journal on our upcoming field trip…a tour at a local airport. I wish I would have created these much sooner!

To your next field trip adventure!


Themed Books · Writing Appearances

18 Children’s Books to Celebrate President’s Day

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

Celebrating special days throughout the year can be a lot of fun! Recently, I had a post published on Hands On As We Grow about a fun activity to celebrate President’s Day that involved coins.

President Coin Rubbing

You can check out the fun President’s Day activity that promotes counting money and floating/sinking science on Hands On As We Grow here.

Sink and Float Counting Money President's Day Experiment

Below you will find a list of books (not listed in any particular order) that I compiled to go along with the easy tin foil boat money float or sink experiment (as it was called on Hands On As We Grow). These are all books I was able to check out from my library. I have included links along with the recommended ages (according to their descriptions on Amazon) for your convenience.

Books About Presidents

The President’s Day activity I did focused only on the presidents that were found on the penny, nickel, dime, and quarters. These books provide a little more explanation for presidents as a whole instead of focusing on specific ones.

President: A Presidential Primer by Joan Holub

Short rhyming poems and an additional sentence describe George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama in this board book about presidents.

Recommended ages: 3-5 years

What is the President’s Job by Allison Singer

Brief explanation about presidents, voting, campaigning, elections, requirements to be a president, monuments built to honor presidents, the White House, Washington D.C., Congress, and presidential traditions are given throughout this level 2 reader book. It ends with asking if the reader would like to be a president and a quiz on things discussed in the book.

Recommended ages: 5-7 years

If I Were the President by Thomas Kingsley Troupe

Following the point of view of a young boy, this book talks about what he would do as a president, where he would live, what else he would be known as, and how the Secret Service agents would help him. It ends with a page explaining what the requirements of becoming a president are.

Recommended ages: 5-8 years

White House Winners: What You Don’t Know About the Presidents by L.J. Tracosas

A lot of words throughout this book explain the responsibilities of a president, three branches of the federal government, requirements to be president, and interesting facts about each of the 45 presidents. Did you know Abraham Lincoln is listed in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame?

Recommended ages: 6-8 years

Books About Abraham Lincoln (President on the Penny)

Look at a penny and a five-dollar bill. Whose face do you see? Abraham Lincoln’s face. Here are some books that focus on President Abraham Lincoln’s life and accomplishments.

I am Kind: A Little Book About Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer

This board book starts off by asking the reader: “What kind of voice will you have?” It then mentions different voices a person may have, being kind, and speaking up for what is right.

Recommended ages: 2-5 years

I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer

This book talks about how Abraham Lincoln loved to read, stood up for what was right, and knew how to write as a young child. As he grew older, he got in a fight against bullies, saw slaves, ran for president four times before being elected as president, and spoke against slavery.

Recommended ages: 5-8 years

What Lincoln Said by Sarah L. Thomson

This book follows the life of Abraham Lincoln as he earned his first dollar, studied law, became a lawyer, considered becoming president, won the presidential election, worked to keep the states together, and signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Recommended ages: 6-9 years

My Itty Bitty Bio: Abraham Lincoln by Emma E. Haldy

Simple text discusses where Abraham Lincoln was born, how he learned, whom he married, his presidency, freeing slaves, and who killed him. Questions are provided throughout the book for the reader to answer.

Recommended ages: 4-6 years

My First Biography: Abraham Lincoln by Marion Dane Bauer

This book discusses where Abraham Lincoln was born, what his childhood was like, how he learned, running for president, the Civil War, Gettysburg Address, and slavery.

Recommended ages: 3-5 years

Meet Abraham Lincoln by Patricia A. Pingry

This book talks about Abraham Lincoln’s childhood, growing up, getting married, being elected as president, having children, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War, and being shot and killed. It ends with discussing Abraham Lincoln being remembered by having his face on the five-dollar bill and penny and having the Lincoln Memorial built.

Recommended ages: 4+ years

Books about Thomas Jefferson (President on the Nickel)

Whose face will you find on a nickel? President Thomas Jefferson. These books focus on President Thomas Jefferson’s life and accomplishments.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock

Thomas Jefferson read, read, and then read some more as soon as he learned to read. His love of books and reading continued as he grew older. He even “bought two thousand books in five years, more than a book a day.”  The books at the Library of Congress were destroyed in a fire during a war, so Thomas Jefferson donated over 6,500 books to start a new Library of Congress. Additional information and quotes are added throughout the pages.

Recommended ages: 8-12 years

First Peas to the Table by Susan Grigsby

This is the story of “how Thomas Jefferson inspired a school garden”. A class holds a garden contest and one girl really wants to win. She has a nickel (which has Thomas Jefferson on the front and his home, Monticello, on the back) as a good luck charm. The kids learn about the plant life cycle, growing plants, composting, taking notes, and a little bit about Thomas Jefferson throughout the story.

Recommended ages: 4-8 years

Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation by Peggy Thomas

Thomas Jefferson insisted America was worth visiting and living in. He tried hard to combat the negative remarks of another man, Count Buffon, to prove this, which led to an interesting (yet disgusting) story about a dead moose being transported for nine months. The book continues with more information about Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase. Quite a bit of text.

Recommended ages: 9-12 years

The True Story of the Quest for America’s Biggest Bones: Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt by Carrie Clickard

This rhyming book talks about Thomas Jefferson’s debate with Count Buffon and Jefferson’s persistence to prove that America was great leading to a mammoth hunt. An author’s note and additional back matter give more explanation.

Recommended ages: 4-8 years

Books about Franklin Roosevelt (President on the Dimes)

He may be the president found on the dime, but President Franklin Roosevelt was very challenging to find in children’s books at my local library. Unfortunately, I was only able to find one on him.

Nice Work, Franklin! by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain

There is quite a bit of text in this book, so younger kids may not be interested in sitting through the entire reading. It begins by talking about how “lucky” President Franklin D. Roosevelt was. Then it discusses his polio and being confined in a wheelchair. Some people didn’t think someone in a wheelchair could be strong enough to hold a job in the government, but he didn’t let that stop him from running for positions in government. At his presidential inauguration, he took a stand (literally) with the help of his leg braces, cane, and son. Once in office, Roosevelt had people build “dams, highways, tunnels, parks, schools, and bridges” among other things. It ends with “Nice work, Franklin!”

Recommended ages: 5-9 years

Books about George Washington (President on the Quarters)

Who is on the quarter? President George Washington, of course! We celebrate President’s Day on the third Monday of February each year because George Washington’s birthday is February 22nd. He was born 288 years ago (in 1732). You can also find states on the back of some quarters, but many of those states became states after George Washington’s time.

I am George Washington by Brad Meltzer

This book discusses George Washington’s childhood, who had a big impact in George Washington’s life, his job as a surveyor, joining the military, running for office (and losing), the American Revolutionary War, being chosen as a leader, and being a leader.

Recommended ages: 5-8 years

George Washington: The First President by Sarah Albee

This Level 2 Reader discusses George Washington’s role when independence from Britain was declared by America, George Washington’s childhood, Mount Vernon, the French and British War, meeting and marrying Martha Custis, and becoming the first president of the United States.

Recommended ages: 4-8 years

Meet George Washington by Patricia A. Pingry

This book talks about George Washington’s childhood, growing up, becoming a surveyor, becoming a plantation owner, meeting and marrying Martha Custis, the French and British War, the crossing of the Delaware River, becoming president, his time after his presidency, Washington D.C., and the Washington Monument.

Recommended ages: 4+ years

Books about Money

Money may not necessarily tie in with President’s Day, but it does tie in with the activity I did for President’s Day on Hands On As We Grow. Below are some books about money you can read as you look at coins with the presidents’ faces on them.

I did not write a description of each of these, but I did provide (affiliate) links to find more information. I was able to find all of these books at my local library.

Just Saving My Money by Mercer Mayer

Recommended ages: 4-8 years

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

Recommended ages: 5-6 years

I Can Count Money by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson

Recommended ages: 6-9 years

Money Madness by David A. Adler

Recommended ages: 4-8 years

M is for Money: An Economic Alphabet by Debbie and Michael Shoulders

Recommended ages: 8-11 years

Books about Floating and Sinking

Floating and sinking may not necessarily tie in with President’s Day, but it does tie in with the activity I did for President’s Day on Hands On As We Grow. Below are some books about floating and sinking you can read before or after trying the President’s Day activity I wrote about.

I did not write a description of each of these, but I did provide (affiliate) links to find more information. I was able to find all of these books at my local library.

Boats Float by Rebecca Glaser

Recommended ages: 1-3 years

Big Machines Float by Catherine Veitch

Recommended ages: 4-7 years

What Floats? What Sinks? A Look at Density by Jennifer Boothroyd

Recommended ages: 6-9 years

Curious George: The Boat Show by Raye Lankford

Recommended ages: 4-7 years

Things That Float and Things That Don’t by David A. Adler

Recommended ages: 4-8 years

What Floats in a Moat? by Lynne Berry

Recommended ages: 5-9 years

Will you read any of these books as you celebrate President’s Day?



For other themed books, check out:

14 Children’s Books About Teachers

8 Children’s Books About Community Helpers

25+ Books About Owls

10 Cookbooks for Kids

Themed Books

15 Children’s Books about Kindness and Friendship

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

Happy February!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day (February 14th), National Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17th), and Send a Card to a Friend Day (February 7th) by reading some of these children’s books about friendship and kindness.

Pass it On by Sophy Henn

This book shows how simply passing on goodness can make someone else’s day. The phrase “grab your wellies and your coat” made me pause at first, but then I realized the book had originally been published in Great Britain. How can you “pass it on” throughout your day?

Kindness Makes us Strong by Sophie Beer

What is kindness? Simple text throughout this book gives multiple answers to what kindness is by giving examples of what children can do to show kindness.

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton

Brian doesn’t get chosen to be on a team or to attend a birthday party. He is often alone at school. He is the “invisible boy”. Then, a new student named Justin shows up. One simple act of kindness from Brian leads to some new friendships and a boy who is no longer “invisible”. The illustrations throughout this book definitely add to the emotions of the story.

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

All the animals are grumpy but hats apparently make things better. Hooray for the hats and “hooray for friends!”

Lola’s Rules for Friendship by Jenna McCarthy and Sara Palacios

Lola has at least 347 friends. Then, she must move with her family and find ways to make new friends. Thankfully, she knows exactly what the rules for friendship are.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtensheld

Limited rhyming text tells a simple story of how stick and stone go from a one and a zero to “a perfect ten”.

Rescue & Jessica: A Life Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, and Scott Magoon

This was a beautifully written story based on a real-life friendship of Jessica Kensky, who became a double amputee as a result of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and her service dog, Rescue. The story captures the feelings of Rescue and Jessica (who is portrayed as a girl in the story) as it goes back and forth between each of their points of view. Through hard work and determination, they are able to move forward together and become friends.

Friendship Quilt by Cecil Kim and HaJin Jeong

Hank tries very hard to make Raddie happy again after her grandmother passes away but nothing seems to work until he comes up with a great idea. He and his friends sew a quilt using fabric that has a special meaning to each of them (including a piece of fabric from Hank’s mom who had also passed away). The quilt filled with memories is then gifted to Raddie, and the friends are able to make more memories together.

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness by Karascoet

This story is told through illustrations only, but there is a brief explanation of the characters on the book jacket’s flap. The illustrations show the story of a new girl at school being picked on by a boy. Another girl decides to stand up and befriend her.

This is Not That Kind of Book by Christopher Healy and Ben Mantle

The characters in this book are not sure what kind of book they are in. Is it an alphabet book, a fairy tale, or some other type of book? After much debate (and humor), the characters decide to work together and be friends.

Shy by Deborah Freeman

Shy is so shy he doesn’t make an actual appearance in the book until the end. He loves birds and sees one particular bird he wants to talk to but is too shy to say anything. The bird leaves. Shy goes out and searches for the bird and discovers the beauty of the world. But he is still too shy to say anything to anyone. He heads back home. Finally, he has enough courage to call out to the bird. And the two become friends.

Stubby: A True Story of Friendship by Michael Foreman

A soldier is preparing for war and is befriended by a dog, which he names Stubby. The soldier bonds with Stubby as he teaches him tricks and prepares with the other soldiers. He later sneaks him in his bag as he heads to battle. Stubby becomes a very important member of the soldier’s group. He alerts them of enemy soldiers, warns them of poison gas attacks, and snuggles during the cold, gunfire-filled nights. There are a few intense pages as Stubby is injured during battle, but he rejoins the soldier after six weeks of healing. Stubby returns home after the war as a hero. Based on a true story of a dog named Stubby during WWI.

We Can Get Along: A Child’s Book of Choices by Lauren Murphy Payne and Melissa Lwai

Sometimes people get along with each other and sometimes they don’t. This book explores the feelings based on the choices people may make and talks about how people can get along. There are additional pages in the back of the book for discussion.

Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children by Carol McCloud, Katherine Martin, and David Messing

Everyone has his or her own invisible bucket. People are happy when their buckets are filled with love and happiness, but they are sad when their buckets are empty. The book explains ways to fill other people’s buckets, so they can be happy.

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jen Hill

A young girl reflects on how she could have shown kindness when another kid in her school spilled grape juice all over herself. Being kind isn’t always easy, but maybe she can start small. And maybe those small things will turn into something big!

What is your favorite children’s book about kindness and friendship?


Check out these posts for more themed books:

14 Childrens Books About Teachers

8 Children’s Books About Community Helpers

5 Interactive Educational Children’s Books

22 Children’s Books with Surprise Endings

Ramblings · Writing Appearances

Fun Balloon Activities for Kids

How are you doing on your goals for 2020 so far?

I’m working on a few different projects right now including Aah! Blown Away, Crash!another journal, and a nonfiction book for adults. I’m not sure how far I will get with any of those, but I will keep working at them when I am able. I hope to get all of them published some time this year!

I am also still writing for Hands On As We Grow. You can check out my most recent post about a fun energy busting activity to do with kids that involves balloons here. It’s a perfect activity for the bitterly cold days like we’ve been having here in Iowa!

Fun indoor balloon activity

Balloons are one of those supplies I always have on hand at home. And this is actually the third activity I’ve had published on Hands On As We Grow within the last twelve months that involves balloons.

My daughters couldn’t control their laughter when we did this crazy fun balloon activity.

Balloon Activity Race for Kids

I love this picture of my niece when I did this water balloon shape matching activity with her.

Bucket with water balloons

Balloons can also be used in science experiments like this simple science experiment.

Simple Science Experiment

And this simple science experiment with yeast.

Bread Making Devotional Balloon Experiment

We even had a bunch of balloons out recently for my family’s annual New Year’s Eve tradition. I fill balloons with pieces of paper that include different activities to do throughout the day and into the evening.

My daughters always have fun popping the balloons to find out what our next activity will be. We generally come up with a list of activities we all want to do together ahead of time, but they don’t know which balloons contain those activities.

Of course, we pick up all of the pieces of the balloons as soon as they are popped so our cats don’t get a hold of them. My cat apparently had to make sure the balloons weren’t getting away.

Cat Watching Balloon

What are some fun activities you do with balloons?


Sneak Peek of Field Trip Journal

My daughters and I have enjoyed going on many field trips over the years. We have toured places such as a sawmill, pigeon farm, goat farm, recycling center, landfill, fire station, apple orchard, pumpkin patch, stores, post offices, police station, state parks, national parks, and more. There are so many places to explore!

Some of the field trips have included hands-on activities such as when we sorted apples at an apple orchard.

sorting apples

Check out these 21 children’s books about apples.

I love having my daughters document the field trips. For the past few years, we have been filling out this free field trip log from The Unlikely Homeschool. This has worked great for us, but I have been wanting an actual journal to keep their field trip records together. And I wanted to be able to record extra information that wasn’t included on the free field trip logs.

So, I created a field trip journal! The proof of the field trip journal has arrived for me to look through before it is officially published. The field trip journal will be available for purchase on Amazon in the near future.

Here is the proof of the field trip Journal. The actual field trip journal will not have a strip across the cover that says “Not for Resale”.

Field Trip Journal

This easy-to-carry 7.5″ x 9.25″ lightweight paperback journal has enough space to record up to twenty-four field trips. Of course, you can do the math. That’s two field trips each month for a year or one field trip each month for two years.

The beginning has space for the journal owner to write his or her name and the dates the journal was started and ended. There is also a customizable Table of Contents. The student can write the field trip name on each of the lines to easily refer to those field trip entries.

field trip journal interior

I also included a list of 33 field trip ideas and space for the student to write field trips to visit in the future. I have been a leader of a homeschool group and planned many field trips over the years, so I have lots of ideas!

There are four repeated pages for each of the field trips. The first two pages include the field trip number and space to fill in information for: where, when, with whom, I already know…, things to bring…, questions to ask, description, my favorite part…, my least favorite part…, and I learned…

Field Trip Journal pages 1-2

The third page provides space to insert pictures or drawings. The fourth page offers space to give a rating and fill in information such as: I should thank…, How did I say thank you, and more information I learned after the field trip.

Field Trip Journal pages 3-4

There are four extra pages in the back of the journal for any additional drawings, pictures, writings, or memorabilia from the field trips. There is also a page to write about the favorite field trip.

I’m looking forward to having my daughters fill their own field trip journals up with all of our future field trips. I wish I had created this field trip journal much sooner!

What was your favorite field trip?

Update: Field trip journals are now available here (affiliate link)!