Monday, February 27, 2012

Our New Train Project

 Desert Boy and I were talking one morning over breakfast, and not surprisingly, the subject of trains came up. He talk about trains usually several times a day, but this particular morning he added in an adjective that gave me an idea and made me want to learn more.

We looked online to see if we could find a map of Amtrak routes that go near national parks. We found AmtraktoParks.com, which had some neat features. But we wanted to do something a little different. So I found an old map of the United States and we taped it to a big piece of cardboard.

 Next I drew all the Amtrak routes on the map in red. It was fascinating seeing where they followed an Interstate, where they followed a secondary highway, and in a very few places, where they followed no road at all. (And probably historically speaking, the railroad tracks were in many of those places before the roads were.)

Then we covered the whole thing with plastic Saran wrap, as Desert Girl was trying to abscond with the markers any chance I wasn't looking and add her own train routes. Desert Boy was pleasantly drawing volcanoes and other things he wanted to see on the excess cardboard around the map.

 We still wanted to do more to the map, such as add in some of the destinations, but before we got to that, it was time for a break. Desert Boy got out a couple little train cars and started chugging them around the train routes. He doesn't know many of the state names, but I think he might start picking up a few as time goes on, especially when the trains crash into each other. ("Caution, train crash in Texas. Please take alternate route.")

This is definitely a work in progress. It's been quite fun for all of us (except Desert Girl when the markers were taken away). It's also made me think about some possible vacations that could include the words "All Aboard!"

1 comment:

The Incredible Woody said...

I just love that kid! Maps are my most favorite thing in the whole world:)

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