While we were in Washington D.C we were offered the Inauguration Booklet and the National Park Centennial Booklet which seemed a wee bit overwhelming.  After our thrilling adventure on the National Mall and fleeing through the downpour to the safety of a cab my  daughter (Lemon) was pretty much done.  Wild Thing being his 18 month old self just wanted to curl into a ball and nurse.   I had stuffed all our booklets in the stroller but then transferred them under my shirt (hardcore mom, right here ;),  but they still got wet.  Luckily sturdy covers kept them usable after a short nap on the hotel radiator.  Once we were warm and dry immediately the boredom set in.  OF COURSE.  Thankfully the NPS had my back and I had these two delightful booklets to occupy my daughter while consoling my rain hating toddler.  My parents and oldest son came in about an hour later, because cabs don’t fit 7 people so we had shoved the weakest of the lot into the cab.

The Inauguration booklet is all facts about Presidents and Inaugurations, parade routines, a word search and some drawing activities.  It is entirely self contained and you can complete it from your hotel room, even if you are miserable. There is one activity that let us practice “asking google” to identify some parks but not outside   I suggest having crayons on hand for youngers and colored pencils for older kids.  It is a bipartisan activity and honestly has no bearing on whomever is in office though it does ask for the current President’s name as well as their spouse.  I wasn’t able to find information on the availability of the Inauguration badge, and as it was coincidentally Inauguration weekend it is possible that it is limited.  It’s worth asking for if you are in the DC area, as I have found that many of the commemorative badges are given out until they run out.

The Centennial booklet is a little tougher but if you have visited even a handful of National Parks you will get through it.  This is a commemorative badge Celebrating 100 years of National Parks and was released in 2016.  We have been offered the badge as late as the summer of 2017 so it may not be too late!  There is good history on John Muir and the founding of the National Parks, a map of Native Cultures, Decoding that involves finger spelling and a map of parks.  The map is not a “complete” map but it allows the kids to identify the parks closest to them!  This one was a bit tougher for Lemon, but my oldest son breezed through and had a great time reflecting on previous National Park visits.  There are a lot of questions requiring reminiscing which were fun for us.

The best thing about these badges is that they are gorgeous wooden badges. We were able to track down the Inauguration badge, but everyone was out of the Centennial badge. The Ranger did swear them in and I was given an email address.  Our badges arrived about a week after I emailed, complete with stickers and rubber bracelets! Be sure to ask at any National Park you visit, because many still have at least the booklet.

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