Any time we hit the road we always keep our eyes open for bookstores to wander through and child-friendly activities and events to partake of. Our recent family road trip to northern Michigan offered plenty of fun in the sun by the big lake and led to the discovery of a new and used bookstore, as well as a hands on children’s museum that fueled my three-year-old daughter’s imagination and made us wish we didn’t live three hours away!
Sandcastles Children’s Museum in Ludington, Michigan is a bit of a misnomer. I was expecting a museum and, I suppose it is, but not in the typical way one would expect. Sandcastles is a place for children to create, discover and explore. It allows curious children to experience the landmarks of Ludington in a hands-on environment through interactive exhibits.
Over its three floors children are able to...
The creative, imaginative fun simply goes on and on and on.
Each area offers real life props for children to use that enhances the fun and learning. Additionally, sprinkled throughout the exhibits are informative articles and posters that explain the origins of the exhibits themselves, offer a bit of the history of Ludington and explain different topics related to the theme of the exhibit (such as information on keeping our pets safe and healthy in the Vet Center). As you move through the exhibits you will also find books relating to the different themes that you and your child can read together. It’s the perfect blending of imaginative play and reading aloud!
Another gem we discovered in Ludington is The Windowsill, a downtown bookstore that offers both new and used books in a well-organized, friendly atmosphere. I found several titles for myself and quite a few children’s books, some of which I have been hoping to find in my used sale travels and was able to snag at a great price!
The children's area offered titles for every age, from infant through teens. We especially appreciated the fact that the books were organized in such as a way as to be easily accessible to children. Nothing was up put on the top shelves, except special books for display, thus kids are able to browse at their leisure while parents look for books too. Stores like this one are our favorite because you just never know what you might find!
What fun places have you discovered while on the road with your family? Tell us in the comments!
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.