Tag: stories for kids

Rocky Ridge Farm: a Laura Ingalls Wilder site in Mansfield, Missouri

Rocky Ridge Farm: a Laura Ingalls Wilder site in Mansfield, Missouri

At the beginning of the year, we asked our girls to tell us one thing they wanted to do together as a family. Our oldest daughter picked rock-climbing for her activity. Our younger daughter told us she wanted to visit another Laura Ingalls Wilder site.

Two years ago, we traveled to the Ingalls Homestead in DeSmet, South Dakota. Last year, we stopped by the Masters Hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa on our way north to Wisconsin. According to our youngest, it’s become a bit of a tradition!

When we realized that our family travels would bring us less than two hours away from Laura’s Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri — well, we knew we had to go.

Laura Ingalls Wilder | Mansfield, Missouri

We arrived on a beautiful Saturday morning. All four of us were immediately impressed by the big, beautiful building that houses the museum and gift shop. We purchased our tickets and were invited into a small movie theater to watch a short, 10-minute video about Laura’s life in Mansfield.

Exciting the theater, we entered into a large room with 25-30 wonderful exhibits. We saw Pa’s fiddle, some of Laura’s clothing, and even a plate that survived a house fire early in the Wilders’ marriage. My girls especially loved the timeline running around the top of the room!

(Note: photos are not allowed inside the museum or either of the Wilder homes.)

Once we had our fill of the museum, we moved on to the gift shop. Since we have all the original Little House books (and some of the picture book versions), we told the kids they could each pick out a hat. Our oldest chose a pretty pink bonnet and our youngest (tactile learner) was immediately drawn to the coonskin caps. I also purchased a Rocky Ridge Farm magnet to add to our “adventure collection” on our fridge at home.

Rocky Ridge Farm | Mansfield, Missouri

Rocky Ridge Farm Tours

We had a picnic lunch outside before heading up the hill to tour the white Farm House. Our docent was incredibly knowledgeable and answered lots of questions from the entire group. I was especially fascinated by Laura’s library and writing area! I couldn’t stop staring at all the incredible wood accents throughout the house. It was definitely a comfortable home for the Wilders, which must have been a relief after Laura’s transient childhood.

From the Farm House, we took a paved trail (¾ mile, according to the gift shop clerk) “over the ridge” to the beautiful modern Rock House. We were told their daughter Rose had built for them after her success as a published author. (According to our docent, she rented the Farm House from her parents while they lived in the Rock House.) Honestly, as lovely as the Rock House is, I completely identified with Laura’s love for the Farm House and understood why she and Almanzo eventually moved back.

We loved our time out at Rocky Ridge Farm, despite the summer heat and Missouri humidity. I was glad it was our third location visit. Our first visit to the DeSmet Homestead “hooked” our kids on the excitement of living a prairie life. They’ve been totally engaged at the other two sites we’ve visited, despite the more adult exhibits and details.

Before leaving Mansfield, I asked my husband to drive by the cemetery. It was such a meaningful experience when we visited the Ingalls’ graves DeSmet, and I wanted to pay our respects to the Wilders. As famous and familiar as Laura and Almanzo are to us, it was humbling to see them buried in this small town cemetery just like their neighbors.

If you or your children love the Little House series, I highly recommend a visit to Rocky Ridge Farm, where Laura wrote her stories and lived out the last years of her life.

19 Moon Books for Kids

19 Moon Books for Kids

The Apollo 11 50th anniversary is coming up, and you know we are celebrating with a list of moon books for kids! This booklist has it all — from non-fiction fact books about the moon’s role in our solar system to biographies of the astronauts and scientists who made the moon landing possible.

19 books to celebrate the moon landing's 50th anniversary


Be sure to check out our moon-themed invitations to play in the Resource Library!


19 Moon Books for Kids

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

If you’ve been around here long, you know I LOVE Gail Gibbons’ non-fiction children’s books.

Seymour Simon also has great solar system books for kids, including this one about the moon.

If your library doesn’t have either of those, here’s a few more that give a good overview of the moon:

The Moon (Isaac Asimovs 21st Century Library of the Universe: the Solar System)

 

The Moon Seems to Change (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

 

Exploring Our Solar System: The Moon

While you are learning more about the moon landing, you might also want to check out books about astronauts:

Busy People: Astronaut

 

If You Decide to Go to the Moon

And now for books all about the moon landing!

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon 

 

Moon Landing (Graphic History) 

 

Eight Days Gone

 

Rocket To The Moon

 

When Neil Armstrong Built a Wind Tunnel

 

Ordinary People Change the World: I Am Neil Armstrong

 

One Giant Leap: The Story of Neil Armstrong

 

Neil Armstrong: Young Flyer

Apollo 11 Moon Landing: An Interactive Space Exploration Adventure


 

Our library doesn’t actually have Moonshot, but you might enjoy this article on Medium: “The Time I Called Out a Children’s Book Author For Letting Girls Down”


I AM raising a girl who wants to work at NASA when she grows up, so Katherine Johnson and Margaret Hamilton are big heroes around here. 😉

You Should Meet Katherine Johnson

Margaret and the Moon


Space Activities for Kids

While you’re here, be sure to check out our list of solar system books and space activities for kids!


Your library may have other moon books for kids. Can you think of any I missed?

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19 Great Moon Books for Kids

17 Bug Books for Kids

17 Bug Books for Kids

Spring has sprung, and we are excited to learn more about the bugs in our yard! There are so many fascinating facts about insects, and reading more about them can make learning fun. Our library has lots of great bug books for kids, and here are some of our favorites.

17 Fantastic Insect and Bug Books for Kids

Bug Books for Kids

(Just a reminder that Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.)

Scholastic’s Bug Dictionary by Jill Bailey

Worldwise: Insects and Spiders by Penny Clarke

Do All Bugs Have Wings? by Suzanne Slade

Bugs are Insects by Anne Rockwell

Usborne’s 1001 Bugs to Spot by Emma Helbrough

DK Eyewitness: Insects by Laurence Mound


Insect and Bug Activities for Kids

Want to learn more about bugs?

Check out our 40 fun learning activities!


Eric Carle Bug Books

Eric Carle is one of our favorite author-illustrators, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic children’s book! (Did you know it’s celebrating its 50th birthday?) Mr. Carle has also written a bunch of other books about insects and arachnids:

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Enjoy this sweet video of Mr. Carle talking about The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


More Insect Books for Kids

Taking my kids to the library to experience the non-fiction section is one of my favorite things. They get to explore a variety of books all about one topic and discover new authors they might not have tried otherwise. (Anne Rockwell and Gail Gibbons are two of our favorite non-fiction writers, and Lois Ehlert has written and illustrated many terrific children’s books!)

A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston

Becoming Butterflies by Anne Rockwell

Monarch Butterfly by Gail Gibbons

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

The Big Bug Book by Margery Facklam

Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming

It’s a Good Thing There Are Insects by Allan Fowler

Do you have favorite bug books for kids? Leave a comment, and let me know!