How to sneak in a little history on your summer vacation: Fort Hays

Fort HaysSummer is almost upon us and the question on every parents mind is: “How do I incorporate  a little learning in with our summer vacations?” Summer is a time to sit back enjoy a nice cup of lemonade, the outdoors, and spend time with those wonderful kids.  Every family loves going on vacation to visit family, business trips with mom or dad, or just for fun.  How do you make sure those little minds stay sharp in the summer without them knowing they are learning?

IMG_7569We travel full time in a 5th wheel and visit museum, zoo, historical sites, national and state parks.  When we are someplace for a couple of weeks (like a stay at home vacation), we start by visiting the visitor center and googling “things we can do with kids in xxx place”.  My secret is to make these adventures are fun, are no worksheets, no tests, and no book reports.  Just have a few discussions on the subject you just learned about, maybe see if your kids can earn a badge (all state and national parks have them), have the kids take all the pictures, or jus enjoy the adventure (they’re learning if you like it or not).

IMG_7608We visited Fort Hayes which is a fort basically in the middle of no-where and an outpost to prevent attacks from the Indians. The fort was originally called Fort Fletcher and was established to prevent Indian attacks but the stage went bankrupt.  It was reopened to help protect the workers building the Union Pacific Eastern Division railway westward, parallel to the Smoky Hill Trail.


fort haysMost of the building were originally made of limestone so many of the soldiers carved their names into the side of the building.  We were all given a card of a solder and the opportunity to find out who we were and why we were there at the fort, which the girls thought was super cool.  The volunteer at the fort gave us a personal tour of the officer quarters that are still standing.  They learned about Blue Lady ghost who died at the fort and still haunts the fort today, but we didn’t see her.  Most of the land was given to the University and made into public parks.

About Chrissie

Follow our crazy journey across America as we visit roadside oddities, historical land marks and beautiful landscapes. I have ton of ideas and review educational products that will help you get the most on your home school adventure. We are an Unschool family that believes the world is our classroom and is teaching our children to self direct their education to a better future.

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