Skip to content


We’ve recently joined American Heritage Girls. One of the badges the girls are earning this year teaches them about puppets. Here are some great videos showing different types of puppets!

Stick Puppets


Shadow Puppet

Vietnamese Water Puppet

Making a Marionette


The Civil War and Jr. Ranger badges

As a child I read every history book I could find. (My favorite series came from Landmark books).  I still love history and am trying to impart this love in my children. To do so, my favorite way is hands-on learning.  Since we live in the backyard of many of the Civil War battlefields, we’ve had a great time working on many of the Jr. Ranger badges at the National Parks.  There are also many great badges you can work on from your own sofa.  Here are the some we have found:

The Web Ranger program provides a great overview for kids for many different US National Parks.  After completing all of the activities on the site, kids earn a Web Ranger badge.  The specific activities related to the Civil War are:

  • Young Abraham Lincoln,
  • Civil War Soldier,
  • Help Abraham Lincoln get to the White House

For those interested in an overview on the Red Cross and Clara Barton’s role in the Civil War, there are two great Jr. Ranger Badges kids can earn:

  • The Traveling Clara Barton is a unique program which allows kids to visit sites where Clara Barton worked. After getting a stamp for all six locations, kids earn a badge. For those who can’t travel to the East Coast, you can mail a Clara form to each of the locations.  Our Clara apparently is doing quite a bit of work at one of the sites, and we haven’t seen her for almost two months.  We’re hoping she’ll return soon.
  • Virtual Clara Barton Tour – The Park service came up with a great way to see Clara Barton’s Glen Echo home online. Complete the tour (takes about an hour), mail in the certificate and you earn a Clara Barton Web Ranger badge. We did this prior to visiting her home. The kids were better prepared for the home tour because they had seen many of the things the ranger mentioned.

If you’re interested in learning about the underground railroad, there is National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Jr. Ranger badge. We liked it because it gave a great overview on the how slaves escaped and the people who helped them.

The National Parks Service has done a great job with the Web Ranger program and is suitable for children of many ages. It particularly helps prepare for trips to a site. I hope your family develops a love for history through these resources.

Civil War & the National Parks System

We managed to earn 4 junior ranger badges during 6 days of site seeing and are working to complete 3 more badges at national historic sites we visited but weren’t able to complete.  I LOVE hands-on history.

One of the Park Rangers gave me a paper listing the cards located at the various parks.  My kids are now eager for the next road trip to collect more cards.  Here’s a list of the locations:

Northeast Region: 12 parks (86 cards)


  • Boston African-American NHS (1 card)
  • Boston Harbor Island NER (7 cards)
  • Boston NHP (6 cards)
  •  New Bedford Whaling NHP (10 cards)
  • Lowell NHP (5 cards)

New Hampshire

  • Saint-Gaudens NHS (4 cards)


  • Gettysburg NMP (8 cards)


  • Appomattox Court House NHP (6 cards)
  • Colonial NHP (5 cards)
  • Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania NMP (21 cards)
  • Petersburg NB (6 cards)
  • Richmond NBP (7 cards)
National Capital Region:  11 parks (103 cards) 
  • Ford’s Theater NHS (13 cards)
  • National Mall and Memorial Parks (15 cards)
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway (2 cards)
  • Antietam NB (11 cards)
  • C & O Canal (12 cards)
  • Clara Barton NHS (4 cards)
  • Manassas NB (10 cards)
  • Monocacy NB (11 cards)
  • Arlington House, Robert E. Lee Memorial (8 cards)
  • Civil War Defenses of Washington (3 cards)
West Virginia
  • Harper’s Ferry NHP (14 Cards)

Hello world!

Welcome to After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.