Taking the kids to a country swimming hole under the shadow of Volcán Mombacho at Aguas Agrias, Nicaragua.

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Nicaragua is full of unique destinations off the beaten path that you can scope out if you want to avoid the main tourist attractions. When you are ready to head down a dirt road with little to no signage, you will find a very pure side of Nicaragua that is best known only to Nicaraguans, themselves.

We visited Aguas Agrias located at the base of the south side of Volcán Mombacho to give the kids a chance to cool off in a fresh, mineral spring. I had heard that the spring was very clean and clear which ended up being a very accurate description of the water quality. The water bubbles up from an underground source and calmly pools enough mineral water to create a luxurious swimming hole before slowly running off into an adjoining river. Continue reading “Taking the kids to a country swimming hole under the shadow of Volcán Mombacho at Aguas Agrias, Nicaragua.”

The easy, encouraging parent tutorial on how to play Pokémon with your kids! You can do this!

Pokémon Tutorial Feature Image

Picture you and your child one-on-one, blocking out the crazy world around you for some quality family time that you get credit for because you are playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game and that means in kid world that YOU CARE.*

If you totally focus and read through this tutorial you can learn how to play Pokémon in less than 15 minutes.

*If you want to know why I feel strongly enough about the Pokémon Trading Card Game to write an online tutorial, start with this post Why I Play Pokémon, but if you are already ready to learn keep reading! Continue reading “The easy, encouraging parent tutorial on how to play Pokémon with your kids! You can do this!”

Parents, you need to learn how to play Pokémon. It is way more than a trading card game for kids.

Why I Play Pokémon

A confession.

I love playing Pokémon with my son, Aiden. The Pokémon trading card game may have been created with kids like Aiden in mind, but it’s roped me into his world too and that’s a good thing.  Because my second confession is that even though I am a stay-at-home mom and homeschooled Aiden for his first 4 grades, this also made me a reluctant multitasker. And if I am honest with myself about being a multitasker, it can mean that I am not giving my full attention to any one person or activity exclusively, including being with my son. Continue reading “Parents, you need to learn how to play Pokémon. It is way more than a trading card game for kids.”

This digital reader life hack gets you free library books anywhere you travel.

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We bought this great book before we knew we could borrow it instead.

One of the problems that I faced in my first year of living in Nicaragua was that I acutely felt the loss of not living near a world-class library system. We had brought our own physical library of books but as you know with kids, they consume books like paper towels when they love to read and we found that ordering books from organizations like Better World Books didn’t work for Nicaragua, they were simply stolen from out of the mail.

We began to rely more heavily on our Kindle Paperwhite digital reader for purchasing new titles. Aiden was at that time just starting to read chapter books but he could get through them so quickly! Books were becoming a frequent purchase and there was always a need for more titles- not only for Aiden but for me, too. Continue reading “This digital reader life hack gets you free library books anywhere you travel.”

Packing for the kids to head to Granada, Nicaragua!

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Moms and dads are always pondering about what to pack for a long term stay in Granada.  It’s hard to know what can be easily picked up when you arrive and what really requires some preplanning to have ready to go in the suitcase.

Most everything can be purchased in Nicaragua in some form or another.  However, it is often not at the price you wanted to pay or the quality that you hoped to find.  Shopping is also not the enjoyable experience that it is at home and there is no online retail to be had in Nicaragua.

For those reasons, I highly recommend doing any necessary shopping before you leave home and pay the extra luggage costs for additional baggage.  Those fees will seem cheap in comparison to the time and money you will fork out if you wait to find it when you arrive to Nicaragua.

Here is my list of helpful items to purchase before you leave home:

Toys

What to Bring Toys
Legos are super expensive in Nicaragua so bring a few bags with you. And don’t forget your Pokémon cards if you are a fan!

No matter how many days you are staying in Nicaragua, please bring some favorite familiar toys for your kids.  The same toys they like back home, they will like here, if not more.

When in doubt and it could reasonably go along with you, bring it.  Pack your trading cards games, bags of Legos, dolls and action figures, water toys, and anything else that you feel would help them relax and engage playing on their own or with other kids they meet.

Daily clothes, shoes and school uniforms

Stock up on your kid’s daily wear before you leave. Clothes wear out quickly in Nicaragua and are not easily replaced.  Continue reading “Packing for the kids to head to Granada, Nicaragua!”