Steven has this excellent tip for river-lovers:
We take frequent canoe float trips here in the Ozarks (especially on the Buffalo National River), and we've discovered a great way to entertain kids while on the river. Don't bring toys from home — they get dirty, broken, and/or lost. Instead, bring a big bucket (an empty pickle bucket is great and free, but any big bucket will do) and fill it with rocks from the streambed at the put-in. Nothing entertains a kid like plunking rocks in the water, and the older kids can have rock-skipping contests. Our Ozark streams are mostly filled with 1"-3" smooth rocks that are great for this. Fill the bucket pretty close to full and fill the rest with water (adding water as the rocks disappear throughout the day), so it makes a great place to stash tadpoles or crawdads or minnows (to be released at the take-out) and a great place to rinse off grubby little hands. It's cheap (or free) and tons of fun.
Tags: Family travel