Who: Local writer Catherine Ryan Gregory, mom to 7- and 5-year-old daughters and author of the family travel blog To & Fro Fam felt powerless and frustrated as the pandemic forced her to cancel trips to both faraway destinations such as China, Taiwan, Japan and Ethiopia, and closer-to-home jaunts to Bend and San Diego. So she channeled her frustrations into a book.

What: Ryan Gregory penned Virtual Travel Activities for Kids (e-book or printed version available on Amazon.com). Ryan Gregory designed activities that only take about half an hour to complete and do not require parents to do prep work. “The activities are fun and also educational, so they incorporate hands-on ways of learning math, science, engineering, music, language, dance and more,” says Ryan Gregory. “They’re also easily adaptable for a range of ages. My preschooler enjoyed most of them, and a friend of mine is using the book with her eighth grader.” 

Why: Ryan Gregory wrote the book to help parents give their kids options for travel activities beyond a virtual tour on a screen — and as a way to help her cope during this uncertain time. “Writing a book gave me something I could control in a world that felt out of control,” says Ryan Gregory. “I wrote the book in less than a month by breaking down how much I’d need to write every day, getting up at 5 am to write before my kids woke up, and really sticking to that routine. Focusing on that gave me a little power back.”

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Denise Castañon
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