Nathaniel did have a good time playing the sand/dirt while the tour guide talked.
After our visit to Cliff Palace, we stopped along one of the roads and saw some kivas and other cliff dwellings. This kiva was on top of the mesa. The people who lived at Mesa Verde changed their type of housing throughout time. At first the Ancestral Puebloan people lived on the Mesa. They first lived in pit houses dug into the ground, then in houses made above ground and then into villages on the mesa. The last group of Puebloan people were the ones who made and lived in the cliff dwellings (the things you learn when you do junior ranger badges!)
One of the pages that the kids could do to earn their junior ranger badges was a Bingo game. One of the things they had to spot was a lizard. We saw lots of them when we stopped at the archaeological sites.
One thing Brian and I remarked on later was how much Mesa Verde has changed since we were kids. The sites haven't changed but the way that the tour guides talk about the place has changed. No longer do they talk about the cliff dwelling as ruins nor do they talk about the Anasazi. These cliff dwellings are still ancestral homes to Native Americans. The Puebloan people were the ones who lived here and once they left Mesa Verde, the Pueblo split into various other Native American tribes.