Family road trips are a great way to have some fun and learn new things
If you want to make your trip educational, there are a few things you can incorporate into your itinerary that will help your kids learn and grow.
RVers like to call this roadschooling! You and your family can explore history, cultural centers, visit landmarks, and more without ever cracking open a book or listening to a boring lecture. Instead, let your road trip be an immersive learning experience for your kids.
Sightsee along the way
You don’t have to structure your whole trip around learning experiences unless you want to. If you’re going for a beach vacation or a mountain hideaway, there’s no reason to feel like you have to take lots of time away from those things to make room for learning trips.
Instead, make it all part of the process by finding sites that are along the route you’re planning to take. A half-day detour or short sightseeing stop won’t derail your plans for camping fun, and it will help break up the monotony of a long drive.
Looking for good ideas? Here are a few key tips to get you started.
1. Historical sites
History comes alive with historic preservation and reenactment sites. These can be large or small, and there are many located in each different state.
Chances are, you’ll be able to find a preservation site relatively close to most destinations. Why not take a guided tour, or see a demonstration of a traditional craft? Examples of this could be traditional glass blowing or hand-spinning wool.
Whatever you choose, kids will love visiting historical places, especially if they aren’t thrilled about learning social studies from a textbook. These visits can make history real, exciting, and more importantly, fun!
2. Cultural institutions
There’s a wide variety of cultural institutions that you can visit, from zoos, science centers, parks, art museums, and more. The sky’s the limit!
Kids love viewing majestic animals or big snakes at the city zoo. Aquariums are another typical favorite, with interesting tanks filled with lurid colors and shapes.
Older kids will love the science center and art museums, where they can participate in experiments or analyze different styles and periods of art.
Wherever you’re headed, there’s sure to be a few interesting cultural institutions that can help your family experience the local arts, music, history, and environment.
3. Get creative with a travel journal
Even if you plan lots of stops with interesting sites, long trips can get boring, especially for kids.
You can combat the boredom by supplementing your site visits with travel journaling. Bring a journal for each child, and pack a kit with pens, markers, pencils, stickers, and the like. Try to keep the supplies all together in one bag for easy access and storage.
Have your kids spend their downtime on the road creating travel journals. Don’t pressure them to make it too academic. You don’t want it to feel like homework! Instead, encourage them to write down the places they visited and what they saw.
Ask prompting questions for them to explore in their journal. What was your favorite part? Why don’t you draw a picture of the most interesting exhibit?
This boredom buster also helps foster learning, critical thinking, and writing skills. Kids may not always be enthusiastic about doing a lot of writing, but if you make it fun and expressive with stickers and embellishments, they will enjoy creating a journal of memories.
Make road trips fun with learning and education
Road trips are a great opportunity to sneak in some learning, even if your kids don’t realize it. In fact, that’s the best way! Take detours, visit interesting sites, learn from museums, zoos and parks, and let your kids be immersed in learning by doing.
Not only will you be helping them grow their knowledge, but you’ll also be creating family memories that will last a lifetime.
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