Now that school kids are on Spring Break many families are likely hitting the road for a much-needed vacation. There are some fun and easy ways to incorporate learning into your trip. Traveling is one of the best ways to teach children of all ages because along with the excitement of the new surroundings their curiosity will be on high alert.
Take advantage of this engaging one-on-one time and use these educational tips to make your trip a learning adventure!
- When taking long trips, bring educational activities like workbooks, sketch pads, mess-free markers and magic paper, tablets loaded with learning games and books-on-tape for them to listen to. Not only will this help you avoid hearing, “Are we there yet?” every five-minutes, but it’s a way to sneak in some extra learning time.
- Before you go, buy a guidebook for the destination and let your children research the activities, restaurants, historic sites and more that they want to do! Not only is this helpful to make sure the trip will be exciting for the whole family, but it’s a great way to engage their minds. BONUS TIP: Have them take notes about what they hope to learn at each stop.
- Let the kids handle the navigation. Map reading is an excellent life skill and especially useful in new areas. As much as possible, and depending on the children’s ages, let them guide you through the city. It teaches them a valuable skill as well as boosting their self-confidence.
- Have the kids pack themselves and only assist as-needed. Tell them what you plan to do and what types of outfits to select and then let them do the work! Again, this takes some of the travel planning load off the parents and gives the children the responsibility and accountability of bringing along everything they will need. Maybe even pull up the weather report for your destination together online and let them decide what type of outfits will be appropriate for the weather!
- Pack trivia cards and play road trip games like spotting difference state license plates, eye spy for colors, animals or objects or the alphabet game. There are a variety of flash card road trip games for all ages including Bible Trivia Challenge that are fun and keep young minds engaged and thinking while on the road. Pick games that are age-appropriate and pull them out throughout your trip when there is downtime.
- Let the kids help with budgeting and paying for things on the trip. Managing money is an essential life skill that kids only learn when asked to try. So, here’s their chance! Let them calculate the tip at restaurants, budget the gas for the miles you will be driving, Etc. The learning opportunities are endless.
Now that you have some great spring break travel tips to incorporate learning into your vacation don’t forget to reinforce what they learned when you get home. Buy them a special “Our Vacation” journal and let them write entries each day along the way and then review them together when you get back. Recalling the journal entries and viewing the family photos together will help these special memories and lessons last a lifetime.