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Summer is often the time when families hit the road. Whether it’s a vacation, visiting family, or heading off to camps and conferences… we are on the move.
The first really long road trip we made as a family was from Minnesota to Louisiana for a wedding when the boys were just about 2 and 3 years old. This was before ipads and other devices so we did what we could: We wedged a tiny TV between the front two seats and made a 6 hour video tape of Dora the Explorer and Bob the Builder episodes to entertain the troops.
Before you say, “What were you thinking…6 hours of Dora?!” We weren’t totally crazy, we also brought The Wiggles videos.
Oh, wait. Nevermind.
As kids get older, though, there is so much that you can do to make family trips more enjoyable, more memory-filled, and more intentionally filled with learning.
The Basics: A More Enjoyable Road Trip
A good variety of solid road trip snacks is essential. What’s your go-to snack for trips?
We also like to bring along a selection of audiobooks and podcasts for our road trips. Some are more educational in aim, others are purely for enjoyment. Either way, we’ve built some favorite family memories listening together.
And besides audiobooks, Emily has put together a fantastic list of other non-screen ways to keep your kids occupied on road trips. Great ideas here!
Learning While You Travel
If you’re going to Disney World, take the time to learn about the multitude of educational references and learning opportunities. (Are you thinking, “But it’s an amusement park.”?? … Ah! But it’s so much more–I really can’t wait for you to read this!!)
And if you want more direction in adding Disney to your homeschool, my new ebook has tons of ideas for studies, as well as free printables to help you.
Wherever your trip takes you, adding learning with Smashbooks is both fun and educational. My boys loved making these!
Eva has lots of travel/learning ideas to check out. One of my favorites is how her family incorporated studying chemical reactions while visiting the Statue of Liberty. So clever!
Adding real-world studies to your homeschooling can be a good tool for gifted children to add experiences to their already strong book-smarts. (Yes! That IS my messy-haired kid in front of Devil’s Tower!)
Cindy also has TONS of Nature Studies that are some of my favorite things. If you’re going to be spending time outside, these are worth checking out. We super loved using these!
Aside from educational topics, have you thought about other things that family trips can teach? I hadn’t! This post at Triumphant Learning brings up loads of life-skills that traveling can teach.
Is your summer full or are you taking it easy…or is it a little of both? What are some of your favorite ways to build memories and add learning to your family travels?
My husband and I recently looked at our calendar and noted that from June through September we have 6 trips planned. Six!! From quick weekend trips to week-long camps, we are booked.