Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How to make road trips educational

As you travel, you have the opportunity to not only make it fun but also educational. There is so much history and places to learn in the United States. You can plan your trip accordingly and teach them along the way. If you do it right, they may not even realize they are learning.  Here's some great ideas to help learn in the car. 

For young children, you can have them say color names of cars that pass by.  You can also count cars in groups of ten. You can count miles down to your next stop. Think of it ask a countdown of a rocket ship taking off to the moon. Don't forget to shout Blast Off at your destination. You can talk about different animals or places you see. Share with them if you see cows. Talk about the sounds they make. Sing songs, point out colors and say nursery rhymes. For younger kids it's mostly about learning words and numbers. 

Older kids can read out loud, or you can do Madlibs for funny stories using parts of speech. You can do math problems by subtracting how many miles to go. Your child can keep a distance log or a gas log and find out how much you spent. They can read road signs and help you with basic navigation. Bring out the map or the Atlas. Talk about cities, states and state capitals.  Of course there are many educational places you can visit like museums, aquariums and historical sites. Try and visit a museum or zoo if possible. If a historical site is close to your route take some time to stop. Reading about history is different than actually being in the spot where the battle or event takes place. It can bring up emotions and creates a real understanding. It makes a real impression.  They can make travel journals that help with writing and storytelling. A camera will help document the journey too. The camera can just be a disposable one if you want.  Make up stories and rhyming words as a family. See how many words you can make. Let them help with decision making.  Take turns picking where they want to eat when you are ready to stop.  Make a hypothesis how long it will take, how much you will spend on gas. Older kids may catch on but they will be having so much fun it won't matter. 

Traveling can be educational and fun. Help your kids learn while they are in the car. It may even cut down on the "Are we there yet?" questions.

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