Summer is coming, and that means family travel! To prevent “brain drain” from your children being out of school for so long, a vacation can be filled with fun learning opportunities. The trick is to entertain the kids so they don’t realize they are learning new things or reinforcing old concepts.
Below are five ways that you can turn family travel into a fun learning experience for your children!
Turn Family Travel into a Fun Learning Experience for Kids
1. Let the kids help you plan.
Getting your children involved can make them feel more grown up and as if their opinions matter. It can also be a great way to help them learn the value of preparation and decision making. Tell them your family travel destination and let them help plan the things you do while on vacation. Set a budget and let them help choose the appropriate hotel as well as restaurants and things to do.
2. Include museums and landmarks in your travels.
Whether there are educational locations on the way or in the city you are traveling to, take the time to visit these sites. Every state has fun and interesting locales to visit. Doing so could spark an enjoyable learning opportunity that your kids will be talking about long after the trip. Prepare your kids for the stops — or revisit them when you return home — through books or online research.
3. Go on tours while traveling.
City tours can be a great way to learn about the area where you are vacationing. Some are walking tours while others may be done with a bus, boat, or other form of transportation. These can also be done close to home, if you know of a location that offers such an experience. Any place with history should be toured for educational purposes.
4. Study a guidebook before visiting.
Large cities and touristy locations often have books that are written about all of the wonderful things to encounter during family travel. If the place you are visiting has such materials, purchase them or borrow them from the library. This can help prepare your children for the trip as well as allow you all to find educational opportunities to take advantage of during the vacation.
5. Play educational games to and from your destination.
These games are especially fun if the whole family is stuck in the car for a while. For young children, “I Spy Something [Insert Color]” is a fun game to reinforce colors. Finding things that begin with each letter of the alphabet as you ride is another chance to engage kids. License plate games are also a fun and educational way to pass the time.