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Friday, July 5, 2019

7 Reasons Why Road Trips Can Spark Growth and Learning in Children!

Photo by Nicholas Cole (Flickr)

The summer holidays mean vacation time for many families. My own family loves a good road trip. Whether we're talking a day trip or a week-long journey, road trips can be great fun for everyone. Depending on the age of your kids, you may want to limit the length of the car journey and break up your itinerary with kid-friendly stops. No matter what your trip looks like, your whole family is sure to get a lot out of it because there are some surprising benefits to taking a road trip with kids. Take a look at my top seven reasons why road trips help kids to learn and grow. Then, feel free to share your road trip memories, or let me know where you plan on road-tripping this summer: I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Build Character

I know, "road trips build character" sounds like something Grandpa might say to get the kids to simmer down. You might find yourself tempted to say it to your kids as again and again throughout the car ride, they ask you, "Are we there yet?" But that's where a road trip can be a growth moment. It can teach children patience. You can't get there any faster (without risking a speeding ticket and your lives), and sooner or later, your kids will tire of asking as they get the picture. Just make sure you've got a fun destination in mind so you can help your kids reflect on how their patience and perseverance paid off.

Learn Some Geography

A road trip is a great chance for kids to test out reading a map. Let them mark your progress. They can even try out making a map of their own! Have them identify features like mountains and rivers and mark them on their map. You can also take the chance to help them identify different habitats and ecosystems. Bring along a book that might discuss what birds, animals, and plants live where you're traveling.

Develop a Spirit of Exploration

Travel brings out the adventurous and curious side of everyone. Show enthusiasm to help your kids take interest in the sites, sounds, and experiences all around them. Trying new things is a good thing for kids. It makes them more confident, more knowledgeable, and more engaged with the world.

Bond as a Family

Think about leaving the tablet loaded with movies and games at home. This might seem like a terrifying concept when faced with long hours in the car, but if you do, you'll make sure you don't miss out on some quality family time to reconnect and chat with one another.

Practice State Memorization

Do you remember playing little games during long car journeys? I sure do. If you're traveling in the United States, try playing the license plate game: See how many different states' plates you can spot along the way, and talk about the different state landmarks, animals, and other features that appear on many license plate designs.

Try Some Photography

Let your kids take the lead on taking some family photos along your journey. My girls love doing this. They get a real sense of pride out of their best photos. If possible, be a little flexible and pull over if your kids spot a great opportunity.

Learn Art, History, and Science

Road trips present a lot of educational opportunities no matter where you're traveling. Urban areas will have art museums and theaters. More rural areas will have lots of natural beauty to learn more about, and they may have homestead or living history areas to explore.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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