Last summer, our family had the chance to do an EXTRA long road trip to Glacier National Park! The longest we had done prior to this was Yosemite – about 9 hours – and that was rough. As we prepared for another two days, driving 9 hours on both days without a TV in the rental minivan, we looked for additional ways to keep our kids happy and entertained!
- Print a map of where you’re going, and provide stickers so the kids can mark off exits, freeways, cities as they go. This is a wonderful way to incorporate geography and social studies skills. Check out some examples from Glue Sticks Blog.
- Create a Unit Study for your final destination. The Internet is full of wonderful and free resources for families, and getting your kids excited about the flora and fauna, historical landmarks, architecture and more along the way can really make the trip memorable and educational! Learn How to Create a Traveling Unit Study from Bookshark.
- Audio CDs and podcast episodes for kids are something I never expected to be so fun, and educational! You’ll want to make sure you do a little research a few days prior, especially since some podcast episodes you’ll want to download so you’re not dependent on the internet. We love listening to the Little House on the Prairie series, historical fiction, and throw in a few fun podcasts for good measure, like The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian.
- Learn a new skill that is best done while in a seated spot, like knot mastery or bracelet making. Our kids love to use plastic trays for beads to make crafts for themselves or friends, and you can supplement with rope and paracord for kids who might like to learn to tie new knots. A great way to encourage your kids to try something like learning how to tie new knots, is offering a reward like $.25 cents for every knot they complete! Here is a great example from ThinkFun that comes with everything you need!
- Road Trip Goodie bags and traveling hacks – sometimes to make the travel time go easier, and keep your car full of kiddos from turning into all – out – chaos – it helps to utilize little tips and tricks from those families who have blazed a trail before us. Whether its using a shower caddy on the window, goodies bags that you can’t open until a certain stop, or tins of legos, It’s Always Autumn has lots of ideas you won’t want to miss!
If you’ve got ideas that you love for road tripping as a family, we would LOVE to feature them! Drop us a comment to share!