Road Trip Activities for Learning
2 years ago
Travel, they say, broadens the mind. This is as true for kids as it is for adults. Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean children must stop learning. Use these suggestions to help keep little minds active while you travel.
Find the Color
I Spy is a time-honored road trip game, but it can get a little too complicated for younger travelers—not to mention how difficult it is to play I Spy when your booster seat doesn’t give you the height to see out the window.
Find the Color is a simpler version of I Spy that helps young children learn to identify their colors. Pick a color and ask them to find it inside or outside of the car. You can play the same simple game with shapes or numbers.
Brush up on the history of the area you’re traveling through, and bring it up in conversation when you can. With a little preparation, you can plan trips to historic sites along your route—which gives kids a chance to stretch their legs as well as learn about the past.
Shorten those long road trips with some simple math games. Challenge kids to count other cars, or telephone lines, or anything they can see. You can also play guess my number, which requires kids to think logically (If the number is less than three, it’s can’t be two, but could be four).
You can also play “one of these things is not like the other,” which promotes critical thinking—and with so much to see, you can come up with some silly, fun versions of this game (“I see a duck, a chicken, and a gas station. One of these things is not like the other”).
I know, singing in the car is a double-edged sword. If the driver isn’t in the mood for a choral carload you might want to skip this one. If he or she is willing, however, a rousing song of 10 Bottles of Beer on the Wall helps children learn to subtract, while singing rounds encourage timing and group work.
Magnetic letters are a fun way for early readers to practice their letter recognition. Ask them to spell simple words like Cat or Car, and show them how to spell their own name. You can also ask them to find specific letters to help them spell out words.
Finally, bring plenty of books with you on your road trip. Try to find children’s books that focus on the area, the local history, or the local wildlife. Road trips are also an excellent time to start teaching children the names of the states, which is made even more fun with a personalized road trip storybook.