Going on the road is such a literacy-rich opportunity that “unpacking” is a multi-part adventure! In our previous weeks, we tailored the ideas to specific audiences.
This week we’re taking a different tack and have two activities that everyone can participate in. They are perfect when you’re trying to beat back the chorus of “are we there yet!”
Both of these ideas can be planned for and done before you start packing or started once you get on the road.
Idea 1: Let’s Discover List
Ask everyone to put together a list of three things they want to learn either on the way or while there. This idea may seem most obvious if you’re traveling someplace new, but even if you’re going back to the same location, there are bound to be some new things to discover. Some starter ideas:
- Does this place have a special cuisine?
- Is my favorite ice cream place still there?
- Did anybody famous ever vacation or live here?
- What is the place famous / best known for?
- Are there any [famous places] between our house and where we are going?
Bonus idea: Get out a map (or use a search engine) to visualize the route and identify places of interest along the route. Where will you be at lunchtime? Is there a local place that people recommend? Map reading is an under-recognized skill that has lots of benefits like spatial orientation and math skills to name two.
- List Making – Critical Thinking, Fine Motor Skills (if written), Organization of ideas
- Questions – Analytical thinking, imagination, visualization,
- Communication – Creating questions and (potentially) asking questions to get the answers
- Reading – potentially, if visiting places like museums, reading maps, etc.
Idea 2: Let’s Ask Mom & Dad
Kids see us in one way: adults. Although we may share the occasional story or anecdote, for the most part, know us from our days BC (before children). Vacation is a great time to share some of our memories and let them learn more about our younger selves.
Ask each person (including your adult significant other) to think about three things they want to know about you from your kid days. The sky is the limit because you never know where they’ll start – your favorite color or food? your first pet? etc.
The great thing about this activity is that it can naturally keep going. Answers can lead to new questions and other conversations.
Bonus: Writing the questions in advance will build anticipation for the activity once you get on the road!
- Questions – Analytical thinking, organizing ideas, figuring out what they want to know
- Writing – Fine motor skills, organization of ideas
- Communication – Asking questions
- Comprehension – Identifying new information and follow-on questions based on answers