When you’re going through your packing checklist, be sure to include some journals or notebooks, drawing pads, and fun writing supplies.
Yes, this edges a little closer to looking like “schoolwork” but read on … that thought will quickly fade away as everyone gets into the adventure of memorializing your summer of fun.
Like the previous two parts in our Road Trip series, there are no age distinctions. These are things everyone can do, from toddlers to high school seniors. These ideas also work great if you are stay-cating or taking day trips.
Fish Tales & Other Adventures
To help make the activity more enticing, I recommend getting a new, just-for-this-occasion notebook or drawing pad for each person. The Dollar Store is a great place to go!! All of the coloring and writing supplies can be shared. Plenty of them came home at the end of the school year, so why not give them a second life?
On the morning of your trip, give each person (including parents and other adults) the notebook/drawing pad and the following instructions.
- Use your “book” to create memories of the trip.
- You can journal real events, write stories or poems, draw pictures or comics … it’s up to you.
- This is yours. There is no right or wrong.
- You can share or keep it a surprise.
- Save [date] for a special family event.
Once your home, plan a family meal so that everyone is together. If one of your kids brought a friend, invite them to join in, too. Each person will share something from their journal to relive those memories one more time.
Note: Older kids have phones with cameras, and they may want to create a slideshow to share their memories. That’s a great option for tapping into something they love and still staying connected with sharing memories.
- Writing and Drawing – fine motor skills, imagination, creativity, organizing ideas
- Sharing memories – communication, organizing ideas
Ahoy! We’ve Found Treasure!
What I love about this particular idea is that encourages us to slow down a little bit and pay attention to the world around us. You never know where you’ll find a treasure or what powers that treasure may hold.
It is super easy for anyone to do just by looking around and using their imagination. The idea is that everyone will have a chance to discover a treasure and decide how to share it.
Here are three ways to play …
Idea 1: Sometime early in the trip, everyone selects or brings home something they think would make a great treasure. The family votes on their favorite and that becomes the family treasure. On the first day, Mom or Dad will put the treasure in a visible but unique location. From then on, when someone spots the treasure, they can move it to a new location. It is akin to elf on the shelf, but it doesn’t have to be done at night or with the same aura of secrecy.
Idea 2: Each person is tasked with discovering at least one treasure. The items are put into a treasure box or other safe location and kept to be shared at the end of the trip or after you get home. When you open the box, each person gets to talk about their treasure. Family members can ask questions to keep the conversation going.
Idea 3: One person (or everyone) brings to the family something they discovered that day. It can be the literal object that it is, it might become a pet with a name, or it might be a magic object that becomes a prompt for a story: is it magical? is it a shape-shifter? does it have secret powers? how are the powers released? … you get the idea.
- Finding treasure – observation, critical thinking, imagination and creativity
- Describing items – communication, organizing ideas, imagination, and creativity
- Picking a family treasure – communication, persuasive language, advocating ideas
- Asking questions – communication, comprehension