Years ago, when I was younger, I always bought an airline ticket and flew to destinations for adventure. Then I met Bedge who road tripped everywhere. At the time I thought…what a waste of time. Driving vs. flying? You get to your destination way faster in an airplane. Then I took a couple road trips with him and fell in love with it. You have more opportunities for new discoveries by traveling the highway than flying high in the sky. I also realized that it is quite educational too. Sometimes you have to fly to get to your destination, but some trips can be planned for the long open road.
When we take J-man hiking, camping or road trippin’ we take advantage of the educational tools along the way. I believe that traveling and engaging in nature activities is a great way for your tykes to learn outside of the classroom. So much more can be explored and experienced than what is offered in a text book.
Here are 5 ways to school your tykes in a fun and entertaining way while on an adventure:
1. Take advantage of interpretive signs posted in the areas you are visiting. You might learn about the ecosystem there, wildlife, or the climate. The signs may describe how formations were formed or name peaks of a mountain in the far distance. Even Mom and Dad might learn a thing or two.
2. When traveling in the car stop at “historical markers” along the route. It’s a great way to learn about history, learn about events that occurred at that location, and learn about the area you are passing through.
3. On your next hike take along any one of the Waterford Press Pocket Naturalist Guides related to your area or activity. Learn about plants, birds, insects, or tracks and scat. The guides are a great learning tool. There are also books available for almost any hike or location providing educational information as well.
4. Ranger led programs in the state and national parks are a great way to learn about the park, wildlife, and the history of the park while hiking. Rangers can answer any questions you may have and point out specific details of an area that you might overlook when hiking on your own.
5. State and national park visitor centers have a lot of educational materials to offer about the park you are visiting and the area surrounding it. Sometimes a short movie is available to watch. The gift stores always have fun books of the area that tykes can enjoy.
Have you ever done a ranger led program? Do you try and take advantage of the educational tools along the way?