In many families, vacations can be rare things. Going away is expensive and even more so with each child in toe. It is possible to do them frugally, but also possible, whether you are going near or far, or just on day trips, to turn any vacation into a learning adventure for your children. What’s more, these activities do not have to be expensive, indeed, many of them can be done for absolutely nothing. Here are some vacation activity ideas!
Explore the History Around Them
No matter where we live, we are surrounded by history. Whether near or far, it is possible to become archaeological investigators with your children. It will take some background research before you go, but you can teach children about how to spot buildings from different eras or how to find fossils on a beach, or find potshards in a ploughed field or a burial mound in a woodland. Many great archaeological and paleontological discoveries have been made by accident and this ranges from dinosaurs in Colorado to neanderthal bones on a cliffside on the Island of Jersey. Indeed, this is a good way of showing how some people have gone on vacation to different parts of the world year on year for millennia.
Learn a New Language
Study after study is telling us that speaking two languages makes us better and more intelligent people. While it is easy for one parent or the other to speak a few words in a new language or to seek out fellow Anglophones, why not help teach your children to speak words and phrases in the new language and have fun testing them out.
Orienteering and Map Reading
Good to do as a joint activity, but in an age of GPS and smartphones, it is easy for children to neglect basic skills like using a compass, a map, or the position of the sun to navigate their way around a location. It could be good fun to set up checkpoints or goals to reach, and a nicer way to find a good picnic spot than just driving up to the nearest point and walking the last few meters.
Engage with Reading and Writing
Most school kids know all about the vacation journal schools insist upon, but it really can be a fun for kids who like to write. There are other ways to record things such as by making videos, taking photographs, collecting things like leaves or pebbles, and drawing pictures. However, it’s nice also to get your children to buy into the whole vacation by getting them to research places they want to go and tell you why, get them to read up on where you are going, and if possible, read stories set in those places.