If your family is traveling this summer, it is a perfect time to incorporate reading with your children.
In fact, leading your kids down the road to reading can be quite simple and enjoyable. Not only can reading during a trip keep little minds busy and learning, but reading before the big event can prepare your children for the adventures that lie ahead.
We love to travel in my family. In fact, we have a “travel bucket list” we’re working on.
The Road to Reading: Reading in Preparation for Travels
Use your local library as your starting place. I have gotten to know our librarians quite well and they can assist me in choosing books for our travels.
What types of books should you be looking for?
Books about individual states
The library should have a section of nothing but books about individual states.
Books about the time period or historic landmarks
Are you visiting an area that is famous for a battle, a certain Native American tribe, or some other event? Search for that.
What are some of the land forms and animal types found where you will be going? Find books about them and start getting your children interested!
Are there famous people you might learn about while you are traveling? We read a lot about the first woman governor when we traveled to Wyoming because she was so important in their history. Is there a president that comes from the state you are visiting?
The Road to Reading: Reading While Traveling
I reward my children for reading while we are traveling. Generally I give them a reading goal and when they have reached it they can receive a souvenir from our destination. It is also important to model reading for your children – if you aren’t reading and learning yourself, why should your children read?
We love to read aloud! Pick a book the whole family will enjoy and read aloud a little each evening. It will help settle every one down and builds a routine into your trip.
If you can schedule down time each day that is a great way to encourage reading. Even fifteen minutes each afternoon is better than nothing!
I also encourage you to think of books as inspiration for your travels. My daughter was very interested in books about The Oregon Trail and couldn’t get enough of that time period in history. As we planned a family vacation, we tried to incorporate a few stops to The Oregon Trail. The look on her face when we actually visited the wagon ruts and toured a fort on the trail was priceless. Learning had never been more real for her… isn’t that what we want for our children?
God has given us the gift of literature. He has also given us the gift of so many truly amazing places to visit and wonderful things to do with our children. By selecting books to read before and during your adventure, you are just making your travels so much more memorable.
Do you incorporate books into your travels? Do you have any favorites you’d like to share?