Road Trip. What images does that evoke in your mind? Road trips in my childhood meant piling into my grandparents’ Volkswagon camper van. Somehow it was legal for us to sit on a wooden seat positioned between the driver and the passenger…no seat belt…sitting on a pillow. If there had been an accident, I didn’t stand a chance! A road trip meant hours spent inside the stuffy camper. Nowadays a road trip means piling in our Volkswagon station wagon. Now I am the one planning and executing the road trip plan. This summer we are embarking on an epic road trip, from central Canada to the east coast, and I’m looking for ways to get us out of the car along the way.
How to Add Outdoor Play to a Family Road Trip
Start with the Map – A road trip is nothing without a map. There are two ways to look at a map. The first way is to focus on the road ways, high ways and route that the car will take. How many kilometers, how many hours and what is the best route. The second way is to look beyond the roads. While it is important to get quickly from point a to point be – maybe there is an alternate route to take. Take full advantage of the information on the map and plan for places to stop and get outside.
Pack a Picnic Lunch – Lunch time at a road side service station can be pretty hectic. Fast food, long lines and hungry kids are not the best combination. Skip the lines and head outside for lunch. Most major highways have rest stations and picnic spaces. Pack a cooler with lunch and find a picnic table. Let the kids run around outside for 20 minutes and your drive will be much more peaceful.
Bring a towel – Okay, I’m not sure what the interior of your car looks like, but ours is surprisingly clean…and my husband wants to keep it that way. When the kids get outside to play they will inevitably get dirty. Avoid turning your car into a dirty mess by simply packing a couple of towels and a wet wash cloth. This might sound crazy but is there anything worse then stinky spending 7 days travelling in a hot and stinky car?
Head to the Library – Before you set off on your road trip, head to the library first. Find out a few key things about where you are travelling. What are common wildlife that can be found where you are going? What birds, trees and flowers should your kids be on the look out for. Photocopy pictures of the wildlife to look for and keep the pictures with the kids in the back seat. Whenever you make a stop, don’t forget to look for local wildlife.
Remember that a family road trip doesn’t have to be all about playing in the car. There are many different ways to incorporate outdoor play in a family road trip. Getting the kids, and the adults, outside of the car provides a great physical and mental break. I remember someone once said that the journey is often more important than the destination. Make the journey awesome.
Spring has arrived and the last Outdoor Play Party was proof of that…so many great ways to get outside and explore. My favourite post from the last party was Wilder Child’s Beginners Guide to Foraging for Edibles. I love the idea of foraging, however it is something I have never tried before. I think this post has reignited my interest.
Now it’s time for this week’s Outdoor Play Party. We would appreciate it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we’ll gladly further share your post on Pinterestfollow. Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from my sidebar and/or include a text link back. Please note, that by contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured. Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week.