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  • Writer's pictureAshley

How Your Children Can Learn On Vacation

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

Remember that learning doesn’t have to be worksheets, flashcards, and kitchen tables. Real-life and hands-on learning keeps kids motivated, engaged, and sometimes, disguises learning.

So how can you keep the learning going while on vacation? There are many different ways and each depends on the adventure and location of your vacations. Below you will find just a few ideas to add to your fun, educational getaway.

Visit family

If your vacation is to visit family, why not teach your child some family history. This is a great time to practice some interviewing and reporting skills. Develop some questions (or Google some interview questions), discuss a reporting method and then have your kiddo get to work. At the end of the vacation, they could write a family story, create and perform a skit, make a family tree with notable captions, or make a scrapbook full of history.

Camping / outdoor adventuring

Take along some skills to practice on a sheet of paper or flashcards and have your child spend short bursts of time practicing them with natural materials. For example, make sight words out of small sticks or rocks, write numbers or letters on leaves or rocks, write sentences in the dirt or sand, and practice math skills with flowers and tree bark. Another option for learning would be to check out some nature books at the library and use them as you explore. Try keeping a nature journal and capturing your findings, learnings, and drawings.

Beach / Tourist destination

Are you staying in a resort? Challenge your child to create a map of the grounds or the beach town. They can draw several and make them progressively more detailed and elaborate. You could also encourage them to learn about the surrounding area's history and culture. Is there a local history center or visitor’s center? Give those a visit to beat the midday heat.

Amusement parks / Water parks

Check the park beforehand to find out if they have historical attractions or discover what their themes may be. These would make for great things to learn about before your visit. You could also challenge your child to find things at the park that represent different school subjects. How did the park use math? Did they use science in the plants and animals? Are any of the exhibits showing different areas of the world or cultures? Keep a journal or take pictures and create the journal when you get home. If you have an older child they can learn some physics or the history of the roller coasters. Perhaps they could even develop their own roller coaster model.


Visit your local historical sites and develop an understanding of your town’s history. Explore outdoor sights like sculpture gardens, state parks, and nature preserves. Keep a summer-long journal that documents all of these exciting adventures. Have a kiddo who prefers to be inside? Find all the museums and classes you can!

No matter where you go or don’t go for vacation there are plenty of ways to keep your child learning and practicing their skills while having fun. Remember, life-long learners, are made in the moment and in the action. They are not often made by sitting at the table with worksheets!

Where are you traveling this summer and how will you keep your child busy and engaged? Let me know in the comments!

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