Thursday, May 3, 2012

Trip Prep: Educate

A big part of this trip for our family will be the learning aspect.  We have prepared (not as much as I had hoped, but prepared nonetheless) and look forward to learning more while we are out.

I posted a bit about this before, but I have compiled a booklet for each child.  Each has maps.  I wanted them to be able to see names of smallish towns, so I zoomed in a bit.  Each map covers about 500 miles of our trip.  I have always loved maps and they can make all the difference when you can follow along from the back seat.

Some of the information they are seeking are basic facts about the state: capital or date it became a member of the Union.  Some of it is a scavenger hunt of sorts.  We'll be travelling through seven states.  Each state has a State Bird, Flower, Flag, and so on.  The children will have to match state to the correct answers, but they will also be encouraged to put a check next to the things they actually see.  So, for instance, if they spot California Poppies on the side of the roadway, they get a point.  Whoever has the most points at the end of the journey gets a big prize:  They get to go on a date with Dad.  Normally that might not be incentive enough, but add in the date location's specialty desserts and the competition is ON.

You can't tell from the picture,
but these desserts are roughly the size of my head.
In addition to the scavenger hunt and the fact finding, the older children will be encouraged to keep track of mileage.  When there is a change, we'll try to figure out why (city traffic vs highway, hilly roads, windy conditions, etc.).  The younger ones have some coloring pages and other simple worksheets.
Disney will obviously play a big part in our trip.  I found these journals at the Walmart for $4.97.  Not dollar store, but within budget (especially when compared to Park prices!!).  We will encourage random journaling, but there will also be some required entries. I'm hoping to see favorite parts, funny moments, bits of wisdom and lessons learned.  The younger children will draw pictures and my husband and I will write in their dictated captions.

  Another resource I have tapped is the audio version.  Each of the children have at least one audio book to listen to on the long drive.  They also have podcast tours of the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, the Big Sur Highway and Redwoods National Forest.  I haven't listened to any of the podcasts (though I did check to make sure they were "family friendly" before I downloaded them).  I hope they are worthwhile.

I have one more day to prepare.  Any other super great education tips?

PS  Yes, I know I promised to write more about the Great Pack-n-Sort.  When I pulled my "summer" clothes out of the garage, I found a surprise.  I haven't been able to bring myself to finish that job.  I may chuck the whole box and go to Disneyland in my sweaters and turtlenecks.  
Uggg!  I can't even stand to look at the picture!  
The End


  1. Ick! Are those mouse droppings? I totally feel for you...I had a HUGE pile of clothes that I needed to sort sitting in our downstairs(mostly stuff the girls had grown out of but also some clothes that had been handed down to us). Before I got to it we discovered there were mice in the house and of course a huge pile of clothes is a perfect place for them to play (among other things-ick!) I was all set to start the job when we needed to move and with everything else I just couldn't get to it. I was tempted to just throw them all out, really tempted, but instead I bagged them up and am slowly working through them now that we are mostly settled- I'm so glad for plastic gloves. :)

  2. Having mice is like getting a cold. It's not if but when. Good luck and have a terrific time on your trip.

  3. I am so impressed with your preparations! You will have a fabulous time and lifelong memories. Enjoy the sun!!