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ND Road Trips – Priceless Experiences

ND Road Trips – Priceless Experiences 8/4/17Four friends recently accompanied me on a day trip to ND attractions in the south central part of our state.  The trip had its origins in a “we should do that” conversation that happened while we were gathered around a supper table about five months ago.  I went ahead and planned the itinerary, and it came to fruition this past Monday.  We visited sites and took advantage of things that the communities of Ashley, Zeeland, Hague, and Strasburg had to offer.  As they say, “A good time was had by all!”

Perhaps you are experiencing that “summer is slipping away” feeling, and asking yourself, “are we having fun yet?”  If so, now may be the time to spring into action by planning a day trip that will be something special for you and your family.  See it as an opportunity to integrate a love of reading, learning new things, and developing an appreciation for what we have “in our own backyard.” 

Decide what distance you are willing to drive and find out what communities are within your radius. Then do some research to learn what those ND communities have to offer in terms of sites, attractions, and events/activities.  Maybe it’s a park, a museum, or a historical site. Choose things that will appeal to the interests of people in your family, while being affordable and good for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  As a family, read up on what you will be seeing and doing.

Depending on their ages, you could use this adventure as an opportunity to help your children build and use planning, language and reading skills by making word or picture lists of what to pack for clothing and/or snacks.  Label pictures with words to help build the association between letters and words and pictures.

Declare this as a time to “take a break” from all digital devices.  Leave all the electronics at home, and instead focus on conversation and car games.  Play thinking games, I-spy games, and road bingo.  Sing camp songs.  Bring along maps to look at and magazines and books to read aloud.  Have conversations about what you are seeing on the maps and reading in the magazines and books.  Play the alphabet game by reading billboards and license plates, and even snack wrappers.

Take along a journal or spiral bound notebook so everyone in your family can write about the trip or help compose a story about it.  Add drawings or photos to the story.  Or start with the photos and involve everyone in adding captions or journaling alongside them.

Finally, feel good about your vacation from digital devices and about your family’s shared time together.  Pat yourself on the back for encouraging your children to love reading.  Consider that to be the best souvenir of the adventure.

Adapted from “Instill a Love of Reading this Summer,” by Kim Bushaw, NDSU Extension Family Science specialist.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/road-valley-mountains-trip-travel-863369/  (downloaded 8/8/17)


 

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