Roadschooling can take on many forms. You can hit the books, you can hop on a computer, you can join a class, you can do hands-on activities or some combination. Our family loves to learn in our everyday lives and sometimes that means you gotta get creative. Here are some fun Roadschool activities that we have enjoyed (or that we are planning on trying out!) to help you get creative! You can modify them based on children’s ages. Keep in mind, anytime you start forcing anything, even something fun, it stops being fun for everyone. Just do what you love and the learning will happen.
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Go on a scavenger hunt in the woods
Also known as hiking, but the kids will think a scavenger hunt in the woods is way cooler.
For older kids, be specific on what you are looking for: American Holly, Red Maple, Red-headed woodpecker, metamorphic rocks, sedimentary rocks, etc.
Definitely one of our kid’s favorite Roadschool activities.
With the Plastic Pack on, build a house, and decorate the walls with paintings…discuss them cuz they are Minecraft versions of real, famous works of art…Art History for all ages.
Use the Bedrock edition and do some chemistry. It allows you to combine various compounds to get some end results. Some work and some don’t, but it’s always fun.
Bam – there’s your math lesson for the day.
It can also be an introduction to real estate and investment properties. Take it as far as your kids’ interests!
It’s all about strategy and reading coordinates! If you wanna take it to the next level, you can talk about various sea battles or watch a documentary after playing.
Make cookies together
Here’s another fun Roadschool activity that teaches math. Let’s not forget the yummy snack at the end. The older the child, the more complicated the cookies can get.
Build a campfire
Discuss what is needed to start the fire, what is the chemical reaction that occurs, what keeps it burning, etc.
Modify depending on the age of your kids.
Play Words with Friends
Have you ever played with your kids? Again, lots of fun and lots of learning going on.
If your kids aren’t ready for an online game like this, try the Classic Scrabble board game instead.
Start a fire with a magnifying glass
Did it work or not? Either way, discuss what happened and why it happened the way it did. Not sure, use Google to get your answers.
Visit a Historic Downtown
Historic downtowns are Roadschooling treasures!! Find and explore the local museum and art gallery. You just covered both history and art in one shot. They tend to be free or inexpensive and there is plenty to see. On occasion, you might be able to meet the artists while visiting a local art gallery. What a fantastic opportunity to learn from the artist!!
Take a notebook with you everywhere and encourage your kids to draw, journal, whatever you see. I recommend you take one too. It’s always more fun when the entire family does this and then shares what’s in their journals…unless it’s private stuff…then it’s all kept secret.
Listen to Podcasts/Audiobooks on road trips
You can learn so much while driving!! It’s also a great way for the whole family to be involved and encourages discussion and bonding.
Just make sure everyone is interested in the topic, otherwise, it can go all wrong and make that road trip seem way longer than it really is.
Seriously any movie can provide a cool intro to a new topic. We watched Doctor Strange and ended up talking all about fractals and special effects.
An American Tail introduced the concept of immigration.
Don’t shy away from fictional/entertainment movies. There is always something to discuss – special effects, cinematic style, costumes, character development, etc.
Make movies together
Take what you saw in the movies and apply it to your own movies!
Let the kids film, edit, record audio, create backdrops, storyboarding, etc.
Once completed, watch it together. Have a projector? Make it a movie premiere and show it at your camping site and invite others to join you!
Go to a museum
There is something there for everyone. If you have young children though, make sure that the museum is appropriate for your child. Call ahead and see if they have special children’s events or activities.
Visit an aquarium
Who doesn’t love learning about freshwater and marine life? If your kids are into it, make sure they talk to experts at the aquarium. That way they can get their questions answered while they are there.
If you can, get on a behind-the-scenes-tour for even more access to experts and animals.
Go to a butterfly garden
You can learn about the different kinds of butterflies and what their favorite plants are. Sometimes, you may even get the chance to feed the butterflies.
Hit up a botanical garden
Botanical gardens are a lot of fun and a great way to learn about plant life. Many have a special children’s garden where children can explore and run and play.
Go to a concert
You can talk about logistics and planning related to putting on a large event. And of course, talk about the music!!!
Outdoor concerts might be an even better choice for families. There are fewer restrictions on seating and there might be a little extra room for active kiddos.
Take a scenic train ride
Learn about trains, follow the train route, take photos/video, encourage the kids to draw what they see, and discuss where you are going.
Go to the mall
The mall is a great place to see and discuss consumerism, capitalism, etc. Depending on your child’s age, you may be able to discuss the decline of malls due to online retail.
Visit a local farm
Learn about the animals, farmer’s chores and what it takes to run a successful farm, etc.
If they have a store, make sure to check it out. Nothing better than seeing what the farm is able to produce and how they are able to market it.
Take a night-time walk and identify constellations.
Nothing makes astronomy more fun than experiencing it. We have small constellations guidebook that the kids really enjoy. We don’t take it on our walks though, because we need to keep it dark to see the stars. Pick up some filtered flashlights to make sure they don’t mess with your night vision!
Study a thunderstorm
Observe it, take notes, take videos/photos, talk about it!! It’s also a great time to learn about safety!!! Being from Florida, our kids know a lot about lightning safety. They are the first ones to take cover anytime they see lightning or hear thunder.
This is another one of my family’s favorite Roadschool activities.
Keep a measuring tape handy!! Nothing more fun than measuring snowfall levels, rainfall levels, branches, chairs, etc.
If you are interested in teaching your kids about noise pollution, consider purchasing a decibel meter.
Have an art gallery day
Everyone paints mini canvases and then displays them. If your RV is too small, display them outside! You can even invite others to participate too!!
Go to a nature center
If you have been reading about our Roadschool journey, you will know that we love nature centers. They have a museum and lots of outdoor hikes. Sometimes they have classes/camps. It’s a great way to learn about the local ecosystem and local environmental concerns.
Do a little Birdwatching
The easiest way to find a place for birding is to search for Audubon parks. You are bound to find one in your area and they are always free. If you know your kids aren’t quiet, go during the off-season or in the middle of the week. Bring binoculars and just have fun with it.
Nature drive anyone?
This can be a scenic road or an actual nature drive (an organized drive through a wildlife area, like this one).
This can be especially great when weather conditions are iffy for a hike, but you don’t want to be stuck inside. You drive really slowly on nature drives, so everyone can unstrap and get a good view of the local wildlife and flora/fauna.
Go to the airport and watch planes
We did this before we had kids and it was only natural to do this with our kids. Some airports have special parking/viewing areas just for this activity.
Not only can you take cool photos/videos of airplanes taking off and landing, but you can also talk about the logistics of it all – I mean how do they time it so well?
Join a book club or start your own.
Book clubs are a fun way to get your Roadschoolers reading. It can be a book club just for kids or families. I know a family where the mom and daughter have their own mini-book club just for them. It is a great way for them to bond.
We have been doing this for years. Both our kids enjoy setting up the kits and then seeing what crystals they grow. It’s a lot of fun and easy way to learn about how they are formed.
Dig up dinosaur bones
Yep, you and your family can go on a real dino dig!! We all know that there area paleontology sites all over, but most folks never actually get to visit them. Imagine how much fun you and your kids can have on a dig? We haven’t done this yet, but I can’t wait. I know it will be a big hit for our Roadschooling family. Click here to get started.
Go to a military aviation museum
Military aviation museums are impressive, usually free (or cheap), and they are very family-friendly! It’s a great experience for the whole family, even those that may be pacifists. The entire experience is thought-provoking and opens up many discussions about warfare and what it really costs (in the way of lives).
Go to a hibachi restaurant
Do you remember the first time you went to a hibachi restaurant? Wasn’t it the coolest? Well, take your kids and let them ask the chef questions! You can follow-up on the experience by reading more about the history of hibachi and/or watch a documentary about it.
Make RV Repairs & Maintenance a family affair
If you DIY your RV repairs have your kids help. Even if it’s just by bringing you water. Let them be part of the process and talk about what’s going on.
Talk about learning some great life-skills.
RV rallies, meetups, get-togethers, whatever, just go!! Yes, there will be a lot of socializing, but there will also be plenty of opportunities to learn – how other folks RV, rig tours, organized activities, projects, etc.
Go to Art shows
Art shows are a lot of fun and give your kids opportunities to see different art forms and artists. Another bonus is that the artists are right there at the show. Your kids can talk to them and find out more about their inspiration, techniques, etc. If you have a budding artist in your family, you might want to encourage them to submit their artwork too.
Write Haikus together!
Oh, this is so much fun! We have done this together. It’s a great way to learn about poetry while having a good laugh. If you don’t know where to start, just do an online search for “Haikus for Kids” and you’ll find tons of examples and information.
Here’s one by yours truly:
Daffodils are great
Yellow, happy, and bright too
Full of hope they are
Shop at a Farmers Market
Farmers’ markets are amazing and even more so when it’s a Roadschool activity. Not only do you get to see and buy lots of interesting fresh foods, but you will get to see what grows where!! You can get an idea of what the area is known for and have the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable growers.
Have a beach day
Beach day is the perfect time to search for shells, starfish, jellyfish, crabs, etc. It’s packed full of natural learning that sticks. We have never had a beach day where we only played in the water, it was an all-encompassing day of discovery and exploration.
I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can take everyday life experiences and learn from them. Your kids will enjoy these activities and so will you. Something I didn’t expect from our Roadschool journey was how much I would learn too. Make it a family experience and enjoy the journey!
Interested in more Roadschool activities? Ready to find a community of people, and get the training and support you need to make roadschooling fun, easy, and awesome for both you and your family? Join The Road Life Project (select Exploring the Local Life at sign up)!!
Read more of my Roadschooling Posts!