How to sneak in a little education on your next family vacation

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Let's be honest, as parents we want our kids to have loads of fun during vacation, but it would also be awesome if they actually learned SOMETHING useful along the way, right?

I mean, especially if they are missing a week of school already! Which sometimes happens. And quite frankly, they probably get more out of a week of vacation than they do a whole week sitting at a desk. Buuuut that's an entirely different conversation for another time!

Moving on.

Back in May, my family and I headed off to Disney World. Excited and ready for good food, fun times, and of course to snag a hug and picture with the big cheese himself. But one thing you don't always plan on is your kids actually learning something interesting and possibly useful while you're vacationing at a destination known for roller coasters, princesses and AMAZING fireworks.

 
 The Roo (My daughter) & her Uncle enjoying the Safari!

The Roo (My daughter) & her Uncle enjoying the Safari!

 

But the truth is... they can! Like... a LOT of things.
And the best part? They normally don't even realize that they are LEARNING something.
And when you see that as a parent, it's kind of like the joyous moment you victoriously sneak veggies into one of your child's favorite dishes... and they have no clue. But they happily eat it because it tastes just as awesome as always.

#parentingwin right there.

But, how can we make those moments happen? How can we sneak in a little education for our children during (and even BEFORE) all our vacation fun?
The good news is, it's waaay easier than you think!

So let's dive in, so that you can rock the fun AND education on your next vacation!

#1, Take just 10 minutes to do a bit of research about your destination or a specific site you will be visiting.

For example, if your headed to the Florida Keys, there is a lot of historical information regarding Pirates in the area! Have your kids join you in the research if you want. They can each find one interesting fact.

A few things you can quickly and easily teach your kids...
   - Discovering the logistics of your destination. Where is it located, how many miles you’ll be
traveling, the temperature of the area.
   - Someone famous from the area.
   - What major historical events that took place there.
These are all great ways to get your kids excited BEFORE your trip, and learn something at the same time!

 Street performance outside the Germany Pavilion in Epcot.

Street performance outside the Germany Pavilion in Epcot.

#2, Remember that learning does not just come in the form of Math, Science and Reading.

Cultural learning experiences are my personal favorite! What language does the area speak? Can you teach your kids a few words?

I absolutely LOVE themed hotels, such as at Disney World or Universal Studios. If your staying at the Polynesian Village Resort, you are going to be immersed in the culture.

At Epcot's World Showcase you can actually talk to people from those specific countries! (It's crazy cool, not gonna lie) Take the time to ask them where they are from, have your kids ask them how to say a specific word. Point out the differences in architecture, music and atmosphere of each place.

At destinations like Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, you can see hand-craftsmen making candles, blown glass, pottery, etc. Ask them about their craft!

#3, Look for optional extras that allow you to see behind the scenes or give you special access to something you wouldn't normally get to experience.

  - Take special tours (On cruise ships you can tour the back areas, getting to see how a ship's kitchen is run, etc.)
  - Look for options that allow you to speak with an expert (at Disney World you can dine with an Imagineer! How awesome would that be for an older child or teen who is interested in Engineering, Design, etc.)


See? Simple, huh? (I told you so!)
It really just begins with becoming aware and pointing things out to your kids that are obvious, but new to them!

Do you have a favorite way to sneak in some learning and education for your children?
Be sure to join the conversation below and share it with us!

Now, go and teach your kids some awesome things that they probably won't ever learn in school!
Because you ROCK at vacations and parenting :)

XOXO - Lauren


 
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