Team Hogan embarked on a 2-week road trip recently. We will be sharing about our adventures in the coming weeks. I first wanted to share about riding in the van for over 40 hours as a family. Our family traveled from Pennsylvania to Arkansas and back again with lots of detours along the way.
I knew we would be spending lots of time together in the van so I came with some activities prepared. Here is basically everything we did in our van trip.
Look out the window. We wanted to make sure our children saw the varying terrain of our country. We encouraged them to look out the window and see the mountains, rivers, different colors of dirt, or unusual roadkill.
Listen to audio books or stories. I gathered lots of U.S. history stories before this road trip. We listened to Hero Tales (book written by Teddy Roosevelt and read by Hal Young), Your Story Hour: Heritage of Our Country Series, and 4 CDs by Jim Weiss (Gone West: Bold Adventures of Amerian Explorers and Pioneers, Abraham Lincoln and the Heart of America, I Said I Could and I Did: True Stories of 21st Century Americans, and Thomas Jefferson’s America). I feel like we already had a full year of U.S. history studies, and we haven’t even really started the school year yet. We also had some audio books on my mp3 player but never got to them.
Educational worksheets. I packed some math and phonics practice worksheets for the kids. About half way through the trip, the kids actually asked for more worksheets so we stopped at a Walmart and bought some “fun” workbooks. We bought math practice, phonics review, codes and puzzles, hidden pictures, and mazes. We didn’t finish the workbooks yet, but I think they’ll be great for educational moments when I can’t be as involved (sick days, other road trips, and so on).
Eat. Since Seth has Celiac Disease, we keep the van gluten-free. We did start the trip with gluten-free pancake sandwiches and other homemade snacks but mostly bought food at a grocery store or Walmart. We bought things like pepperoni, lunch meat, cooked chicken, cheese cubes, cheese sticks, tortilla chips, gluten-free pretzels, apple slices, blueberries, and bananas. In the van, I asked everyone what they wanted for a meal, and I would load all of it into one ziplock bag and pass it to them. We spent so little time eating that we had much more time for fun activities. I’m not sure why we used to spend so much time on food before.
Sleep. Every once in a while, kids would just catch a nap in the van as we headed down the road. It’s a good thing since we kept up an active pace. (Sometimes this mom would even take a nap.)
Talk about our favorite things. We went around the van listing some of our favorite parts of the trip. This kept all of the activities fresh in the kids’ minds and helped us remember more of what we did. It was amazing how simple things like hotel breakfasts would make the “favorites” list.
There you have it: 40 hours in the van and we actually enjoyed the trip. What activities do you like to do on road trips?