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Turn your RV into a 'classroom on wheels'
Traveling, learning and exploring … your RV can become a classroom on wheels! Turn your RV into both a playground and a classroom for kids while traveling around the state. This year, more families with school-aged children will learn and play like never before. An ever-increasing number of families are making each trip in their RV as much a field trip as a family vacation.
How about venturing into the woods to see who can spot the most species of wildlife? Bring along bug jars and see who can catch the “yuckiest” looking creature … or the one with the most legs! Take a walk through the campground and collect different kinds of leaves and unusual rocks. Bring along a disposable camera and let kids take photos of wildflowers or wildlife.
Pack a notebook or journal for the kids to write in to reinforce what they have seen and experienced. How about collecting postcards and starting a scrapbook of all the places they have visited? It's excellent for reinforcing those learning experiences (and for those famous “what I did on my summer vacation” assignments in the fall).
Photo credit: Mackinac State Historic Parks
Kids can learn about history, as no book can convey, by visiting historical sites and seeing re-creations of past events. The many historical markers throughout the state are excellent props to start discussions with kids.
The nature centers at Michigan's state parks are fun and educational, but are often overlooked. Some of the parks offer interpretive nature programs for children. Often, they include the history and attractions of the area, and offer hands-on, interactive fun for kids (and for parents too!)
What to do on a rainy day? Sure, TV and video games will help pass the time inside. But instead, how about a visit to one of Michigan's interactive, hands-on children's museums? They will not only provide hours of enjoyment for the kids, but the activities are designed to teach also. Not only might they “drive” a spaceship, but they may be able to “invent” a toy too.
Most parents will tell you that the kids are having so much fun, they don't realize they are learning something new. You'll also find that camping is a good opportunity to practice important life skills with your kids. For example, work on family teamwork skills when setting up and tearing down camp. Give each child a short list of responsibilities, and they'll see how quickly tasks can be accomplished if everyone pitches in to help one another.
Michiganders live amid many wonders of nature. Adults who camped as kids will most likely tell you that camping helped them develop an appreciation (and a healthy respect) for nature and the outdoors. As parents, we are helping to create memories that will last a lifetime. Through their “classroom on wheels,” children have the perfect opportunity to have fun learning about our world, witness the magnificent scenery and enjoy the healthy benefits of outdoor recreation.