Traveling with kids can be…lots of things: tiring, intimidating, overwhelming, irritating. But, traveling with kids is also joyous, exciting, and awe-inspiring. Family travel coming up? Consider making it an art road trip, and you’ll be even more amazed at the trek’s richness.
Seeing the world through children’s eyes gives us hope and revitalization that few things can. We’ve also talked about art’s powerful impact on children’s lives. What if you could bottle all that potential up and take it on a vacation with you? An art road trip is an amazing way of doing that.
Benefits of an Art Road Trip
So, why is an art road trip something we recommend? Let me explain.
Seeing Their World
When traveling with kids, we hear their reflections aloud. We witness their awe and are brightened by their playfulness. But, when we give them space to create, we see even more of their inner world. We notice what is important to them and who they are.
When children are creating art along the way to document their journey, the trip offers us a new level of amazement and intrigue. For example, imagine the questions you can ask after reading their poem about the hike you took together. As a result, you have more opportunity for relationship-building. Win!
Creating Tangible Memories
More and more, children rarely touch what brings them joy. Our books, movies, music, games, relationships, photos are often digitized. Traveling with kids on an art road trip turns experiences into objects. Then, all their lives children can more easily recall the memories of your trip.
Engaging the Mind and Heart
In a general way, traveling with kids demands that parents plan activities for the trip. Everyone is happier this way. An art road trip is a great way to incorporate fun activities into travel. Additionally, through the creative process, children learn to trust their perspective. They learn to tell the story of their life. And they engage even more in the experiences they’re documenting.
Art Road Trip Activities
When traveling with kids it’s important to keep them occupied. This makes for happy kids, which makes for happy parents. Car games, coloring, reading, word puzzles, Mad Libs are just a few. But we’ve put together some ideas for how to make any trip into an art road trip.
Create a photo journal. Invite your children to take photos on your trip. They can use their phone or take the opportunity to get more comfortable on an SLR camera. Encourage them to capture moments that are important to them, scenery they like, objects that stand out to them, etc. Then, once home, print a book of photos for them to keep.
Keep a documentary sketchbook. Give your child a blank sketchbook and a set of fine tip markers or colored pencils. Invite them to create a page of drawings and description for each destination. There’s a great example of this practice over here.
Write poetry. Give your children the opportunity to write poetry throughout your trip. Give them options to choose from by explaining different forms of poetic expression. Perhaps they write about the scenery they see, describe what an experience felt like to them, or create a rhyming narrative about the trip.
Make collages. Use travel books, magazines, tourist information pamphlets and found objects to make collages. This can be done for each destination. This could be combined with the sketch and/or poetry book if your child wants to do all three.
Ponder the clouds. Just today my daughter invited me to look at the clouds with her. She wanted to show me the alligator on roller skates she saw in the sky. Take some time to do this with your kids, no matter their ages. It uses imagination and can result in some good laughs, too.
We want to hear what you’ll be up to this summer and how you’ll incorporate art. So, don’t forget to share in the comments below!