If there’s one thing I’ve learned since starting our on-the-road journey it’s there are so many fun ways to teach geography while traveling. Even if you’re not a full-time traveling family like ours, you can use the ideas below for vacations, day trips, or to create a fun travel-from-home geography unit.
Psst… there’s a freebie and giveaway at the end of the post!
5 Fun Ways to Teach Geography While Traveling
1. Have your children use a map to track your travels.
At one point in time, the Dollar Tree carried foldable maps there were a little bigger than a regular-sized sheet of paper. They were black and white so kids could color the states while learning about them. We started using these maps when taking our family vacations to help track the different places we traveled.
Now that we are full-time traveling, we use a printable map to track the states we visit. The kids are also able to use a map like this to narrow it down to the cities we visit. If it’s not on the map, they have to find it and put a dot in the city’s place. These maps also come in handy for teaching math on the go (more about that in another post).
2. Play geographical features games.
The more widespread the travel, the more geographical features you are more likely to come across. Some locations may even have multiple geographical features present. You can play several fun games like:
- “I Spy”
- Landform Bingo
- Lego Geo Features
- 20 Questions
For younger kiddos, I recommend introducing geographical features with flashcards and printables. They can also be used to play matching games. This is definitely one of the most fun ways to teach geography while traveling with littles!
3. Discuss the climate differences.
Weather is a fun topic to teach about and one that comes to life every single day. The funny thing about weather is sometimes you don’t have to travel far to experience extreme climate differences. There was a time when we traveled just a few towns over and the weather (and climate) were completely different. It had rained in the area which made it super humid. When we went back to our cabin, it was a bit humid but much cooler.
Take some time to teach the difference between climate and weather. Then, incorporate fun lessons and experiences to help your kids see and understand it in real life.
4. Teach about time zone changes.
Time zones have been around since the lates 1800s and the history about them is a fun lesson to learn all on its own. I recommend starting with the history of who created time zones and why, then going down the “rabbit hole” of how they actually work according to the sun (depending on your view of the earth, stationary or heliocentric).
If you find yourself traveling between time zones, have your kids document the differences by asking a series of questions. Do the days seem longer or shorter? Are you waking up earlier or later? Can you physically feel the difference? And so on…
5. Make a geography travel journal.
Journaling is something that my kids (all ages) absolutely love to do. It’s also a great way to keep lessons in one place in addition to allowing them to be as creative as they want to be. When it comes to the subject of geography, a travel journal can be used for drawing things they see, writing entries according to questions asked, and the like.
A journal can also be turned into a lapbook. All you’ll need to do is provide your kids with things they can cut and paste into their journal. The maps, flashcards, and even postcards are great to add to the journal. Then, they’ll have a keepsake journal and can look back over all the things they learned during their travels.
Grab These FREE Notebooking Pages to Make Your Own Travel Journal!
This FREE Notebooking Templates Pack features 8 different templates to help note taking be more fun and creative. Use these printable pages to create fun ways to teach geography while traveling or while you’re at home! This is a digital resource that can be duplicated as many times necessary for personal use only.
What are some fun ways you teach geography in your homeschool?
Geography has always been one of my favorite subjects and even as an adult, I’m always learning something new. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be on the road for your kids to learn significant geography-related lessons. Before we became a full-time traveling family, we would have interactive lessons and learning using YouTube videos, books from the local library, and hands-on experiments (like making a volcano).
What are some fun ways you teach geography in your homeschool? Let me know in the comments below!