This post is sponsored by BODYARMOR as a part of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
One thing that we enjoy doing each year as a family is to plan field trips and vacations. Since we all love learning about new things and we each have a sense of adventure this works well for our family.
Planning a Trip as a Family
Sometimes I give my children choices as to which location they would like to go for a trip. We like to offer our children a variety of trip options from free and local or seasonal to special admission and 2 hours or more away. Often our older children may give insight into locations our younger children have not experienced. If a trip location is familiar to everyone then we listen to the children as they voice their opinions for the options given. We try to pick field trips based on a general consensus that everyone will enjoy including mom and dad as the drivers.
Packing Food for the Family Trip
We have a very frugal budget so we tend to pack food for our field trips. We pack snacks for local shorter field trips whereas we pack a full meal plus snacks for all day trips like the zoo! Each child is typically assigned a task in order to get ready for a trip from packing the fruit to making sandwiches to taking “orders” for chips and drinks.
If we leave early in the morning we may eat breakfast in the car as well. Breakfast usually consists of yogurt or cereal bars and coffee and toast for mom and dad. We will pack extra fruit, jerky, cheese and crackers for a light snack.
Non-perishable items like dried fruit, jerky and cracker packs can be found in our snack bag in our van year round. Perishable items like sandwiches, cheese, fresh fruit and beverages are packed in coolers or lunch bags the morning of the trip. We try to be sure that we have plenty of beverages from water to juice boxes to BODYARMOR SportWater. (You can even save money on BODYARMOR with this coupon!)
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Packing Gear for the Family Trip
We always keep an eye on the weather the few days leading up to a field trip. We try to keep a bag with lightweight blankets by the door for chilly mornings as well as a bag of rain jackets in case it’s scheduled to rain for an outdoor trip. We also keep a bag with beanie hats and gloves for cooler Spring and Fall evenings when weather gets much colder than expected.
If we will be going on a field trip that we know requires special equipment the we pack those items as well. It could be equipment like a life vest or bike helmet or a change of clothes for nature play or splash pad fun!
Playing Games in the Car as a Family
If your children are close enough in age, they can play games in the car like 50 States License Game, Words of the Alphabet Game or general I Spy. Your children can also help each other out by looking for unusual animals or street signs along the way.
Learning New Things as a Family
Whenever we go on a field trip as a family I love seeing my children engage in learning together. I enjoy seeing a younger child being shown a new discovery by an older sibling. An older child often reads a sign or activity instructions to a younger one or helps guide them on a new experience.
When we went to the Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan there were many hands-on exhibits that were great for the whole family. The older children helped the younger siblings by giving them a boost when needed.
Sharing memories of field trips attended together is one way I am encouraging stronger sibling bonds and building our family culture.
Jennifer Hess says
Love it!! With a family of 4 living in Kansas our favorite is a road trip to Colorado! So fun and amazing memories!
SHANNON ALEXANDER says
I am very curious as to some of the places your kids have picked. Do you give them choices to pick from or the come up with it all on their own?
Many places we pitch to for blog reviews while closer locations we decide on as a family.
Glenda Cates says
I love how well prepared your family is when taking trips and I will be using some of your tips as it would make getting out of the house easier and quicker. As for the water, we haven’t tried it so I will run by Krogers this week to get some for our family. We are working on walking and building our strength up for a 5k.
We rely on lots of lists on dry erase boards and pre-planning clothes and shoes. We use a Google Sheet for clothes and shoes so when we garage sale we know exactly what we own and need!
Elise Ho says
Some of my best memories are from a road trip that the entire family planned together.
April J Harris says
Getting kids involved in the planning of day trips and longer trips too is such a wonderful idea! I really do feel that travel is such a key to growth both as individuals and as families. Thank you so much for sharing this post at the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for sharing. That give me encouragement to keep planning trips even though attitudes might wane sometimes.