Reading skills and Travel: Tips!

 Reading skills and travel

Travel affords families a lot of together time. Travel allows us more time to talk, listen, reconnect and rediscover each other than we get to do in our day to day overscheduled and busy lives. But, as wonderful as all the together time really is….a little bit of downtime is nice for everyone for recharging.

Parenting 24/7 on a trip is hard on the brain. Talking, listening, and answering endless questions like “Why? Why? Why? Why?” will wear on a person! Use reading time to get a few minutes of peace and quiet so you can recharge.

Reading is a GREAT activity to occupy little minds which gives you some time off. Kids old enough to read can read their favorites and littles can listen to audio books! Extra credit if the older kids read to the younger, too!

You can feel really good about choosing reading time for your kids because both reading AND listening to someone reading improves reading skills.

What an awesome parent you are!

Don’t lug books around. They are super duper heavy! Sometimes we do travel with books, but one each and everyone carries their own.

girl reading, Reading skills and travel,

Reading Skills and Travel: Consider a Kindle.

I love kindle and the other versions out there. You can have an entire library on a small, lightweight device!! This is especially valuable to the littles because the books they enjoy are very short and this allows you to ‘carry’ LOTS of books with you!

Reading Skills and Travel: Consider online reading websites.

If you are worried about your own reading and character voice skills, take a look at this story time online website! The readers are actors! They can be a hard act to follow, LOL, but thankfully the kids never compare parents to the pros. Storytime online.

Kids can hear their favorite actors read wonderful children’s literature. Just link on your electronic device and be taken away into the magical world of reading. Headphones make this an anytime on the go fun activity! This isn’t just for young kids. Even tweens can benefit from listening to someone read!

Be aware that if you use this idea, you’ll need access to wifi.

Boy reading book, Reading skills and travel,

Reading Skills and Travel: Download books onto your device.

You don’t need a special device like a kindle to have an armload of books in a small package. Downloading a book to your device means no worries about whether or not you have wifi.

Try Audible from Amazon. You can download to devices like phones and iPads that you might be carrying anyway. Don’t forget the earphones! Kiddos can listen in spots where they need to be quiet, like an airplane or places where you want them to be quiet like a hotel room where you are trying to decompress!

Amazon Audible is our new favorite for the available titles. Super easy, you just pay, click and download! Click here for a free 30 day Audible trial! That is how we got started.

Reading Skills and Travel: Play games

Play is how a child learns: about himself/herself, the world, and how he/she fits into it. Play is how kids make sense of the world!

According to Pediatrics magazine:

Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well being of children and youth.”

Use play to connect with your child, entertain your child, and practice reading while you are at it!

Sight word catch!

Use a cheap inflatable beach ball to practice sight words. Write one on each color with a sharpie and pack flat in your suitcase. When you arrive and kiddo has the wiggles, inflate and toss back and forth. Wherever your hands touch when you catch it…those are the sight words you need to read. Even more fun if the kids play it together.

Super Speed 1000

Fantastic game for the older kiddos – upper elementary age kids. Can be used for tweens and up for practicing vocabulary in a second language course, too.  Go here to download the FREE directions and word list for Super Speed 1000.

Tic-Tac-Toe Reading

tic-tac-toe sight words from Cassie Osborne, Reading skills and travel,

What a clever idea! Use their sight words, spelling words, vocabulary words and keep up those skills while on the road! Thanks, Cassie Osborne for the fun idea and photo.

Reading Skills and Travel: Why can’t I skip reading?

If you have a reluctant reader, you might hear this phrase, “But MOM! I’m on vacation! I shouldn’t have to read!!” Firstly, let me say that I get it. BUT and this BUT is really, super duper important.

Reading is important. Reading skills are valuable. Sticking with reading till a child becomes fluent and reads easily AND finds a reading genre they love is worth it. Take a look at this graph.

See the difference a little reading can make? A HUGE one.

Benefit of reading every night graph from Nagy & Herman, Reading skills and travel,


So, we brush our teeth every night – even though it isn’t ‘fun’ and we go to the pediatrician for check ups even though that isn’t ‘fun’. We even eat vegetables every day because it is good for us even though we all would prefer chocolate cake. You wouldn’t dream of letting your child not brush their teeth and skipping reading shouldn’t be an option for long either. It matters.

Becoming fluent and being able to read smoothly without stopping to sound out words (which slows a kid down and makes everything they read seem b-o-r-i-n-g) is a process. It can take exposure to a word 10-40 times for it reading that word becomes automatic. So, every single time you help them COUNTS!!

Reading skills and travel: Read about your destination.

Getting kids really on board with a family vacation involves teaching them a little about what they are going to see. Use reading to get them interested! Children are naturally curious!

Click here for reading lists on specific destinations: London, New York, Paris, Italy, and Hawaii.

Boy reading, Reading skills and travel,

Reading skills travel well and are as valuable to our little global citizens as every other skill you teach them….and maybe even more.

Happy and well read travels!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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2 Responses

  1. February 28, 2017

    […] more about making travel educational and practicing academic skills as a part of every day […]

  2. April 12, 2017

    […] Are your kids missing school and you are wondering how to convince the school your trip is educational? Boy, have you come to the right place! Read how travel can help you learn math and practice reading skills. […]

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