We love to go on family road trips and whether it’s a long drive that takes a few days or a short weekend trip having the kids in the car for extended periods of time as a captive audience gives you the opportunity to teach them new things. Here are some tips for turning your family road trip into a learning experience.
Set the right environment for learning.
There will be no learning and of course no fun if the kids are not comfortable during the ride and the driver doesn’t feel confident behind the wheel and has fun, that is why we decided to embark on a little family road trip on the new 2017 Mazda3 s Grand Touring hatchback. We loved this car las year and could not wait to test out it’s new features.
Read up on the place’s you’ll visit before you set off on your road trip.
A road trip is a perfect opportunity to put history and geography into context. We make learning about the states and cities we’ll be driving through beforehand in a fun way by watching videos and doing some state trivia.
Teach your kids map skills.
We have gotten used to depending on technology, but what happens when you have no signal on your phone and no navigation system on your car? Map reading is an important skill that everyone should know. A road trip is a perfect time to teach your children how to tell direction when you are driving and how to read a map and once they master this skill they will enjoy helping out the pilot by giving directions. Now the pilot may not enjoy that, but that’s a different story.
Reinforce a second language, or learn a new language.
Whether your kids are already speaking two languages or just one, the time spend in the car on long drives is ideal for learning a second or third language. We play music in Spanish and have a rule about only speaking in Spanish when we are in the car. Another great idea is to get audio books in the language your kids are learning or need reinforcement with or even have them watch a movie in Spanish.
Plan ahead and stop at historic locations.
With a little research, you will be able to find lots of historic locations along the way, it could be anything from a battleground or a historic marker to a historic building or even a historic restaurant! After your stop discuss further with your kids and be open to questions.
Use the car as a learning tool.
It’s important for kids to learn about what makes a car go. During long drives, you can discuss with you kids how engines work and also teach them about safe driving and road safety. This past weekend as we drove on the new
Minimize the use of technology.
We use technology only as a last resource. The kids know there is usually no technology in the care when we go on road trips so they are more willing to have conversations and discussions, ask questions and connect with us and with one another. When we see they are really getting tired of being cooped up in the care we’ll put on that movie in Spanish that we downloaded on the tablet and they won’t even complain that it’s in Spanish.
Don’t’ forget nature.
Road trips give you a perfect opportunity to teach your children about the natural environment and the biodiversity of the places you are driving through. Whether you plan ahead to make a stop at a local nature reserve or even a natural park, or just watch the birds and plants while you stop for a picnic you can start a discussion by asking questions like: How is the climate or the environment different here? What animals and plants do you see?
About 2017 Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door
We have shared our experience with the Mazda3 before. We already loved its elegant and sporty design and the interior, with it’s black and tan leather and red stitching details is one of my favorite interiors of any of the cars we have reviewed. This year the Mazda3, which in my opinion did not need much improvement as it was already pretty awesome, got some new features and updates that make it even better.
The 2017 Mazda3 features a new grille and headlight design, which gives this car an even sharper and more aggressive look, and we loved it! The rear bumper also got a bit of a facelift making for an overall cleaner design.
Even though the Mazda3 already had one of the best interiors for a car in it’s class the interior also got some tweaks including a couple of very practical, yet small changes, including more center console storage space (thanks to the new electric parking brake which frees up space) and larger door pockets, perfect for stashing electronics, snacks and road trip games.
When you embark on a family road trip safety is super important and that is why we love that this car handles so well on the road. It also includes lots of safety features like a rearview camera (which has been improved to expand the speed range at which pedestrians can be detected), forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. Cars equipped with the i-Activsense package can now also recognize road signs, what?! The Mazda3 has consistently gotten top crash test scores and great rating from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Now it also features Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system for improved steering response, which makes this car more responsive on the road.
We think that the Mazda3 is a fantastic car for its class (the best in our opinion) and the s Touring and s Grand Touring has some really nice extras including 18-in alloy wheels, xenon headlights and a head-up display directly in front of the driver.