* Written by guest blogger, Joyce Wilson of Teacher Spark
Family vacations during school breaks have been delayed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the world is starting to open back up, people are beginning to consider traveling again. However, many people are traveling to new places instead of traditional tourist attractions. Whether you decide to stay home or travel somewhere different, this year's winning combination for school breaks is family fun and technology. exquisitEXCHANGE has some ideas that can help make this time memorable and fun.
Read on to see ideas for using technology to create family fun.
Outdoor Movie Nights
Consider an outdoor movie night if you have a school break where the weather is warm or cool (but not freezing). This idea uses traditional technologies and a little modern ingenuity. If you don't already have them, you'll need a white screen or sheet and a projector. You can create permanent or temporary structures (like a gazebo or open-sided tent) to house your movie area. Bring your blankets and pillows outside to enjoy a night of movies beneath the stars. If you feel comfortable, invite your extended family or best friends and make it a community event.
Technology For the Road
Traveling with children has always been a little challenging because they have shorter attention spans. A toddler's attention span is only four to six minutes long. This can make long car trips difficult for them (and you) if you aren't prepared. Consider getting a learning tablet for your youngest children to use on long car trips. You can find an affordable kid's tablet at Walmart for around $60 that lets you set a timer for how long your child can use it. For long car trips, one to two hours (depending on the length of the trip) may be a reasonable limit.
Of course, another issue about traveling with children is their propensity to wander off. Around 800,000 children are reported missing in the United States each year. The good news is that technology (like Amber Alerts) has made it easier to find missing children, and around 99% of those reported missing are found safely. Personal technology can also make this easier. For example, the newest generation of children's smartwatches is equipped with GPS tracking and medical identification in case of an emergency. These smartwatches also have a range of parental controls you can use to keep your children on track.
Road Trip Exploring Historical Technology
If you're looking for a place to explore with the family this year, consider one that lets you get a look at historical technology. For example, you could take a trip to visit the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia. When it was first built in 1977, the bridge transformed a 40-minute drive into a one-minute drive. Additionally, it became the longest steel-span bridge in the western hemisphere.
Another idea is to visit Batsto Village in Hammonton, New Jersey. The village has been preserved the way it was in the 1700s and early 1800s. Besides a historic mansion, there's a working blacksmith shop that often gives demonstrations. The remains of a gristmill and sawmill are also on site.
Combine Technology and Family Fun for the Win
Tech and family fun is a winning combination for this year's school breaks. For personalized children's books your kids can read during your travels, check out exquisitEXCHANGE's Personalized Children's Books.
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