what should families do this summer? Let literature take you on a trip!
The school year is coming to an end. Travel plans are on hold. Summer camps are still in question. What should families do this summer?
While international travel may not be an option just yet, what about a road trip? What about good ‘ole fashioned playing outside? In the ocean, in the woods, on the mountain trail. Whatever nature you are near, it calls.
You can get the kids excited with a book about a great wilderness adventure! Read it out loud as a family or listen to the audio version together. You could choose a classic wilderness adventure book, such as:
- My Side of the Mountain & Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
- Call of the Wild by Jack London
Your kids will be inspired to play outdoors; maybe you’ll visit a local nature preserve. State and national parks are in the phasing-in process of reopening. Check out the the National Park Service’s website. They have many great resources, such as:
- Teaching with Historic Places if you’re planning to visit a historical site
- Discover our Shared Heritage has a list of travel itineraries
- On the list of field experiences, you can search by location, subject or age of child
- The Citizen Science program has options for working side-by-side with researchers
For my local Florida friends, or anyone planning to visit, check out these books to inspire your next road trip:
- The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. You’ll step back in time into the setting of the book when you visit the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park in Cross Creek, Florida. They offer guided tours of Rawlings’ homestead where she wrote The Yearling.
- Scat by Carl Hiaasen. Set in the Everglades, perhaps you’ll be ready to visit Everglades National Park after reading.
- Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. Another story set in Florida, this one in Coconut Grove.
- The Last Wild Place by Rosa Jordan. A story about the Florida panthers being driven out of their Everglades home.
What other books do you love that inspire travel?
I’m putting together a list, and would love to add your favorites! Please leave a comment with your favorite books that have inspired trips!
In addition to the above, I also suggest:
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Visit Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, where Little Women was written. They offer guided tours and innovative educational programs, including summer camps and special events.
- Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. Visit the town of Chincoteague, Virginia, including Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island where you’ll see the wild ponies, just like in the book. Enjoy the beaches, lighthouse and museum.
The majority of the books listed here are appropriate for ages 8 and up (check individual titles; The Hobbit recommends age 12+)
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