I don’t know about your little one, but my preschooler is all about transportation. He’s not really into playing with trucks and trains anymore, but he is fascinated with experiencing different types of transportation himself. The past few years, my husband and I have found that getting out of our car has given us all some new adventures and experiences.
Have you taken a train lately? If you live near a large city with public train transportation, it can be easy to take your train adventure as a day trip. Let your little one purchase the tickets from the conductor and sit near the window to check out each of the stops. We live in a Chicagoland suburb and usually drive into the city every once in awhile to visit friends or go to the museum. But lately we have been taking the train instead and it makes the day trip ten times more exciting for our son, and less stressful for us. No need for us to worry about parking or traffic and we can use the time on the train to talk about schedules and safety.
If you don’t live near a city with commuter or public train transportation, you might consider upping the ante and taking a weekend trip via Amtrack train. If you have a train lover, riding the rails will be excitement enough, with the final destination and activities just being a bonus. Train travel can be relatively inexpensive and a few hours on the train can get you to a destination that you might not have otherwise chosen for a weekend away.
Get your family out on a body of water with a boat ride. Consider a paddleboat in your local park district lagoon, or rent a pontoon boat at your closest lake or river. Try an airboat tour, a canoe ride, a water taxi, a sailboat or even a two person kayak. I’m a water person but never have been one for a boat ride. Motion sickness isn’t really my favorite thing. But, we have made it a point to get our son out on different boating experiences and it has been fun for everyone. Even a short paddleboat ride can bring many opportunities for learning and exploration. Try out a boat this summer – just don’t forget the life jackets.
I Like To Ride My Bicycle
Depending on the age and ability of your little one, your bike ride might look different than your neighbor’s. No matter how you are able to swing it, getting out on the bike gives your family the chance to exercise together and explore paths and neighborhoods right in your own town. For smaller kids, hook up the trailer and pull them to the park for a picnic. Sure, your legs might be burning after towing a toddler or two for a few miles, but you don’t have to go too far to make it seem special. Older riders can help pedal for longer rides on attachments like the Wee Rider, while getting plenty of work on balance. Elementary schoolers can follow behind you on their own bikes too.
How will you explore and celebrate transportation this summer? You might be surprised about what you find once you start looking for alternative transportation around your neighborhood. Hot air balloon festivals, horseback riding trails, Segway tours and other adventures await. Have fun!
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