You might not believe this, but traveling is in fact one of the best kinds of education around. Well-travelled children tend to be more tolerant and have more confidence to try new things. There are even studies that show that, thanks to hands-on learning, children who travel have better grades at school. Traveling teaches kids about new cultures and languages, as well as learning to be flexible. They learn about life simply by watching how some things are the same in some places and other things are different.
Often as families we might not get the opportunity to travel right away, so here are some ideas to bring travel alive in your home, just ready for that next vacation!
Reflect back on old trips.
You’ve surely done a few trips with the kids and one of the best things to do is to look back at that trip and discuss it with your kids afterwards. You could ask about what their best memories were, the best food they tasted, the most interesting people they met, what did they learn, who had the most fun and who had the least fun, what did we do that was new and exciting or even ask what the destination was like. Use these questions to find out how meaningful, educational, and fun the family trip was to each family member. You might be surprised how much children learn on travels, even when you didn’t even mean for the trip to be “educational!”
Choose your next trip together
To really get the kids involved, why not all choose your destination together. You can all get ready for the trip by learning some of the language, learning about the culture and the food and what great sights you can see. Getting the kids involved means that they really look forward to the adventure and will embrace the culture as they see it.
Go on local mini-adventures
If your next trip is a little too far out to contemplate right now then go on mini-adventures close to home over weekends. Still talk about the trip as if it was a big vacation and get your kids ready for some awesome sights and sounds. Some of the least appreciated tourist attractions are the ones closest to us! Remember that you don’t have to go far to give kids the traveling experience. Apps like Findery allow you to discover historic landmarks and local stories that you might not have heard of before. Check out the “Near” tab in the app to see what’s around you! Genius!
Embrace culture and start teaching it at home
During the school year, add some local attractions, like museums or theatres, to your list of things to experience with the kids. Art galleries are some kids’ favourite places to visit, and often offer collections from other countries and cultures, which you can once again use as a teaching lesson.
Immerse yourselves in Travel
Another great way to travel without leaving home is to go to the library and borrow travel books. Kids love doing research on different destinations. Planning, dreaming, and researching your family’s next travel destination an educational adventure all on its own! But it’s not just about that…get books, watch travel documentaries and movies that are all in different countries together and discuss whether you would like to visit that place one day. Ask your kids what they think about the landscape, the people, the places to visit and more. You could even make your next trip about visiting a location where a movie was screened. How cool would that be?
Plan your Budget Together
As we know that money doesn’t fall off trees a great part of teaching your kids about travel is about budgeting for the trip too. So why not start a family savings project where everyone gets to contribute money to the vacation fund. Get your kids thinking like entrepreneurs and allow them the freedom to choose an activity where they will be able to sell something of value and make money from it…not the family heirlooms however! You could have garage sales or even run a little side business on EBaby or Etsy. There are lots of opportunities; you just all need to get creative.
Make dinner time a travelling adventure for the whole family. Make it your goal to serve up dishes that are diverse and have culturally themed dinner nights. Try and cook together as a family and to get in the mood more, how about putting on some themed music. What a great way to travel and learn.
Teach your kids to eat with chopsticks. Create an English afternoon tea experience at home. Shop for exotic fruits at the grocery store together, and then learn more about the country where they are from when you get home.
Dressing for Travel
Whether you’re at home or on that dream vacation, your kids need to look the part and one of the most important things is that they wear the right clothes for the time of year and at the moment we’re focusing on spring. The clothes they wear are durable and comfortable and easy to wash and take care of. Here are some outfit ideas for your next staycation or vacation!
- Shoes – all kids need comfortable shoes on their travels and Lelli Kelly and Veja shoes are the perfect fit. Not only are they awesome but they are comfortable and funky all at the same time.
- Casual and comfortable – Sonia Rykiel Enfants has the perfect selection of casual, comfortable and truly fun and funky styles for the perfect holiday feel.
Teaching children about the world before they even set foot outside your front door is important. It helps them learn to be open to trying new things, and that not everything is the same as at home. Traveling with kids takes a lot of practice, and trips can easily be ruined by simple things like milk not tasting exactly the same or favourite foods not being readily available, but it’s always worth the challenge.