The excitement children have about travel is like nothing else. They love to explore new places and learn about different cultures. There is a never ending string of “Why…..?” when you are traveling with kids as they take it all in. Here are a few ways to inspire your budding traveller while you are at home in between adventures.
Create a pin wall
Find a map that fits the size and style of a wall in your home. I put up a big one in my son’s room above his bed. We’ve begun sticking pins in the places we have gone which in turns ends up leading to conversations of places we want to go, things we want to see, explore and even eat.
Write down your stories and read them at bed-time
My husband and I sold our house, bought a Westfalia and travelled from Vancouver Canada to Santiago Chile before we had children. I began writing down the stories a few months ago to compile them for the kids when they are older but some of the stories I can share with them now. Stories about little people we met along the way, the girls in Guatemala, the little surfer boys in El Salvador. I plan to compile them with the photos into a book for them one day but in the mean time it’s great bed time material especially when we are traveling and they are getting bored of the few books we managed to pack or when we’ve forgotten to bring a book altogether.
Look through photos and create photo books of your family travels
Along the lines of the suggestion above but if you’re not a writer or can’t find the time to write make photo books instead. Kids love pictures and it’s easier for them to imagine different countries with visuals.
Read kids travel books and/or order National Geographic Kids magazine
Some really great travel books for kids include:
- This is series: This is Paris, This is Munich, This is Australia
- Goodnight series: Goodnight Vancouver, Goodnight Seattle, etc.
- And of course my all time favorite Oh the Places You Will Go by Dr Seuss is a must have
Have theme nights at home
We did this with when I was a child and I cherish some of the funniest memories with my family on these nights. Hawaiian night, Mexican night, Mongolian night it’s fun to research the foods and dress of another culture with your little ones. Get dressed up, download some music and enjoy making a “weird” meal together.
Whenever you travel without the kids send postcards even if it’s not far and ask other friends and family members to do the same. It’s exciting for kids to get mail and even more exciting when it has a cool picture of something or somewhere they have never seen. Once they get the postcard take out your globe or map and spend some time looking at where it came from, how far away it is, how the person got there and how long it took them.
Children are naturally curious about things that are different it’s fun to explore new places and watch their minds grow with new experiences. Have fun and travel safe.
Post contributed by Kimberlee from Araya Adventures – a Vancouver Island based, wildly adventurous, free spirited family of four. This momma keeps herself busy working as a registered paediatric nurse, freelance writer and planning vacations for her tribe to explore the world.