Traveling with your young family can be an incredible experience. However, it can also be draining and intimidating. If you have young children, then you’ll be familiar with the constant echoes of ‘are we there yet?’. So, why do we even bother taking our children on trips? Well, it’s an essential part of their growth and development.
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Are your children experiencing the world?
Children should experience different cultures and places to understand the world around them. It’s essential for their social development and introduces them to a variety of people from different backgrounds.
There are some fantastic ways to keep your children entertained on the road and educate them. Teach your children about geography, history, nature, and culture to enrich their lives. If you’re unsure about how to teach them, then here are 11 ways to educate your kids while you travel:
Expanding geographical knowledge
Geography is something we should all have a broad knowledge of, but many of us don’t. Your children should learn about the world around them to see there’s a lot more to life than the borders they live within. Children can learn about valuable resources and develop an appreciation for geography.
Your children are also more likely to take an active interest in the news if they understand where places are. Knowing the difference between a country and continent may not seem important, but it can benefit a child intellectually.
1. Map it out
You can teach children with an old-fashioned map, or appeal to your tech wizards with Google Maps. Show them where you’ll be traveling to and how to follow a route. If you’re using GPS navigation on your phone, then ask your children to help watch the phone for delays and roadworks. It will help them learn how to navigate and learn the distance between places.
2. Research on Wiki and Google
Gone are the days of bulky encyclopedias! Use your mobile devices as educational tools on the road and research various places. Make it a fun activity by giving your children tasks to complete. An example would be to ask them to find out which is the largest town in a city.
History is one of the most thrilling topics to learn about. It takes us back to the past and helps us see how society gradually developed into what it is today. The historical experiences your children can learn while traveling can never be replicated in a classroom. History also helps them learn to respect different cultures and understand important events.
Everywhere in the world has a story and learning about history can improve a child’s empathy. When they discover how tragic events shaped communities, they’re more likely to connect with others and be a well rounded, emotionally healthy adult.
3. Plan to stop at historical places on your journey
Learning about history in a classroom environment can be boring, but being physically close to an ancient building or monument will spark a child’s interest. If you’re worried about costs, look for off-peak tickets or just take the 15% Groupon discount code and apply it to cart at the time of purchase.
4. Create a project
If you’re planning to visit a certain place, then give your children a project to complete while traveling. Let them use your phone or tablet to research the place, and when you arrive, they can explore it and show you what they’ve learned.
5. Look at the architecture
There are so many beautiful buildings that have an interesting story. Point them out to your children while driving and ask them to find out who built them and when they were designed.
Learning about cultural diversity
Children must develop social skills to succeed in life. If they don’t meet people from different backgrounds, then it will impact them both personally and professionally. Young people that haven’t had sufficient social interaction can often develop anxiety disorders in later life.
One of the most valuable lessons your child can learn about is cultural diversity. It’s common for people to live in a community which shares the same faith as them, so educating your child about religion is essential for their emotional growth. They will learn to be tolerant of different cultures, religions, and lifestyles.
6. Photograph projects
If you’re visiting an area, then give your child a camera to take photographs. They’ll do something practical, and they’ll be able to lookat the photos afterward to understand the culture more.
7. Develop their language skills
Children pick up new languages very quickly, so get them to practice learning in different countries. Using interactive language tools is beneficial, but nothing compares to practising with people that speak the language in real-life situations.
8. Immerse them in the local culture
Instead of visiting the tourist areas, take your children to local towns and restaurants. Let them see how people live, visit the shops and sample some local cuisine. The best way for people to learn about culture and acceptance is by seeing it, not reading about it.
9. Introduce your children to local people
Travel is the best way to meet new people, and it can help children develop socially. Whether it’s other tourists or the local people, interacting with a broad range of people gives a child more confidence.
Nature is all around us, yet so many don’t noticeits beauty or respect it. If your family lives in a city, your children don’t get to interact with nature much. Spending time outdoors gives them an understanding of the world and teaches them the importance of protecting the environment.
10. Let your children experience wildlife in different countries
Reading books and watching documentaries is great, but there are some animals your child might never meet. Trips to animal sanctuaries and conservation parks are fantastic ways to encourage your children to take an active interest in nature.
11. Plan a weekend camping trip
Kids love camping, so combine fun, outdoor activities, and education. Give your children a reference book and have them look at various trees, plants, insects, and birds. They can note what they’ve seen, and identify it, which will spark their interest. If you’re not sure what equipment to take, use this handy checklist.
Learning doesn’t have to be boring; you just need to get creative. Using the above tips will turn vacations, road trips, and long journeys into fun-filled educational experiences.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.