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Travel Wise with Children

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Travel Wise with Children
101 Educational Travel Tips for Families  


    My friend Suzann shared a story that illustrates many truths about traveling with children.  When her children were school age she took them to the King Tut Exhibit. But, the farther she went into the exhibit, the grumpier her children became.  The magnificent displays were overshadowed by comments like: "This is soooo boring!” and “How much longer do we have to stay here?” Sound familiar? But the following year, almost every re-port and school project the kids did had something to do with that King Tut Exhibit they complained about!  Because parents have had similar experiences, it’s important to keep in mind some basic travel truths as you wander through those quiet museum corridors or along rocky mountain trails.

Travel Truth #1... The whole world is your child’s classroom.
 
Travel Truth #2... Traveling is one of the best ways to enhance your child’s education.

Travel Truth #3... Children absorb far more information than we as parents realize.

Travel Truth #4... No child is too young to travel.  You just need to be aware of age-appropriate destinations and expectations.

Travel Truth #5... Traveling need not be exotic, expensive, far flung, or elaborate to engage young, inquisitive minds.

Following are tip excerpts from the book.

Travel Wise Preparation:  Try these challenging activities to acquaint your children with places you will visit.

• Traveling is a great way to increase your child’s vocabulary. Whether you’re a spelunker dodging the stalactites and stalagmites deep in a cavern, or a deckhand on a catamaran flying across a windy lake, your trip will expose the kids to many new words, phrases, local idioms, and dialects.  First, develop a word list together--new words and phrases you’ll encounter on the trip.  Include historical names, locations, animals, people, and everyday words too.  Kids can list in a journal new words and phrases they learn.  Billboards, newspapers, and local magazines are good ways to find new words and phrases.  For example, when Susie sees a word from her list on a billboard or printed anywhere, she collects a bingo chip like paper clips, M & Ms, pennies.  Susie can exchange her bingo chips for a special souvenir toward the end of the trip.

• What products come from the part of the country you will visit?  Organize a household product scavenger hunt.  Your oatmeal may come from Chicago, your corn chips from Dallas, and peanut butter from Boise.  There are hundreds of factory tour opportunities around the country.  Your household scavenger hunt will help you find them..  If your peanut butter originates in Boise, chances are there’s a big plant there.  Also consult your library.  Most travel guides offer information of area products and tours.

Travel Wise on the Road, in the Air, Once You’re There:

• Crayon rubbings with medium weight light-colored craft paper are a great way to pass the time in the car or to bring history and nature home with you.  Anything with texture such as car keys, earrings, leaves, grasses, flowers, and seashells can be used for rubbings. First remove all the paper from the crayons so the kids can rub on craft paper over plaques of historical buildings and statues, or on memorial markers.

• How many modes of tranpor-tation can you experience on your trip?  Keep a log.  Help the kids brainstorm ideas: subways, taxis, ferryboats, sightseeing carriages, helicopters, airplanes, monorails, ship, steamrollers, trains, bikes, rollerblades, buses, shuttles, trucks, horses, ski lifts, golf cart, wheel chair, and sled.  How are they different?  Which holds the most or fewest people?  How does each one work?

• Buy each child a disposable camera and/or waterproof camera.  Explore photo themes such as animals; views from hotel windows; skyscrapers; friends and relatives; lakes, rivers, oceans; wildlife; modes of transportation; and sporting events.  Each photo is an expression of their imagination and creativity.  Later at home the kids can make picture scrapbooks--made by stapling several sheets of construction paper together or organized in a photo album.  Captions can be added for each snapshot.

Travel Wise Making Memories: Before the trip is a distant memory, take steps to savor your kid’s newly acquainted world.

• Buy a large world map, frame and hang it up in your home.  With small stars or dot stickers mark the places you have visited in the U.S. and abroad.  The kids can show the map to their friends and name far-flung destinations.  Not only will they learn world geography, map enthusiasts may help chart your next vacation.  

Travel Wise Anytime:

• When you’ve heard, “Mom, I’m bored,” one too many times, it’s time to take a trip around the world.  Open an atlas, look at a globe, or world map.  Ask the kids where they’d like to go.  Select a state or country and begin mapping a route to take you there.  The kids can make boarding passes and help plan an itinerary.  Construct passports with glued on pictures, and draw or put a stamp on countries you’re visiting.  Visit the library and learn about local food and customs.  Plan locations you will want to tour.  Learn about the games, crafts, and food.  Encourage youngsters to dress up as a “senorita” or “airplane pilot.” Culminate the “trip” with a dinner of fish sticks, rice, and pine-apple, along with a beach towel table cloth for an Hawaiian luau, or a meal from “Little Italy.”

 
-- Mary Rodgers Bundren, To order Travel Wise with Children contact Inprint Publishing, Inc. at 405-340-1404. 

 

Where are Tricia and Marla?


Tricia and Marla climbed these steps to this magnificent temple. Where are Tricia and Marla?
Click here to find out. 

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Rewards & Opportunities
Traveling with our Children

"I’ve been traveling with my son since he was 13 weeks old and I love it!  Actually, I discovered that traveling with my child was easy for I was already committed to including him.  I find it a challenge to plan ahead and anticipate his needs... and well rewarded with fun, family adventures." -- Publisher/Editor Deb Cornick 

    So, what do we parents who travel with our children know that others don’t?

VACATION IDEAS

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