Here at My Chic Bunny, we love to travel. In fact, the only thing we love more than travelling is travelling with our families! Whether it is just a day trip to the beach or a long journey overseas, nothing makes us happier than packing a bag and taking some time away from the big city!
There are almost too many benefits of travel to name, but one of my personal favourite aspects is the fact that it allows me to educate my kids while having fun too! Your little ones don’t even need to stick their noses in their studies to get a brain boost while travelling.
Before leaving on a trip, I always make sure to get my kids involved in the planning process. According to Daniel Hilliker, a child psychologist from the United States, as young children begin to learn to think critically and question things in school, their newfound inquisitive nature towards the who, what, where, when and why of things translates well into travel preparation. Have them help you study a travel guide book, brochure or map, and watch as their curiosity bubbles over! There are even resources designed specifically for this purpose. A Kid’s Guide to The Grand Canyon, Explore Japan with children, things of this nature.
In this day and age, we don’t even need to purchase a travel book. In addition to hosting My Chic Bunny’s brand new webpage, the internet has thousands of other free resources available! Here in Hong Kong and across the globe, young children are increasingly tech savvy, so perhaps they can even help you find some great info and learn something new. Who knows?
The internet also makes it quite easy to plan out an itinerary as a family. There are many travel review sites, helpful blogs, ‘to-do’ packing lists and other top notch sources available.
Once the trip has commenced, I enjoy playing games with my children, both while we are travelling to our destination and once we have arrived. Personally, I prefer the older non-wired games, such as I-Spy or twenty questions, as they promote some quality bonding time between family members. In the USA, where there are fifty states, I have heard of people counting the various state licence plates as they cross the country. This sounds like a lot of fun, and a great way to teach children some simple geography! I will certainly be marking it down on my to-do list!
As with the planning stage, technology also impacts gaming. My children often prefer playing games using app’s on my cellphone to the more traditional games I like to play! Although this may not present the same opportunity for family bonding as my games, it can be very educationally rewarding. If your kids suffer from backseat boredom, consider checking out some of the reviews on BestKidsApps.com. They have plenty of travel apps listed that focus on geography, as well as an assortment of other games that can boost math skills, critical thinking and creativity. As bad a rap as video games sometimes get, even the non-educational ones are great for improving hand eye coordination and reaction time. Just make sure the game is age appropriate!
Preparation and transit present a lot of educational opportunities, but the benefits really kick into gear when we arrive at our destination. From picking up street smart travel habits to trying new foods, the new environment you are in is sure to present ample opportunities for your children to expand their knowledge.
No matter where you and your family go, there will certainly be ample opportunity to teach your kids about the geography, history and culture of your destination. Often, popular attractions even have tour guides who will teach you something too. It’s never too late to learn!