Summer is just around the corner and many of us have already started planning our family vacations. If you too are in the midst of gathering travel ideas, don’t forget to include your kids in the process.
Not sure how to start? It’s as simple as a trip to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local library. Find a book or two about the places you plan to visit. A well selected storybook or child focused travel book can be an invaluable tool when it comes to building enthusiasm, sparking curiosity and planting important destination facts.
Get your kids excited about where they are going and what they’ll see. Introduce them to some of the town’s historical characters, artwork, curious facts or interesting folklore. By providing them with an engaging preview of the places they’ll see, you’re more apt to get their buy in.
But don’t stop there. There are two more things you can do to make your trip all the more memorable for your child.
While on your trip, collect an age appropriate book or two at each of the sites you visit.
These books are sure to capture kid friendly info about:
• The people who live or lived there
• The geography & ecosystem
• How the state or country came to be?
• Important historical figures
• The culture
• Flowers & animal life
• Curious facts, legends & folklore
Make sure that you or your child write down on the back cover, the date and place where you bought the book. Add one thing your child found most interesting about the place. And if time allows, take a moment to read a little something from the book while you are still there. By doing so, you might just find another place of interest close by that you’s like to visit.
If the book happens to mention that Lupines fill the hillsides just outside of town, go looking for them. If the story mentions a historical site or local birds, make a point to check them out. And once you’re home, read the stories together. Encourage your kids to compare and contrasts the places you’ve been and the things you’ve all seen as a family.
Finally, consider having your child keep a travel diary. They don’t need to write a novel and this isn’t even something in which you’ll want to correct spelling or sentence structure. Just let this be a chance for your child to capture a few of their own personal memories of what they found most exciting about their trip.
Looking for something to do on a rainy afternoon next winter? Have your kids take out their books and journals, make some popcorn and sit down and share recollections of your exciting family vacation.
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