|The benefits that children gain from travel are life-changing. Seeing the world can make children more confident, fearless and knowledgeable overall. Many parents dream of exposing their children to other parts of the world but can’t afford it, others may just want to give their kids a little background info before making the trip. Either way, there are things that you can do to begin to teach your kids about travel without even getting on a plane.
Trace Your Family Roots
What better way to get kids engaged in learning about traveling to new places than to start having conversations about their ancestral origin. Sign up for a free trial on ancestry.com and allow your kids to start their online family tree. Have conversations about where their grandparents and great grandparents are from and what the area was like years ago compared to how it is today. Dig up old photos and significant memorabilia and help them to research the impact their relatives many have had on the towns, cities and countries where they once lived.
Visit Local Restaurants
Depending on what city you live in, there is an abundance of local restaurants that can take your taste buds to any part of the world you choose to go. Many times, some of the best foreign food comes from small family owned establishments. Expand your kids’ palate and have a little fun by allowing them to eat with their hands while trying a West African fufu dish. Or teach them how to use chopsticks by ordering Japanese sushi. See if the restaurant owners would be willing to give your kids a little insight into the history of the food and how it is prepared. Turning kids into “foodies” early in life is a sure fire way to help them become more interested in travel.
Plan a Travel Budget
Traveling the world without being financially literate can be dangerous. Even as adults, we can get caught up in the glitz, glam and excitement of jet setting to the next location while neglecting day-to-day financial responsibilities. It is better to teach kids to consider the ramifications of mismanaging funds early before they become adults who have to file for bankruptcy. Create a mock budget that would show your kids how much should go toward planning and spending on a vacation after the bills are paid. Help them to open their own account or get a piggy bank that would allow them to save money for family trips. Discuss how activities like shopping and dining out can add up to monies that can be used for travel instead. Teaching children small important money lessons early can make a huge difference in the kinds of decisions they make as adults.
Museums have great family programs and interactive exhibits that can get children immersed in the world of travel. Whether it’s history, art, sports or science there is surely something special that can cater to your kids interests. A young animal lover might enjoy learning about birds and mammals that are specific to certain countries and continents, what they like to eat and whether they’re going extinct. If your kid likes art, finding local exhibits that showcase famous artists like Frida Kahlo or Basquiat can start conversations about painting styles and culture. Or if your kids have grandparents who were in the military, check out a museum for veterans and learn more about the history behind the wars they fought and where they may have been stationed. There are endless ways to spark the imaginations of youth through museums.
Featured in Blackdoctor.org