If you are looking to inspire a sense of wonder about the world in your kids and encourage them to develop a greater interest in travelling and exploring new places, there are several activities that you can do at home between trips … you don’t always need to be away from home to fuel that interest and pique their curiosity.
Here are some ideas of activities you can do at home to help your kids to become more interested in travel:
Have a Map
Having a large poster of the world map displayed somewhere in your home means that your kids can look at it often and familiarise themselves with the general layout of the world. You can use the map to discuss places that you will visit and plan to go and get your kids to point to them on the map. You could also put small stickers on the map of places that you have visited when you return so that they can see the different countries and / or cities in relation to the rest of the world.
Watch Travel TV
There are many television programs and documentaries about the different countries, people, and cultures of the world … spend time watching short interesting programs with your kids and talk about what you have all learnt after each program. Watching through the internet is a great way to get even more choices. Involve your kids in the decision making process, perhaps by all taking it in turns to decide what country to watch something about next.
Read About Exciting Places
Similar to above, there are many books about travel, including our terrific Kids’ Travel Guides! Try and choose books that have a good assortment of colourful pictures to really set that little spark of interest glowing brightly.
Short quizzes (with small prizes!) are often really appealing to kids … it also helps them to remember the main facts about different places and often leaves them hungry to learn more!
Get to know more about a particular country’s cuisine by having a fun carpet picnic at home, complete with all local delicacies for your children to tuck into! For example, a selection of breads, cheeses, pastries, croissants etc open the door to talk about France, pasta, pizza, and gelato can be used for Italy, hamburger and hotdogs are often associated with the USA … with international supermarkets found in most major towns and cities it really should not be too difficult to have a fabulously fun and inspiring foreign picnic at home! You could try and enjoy a different place every month and make it a regular occurrence. You can add even more to the experience by dressing in the relevant clothes, having the country’s flag to colour, and playing traditional music from your chosen country.
Travel at Home
Travel need not be far – there are probably lots of places close to your home that you have never visited. You could try and make it a regular activity to get out and explore somewhere new, even if it is just a new park, a different cafe, and so on. Just visiting new places is still travelling for little ones! Or, go to a familiar place using a different form of transport – if you usually drive somewhere take the bus etc.
How do you inspire an interest in travel with your own kids? Do you have any more great ideas that other parents could use?