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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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Travel with Kids


Why travel with kids?

Traveling with your children is important for many reasons. For one, you will build those critical family bonds and have shared experiences that you can talk about together for years to come. Travel is also extremely educational for children. The more experiences they have when they are young, the farther ahead they will be in the future. Traveling with children helps them build critical background knowledge that will serve them well as they grow and learn. The educational benefits of travel for children are enormous. Traveling takes a child out of her normal comfort zone and builds her confidence.  She will feel good about conquering her fears and shouldn’t be as scared of new people, places and experiences in the future. Traveling is a multi-sensory experience for your child. He will encounter new sights, sounds, smells and tastes and will thus be widening his realm of knowledge and understanding. He will have the opportunity to learn about new cultures, environments, and habitats. Traveling will also help him to be more open and understanding of other cultures and ways of life. Children can learn about history, geography, and map reading. They can also learn about new plants and animals that they encounter on their travels. They will learn that there is more in the world than just what they are familiar with in their own little sphere of “home”. The places you travel can be far away or as close as your local zoo or neighborhood park. Museums, landmarks and national parks are also great places to take kids.

There are many ways that you can enhance the travel experience for your child. You can have your child help you plot out your trip ahead of time on a map and research the different places that you will visit. You can check out travel books and children’s books about the culture and geography of the places you will encounter. Your child will be excited when she comes across something that she learned about before the trip.  A great idea to help your child feel more comfortable and confident when she travels is to bring a “Travel Bear” along with her on the trip. Travel Bear can be any one of her special stuffed animals or can be an animal reserved just for traveling. Travel Bear can be with her when she learns and reads about the journey before the trip. Then Travel Bear gets to buckle up and join in on the excitement of the trip! Your child can take Travel Bear along and take pictures of him in the different locations along the way. Then she can put the pictures into a travel journal and write about what she and Travel Bear did, saw and learned.

She will have a “friend” to share her journey with and will be more excited about writing and documenting her travels with the aid of “Travel Bear”. Please see www.LearnersLane.com for examples of “Travel Bear” and journaling with your child. You can even start a “Travel Bear Club” with your child’s friends or classmates. Travel Bear and his journal can rotate between the children and go with each one of them on their travels (near or far). Each child can take pictures, or draw pictures of themselves with Travel Bear. Then they can write about what they did and saw together. Then they will give Travel Bear and the journal to the next child. The kids will be excited to look at what each of their friends did with Travel Bear. This activity encourages children to read, write and learn about new places. You could plot Travel Bear’s journeys on a map. He could even have his own blog or Twitter page.

Have fun traveling with your kids. Feel good about knowing that you are expanding their base of knowledge and experiences. Savor these moments with your children. As a parent, you only get these opportunities once in a lifetime. Why not enrich your child’s life, while enriching your own and create those family memories that will last a lifetime. Please visit www.LearnersLane.com for more tips on traveling with your child and even more games and activities to make your travels smoother, enhance your child’s learning experience and stay sane throughout your journeys.

Michelle Vallene

Educator and author of What Children Need to Learn to READ – The complete parent’s guide to literacy, a love of reading, and school readiness – Birth through the Early Grades Edition
www.LearnersLane.com