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Monday, February 26, 2018

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Top 10 Travel Ideas

LL Bear Reading Airplane Safety Rules LL Travel Bear joined Michelle and Suzie on their travels to New York. He spent his flight time looking for new letters in the Safety Pamphlet. We’ve compiled some ideas to help you and your child get the most out of your travels. Please see Michelle’s book, “What Children Need to Learn to READ” for more great activities.

Top 10+ Reasons to Travel with Kids

  1. Kids can build critical background knowledge.
  2. Children become better able to handle new situations.
  3. Travel can be far away or as close as your local zoo or neighborhood park.
  4. They can learn about geography, and maps.
  5. Travel makes history come alive.
  6. You can experience different cultures, environments, habitats as a family.
  7. You might see new animals and plants.
  8. Exploring new places helps children to be more open and understanding of other cultures and ways of life.
  9. Kids can see museums, landmarks, national parks.
  10. They can experience new sights, sounds, tastes, smells.
  11. Traveling takes a child out of her normal comfort zone builds confidence.  She won’t be as fearful of new places, experiences and new people.

Ways to Get the Most out of Your Travels

  • Plot your trip on a map ahead of time
  • Have your child plot out their own dream vacation.  For older kids, have them check prices for airline tickets, hotels, concert tickets, museum trips, etc.
  • Give them a special journal and a disposable camera to take pictures with a travel bear or special stuffed animal and then write about what they did with travel bear each day.
  • Start a Travel club. A small traveling bear or stuffed animal  could rotate between friends or classmates and go on each of their travels.  Everyone records what they do and where they go with travel bear.  This record is compiled into a group travel journal. Kids are excited to see where he will go next. Plot travel bear on a map.  He could even Twitter or Blog his location and travels as he goes.
  • Before the trip, research the location and find out as much as possible ahead of time.  Take advantage of these teachable moments.
  • Kids will be excited when they come across something that they learned about before the trip “I remember learning about this before we left.”
  • If you are going to a country with a different currency, play money games with the currency so kids have an opportunity to experience how money is different in other countries.
  • When visiting museums, keep it age appropriate.  One statue or art exhibit is fine for most toddlers – especially if they can climb on the statue!  If your child loves airplanes, spent a short time at an art museum and then go visit the airplane museum.
  • Remember even if your child is whining through a visit to a museum, or landmark tour, months later, they might say, “Oh, I remember such and such about that building.”  Just keep your patience and avoid the temptation to see everything in one 4 hour sprint.

Ways to stay sane through your travels

Sometimes getting to and from your destination is the most difficult part of a trip.  Sitting for long periods is hard for kids.  Here are some ways to keep kids occupied and happy.

  • Play the License plate/ABC game (states or numbers).
    • How many different license plate numbers can you spot?
    • Find the letters of the alphabet in order on license plates.
    • Find numbers in order on license plates.
  • Sing or listen to songs, nursery thymes – all sing together or use headphones.
  • Check out books on tape/CD from the library.
  • Play I spy .
  • Make up a Silly story where each person comes up with the next sentence.
    • “There once was a purple cat that flew to the moon.”
  • Buy postcards and have your child fill them out while you are driving
  • Have reading books, coloring books and puzzle books in car.
  • Bring a travel Treasure Bag that only comes out when you travel (travel games, toys, coloring books, special snacks that they might not get at other times).
  • Plan ahead, get kids involved in the planning and provide them with fun things to do along the way.
  • Ideas from “What Children Need to Learn to READ”:
    • Secret Codes – p. 131
    • In Other Words – p. 129
      • Can also use Bannagram or Scrabble pieces for this
    • Raving Reporter – p. 118 – Great idea if visiting rarely seen relatives.
    • Alphabet Cereal, Cookies, etc. – p. 87
    • Purchase travel games – view some ideas on our website –
    • Bring a collection of scotch tape, post-it notes, blank paper, paper clips, play dough.
      • Let your child just create.

    To download this list, click here: Traveling with Kids Download