Travel is the best learning experience!
Remember those middle school trips to Washington D.C. or if you grew up in Florida, to St. Augustine? Besides the obvious fun of traveling with your entire class those long-distance field trips were learning experiences. The way I see it every trip is a learning experience for our children.
Not quite sold yet?
I’ll tell you why you should be asking for extra credit after your next family vacation instead of the missed homework assignments.
Different methods of transportation.
Planes, trains, and automobiles. When you travel you use them all! The novelty of transportation is very much an enriching experience. The more methods of transportation to get to your destination the better! If you live in a land locked area it will be interesting for your children to see how communities with many waterways utilize boat transportation not only for recreation but, to move people around the city. For many children, air travel is the most fascinating of all. Children love the opportunity to meet the pilot and take a moment in the cockpit. Those are sometimes the most memorable moments of a trip. These are hands-on career day moments.
When your travels take you to another country then your trip will be full of learning. Interacting with new people who have an accent, trying new foods, or hearing a different kind of music. Maybe the cars drive on the other side of the road or there is a different currency. If your family is really into international travel, you can keep track of all the destinations you have visited with this fun Push Pin World Travel Map and learn about world geography.
Something else we like to do when we travel is visit local children’s museums and visitor centers. Often, they will have free presentations about the local history and nature. We love to get outdoors and go for a hike too. Many times, parks are free to the public or cost of admission is a minimal fee. Children are so good at noticing subtle differences in the environment, like how there might be different insects around or maybe the dirt is a clay-like texture and not sandy compared to what we are used to in Florida. From the oceans to the mountains mother nature always has a lesson for us.
Sparking new interests.
When you come home from travels you may have noticed your child has even sparked a new interest or collection. We started out with a few and now we have a very curated stone and shell collection from our family travels. It has become a fun way for them to learn and also remember the destinations they have collected from. We have also collected books from many destinations we travel to. Good Night World has a book for every destination you can think of. One of the aspects I like most about these books is how they expand my children’s vocabulary with words we might not normally use not being local to that destination.
Travel is the learning experience we can give to our children to help them open their eyes and minds to the world around. Then they are excited to come home and share their experiences and new found knowledge with friends during show and tell for weeks to come.