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We are living in unique times. The travel moratorium we are seeing worldwide is unprecedented. International travel has essentially reached a standstill and there is no clear end in sight.
Many people are under lock down orders and have been trying to come up with ways to keep their kids occupied. I want to continue to keep our daughter excited about the world and international travel (and find ways to maintain our sanity) especially since I have no idea when we will be able to take a real family trip again. With that in mind, I decided to take our daughter on a “trip” even though real travel is tough if not impossible. Here are 6 things you can do to take your kiddos on a journey while staying at home.
1. Break Out a Globe or Map
This is a great place to start the journey. It helps your little one start to think about how much is out there. You can point out where you live on the map, where Grandma and Grandpa live or where they have traveled in the past. You can talk about how long it takes to travel to a destination. Our daughter equates time to “a day at school” or “a movie”. After you have picked a destination for the day you can begin your trip.
2. Do an Art Project
Most kids love to color and do art projects. Finding the national flag and help them draw it before they color it. If you aren’t artistically gifted you could print one out. Have them draw a plane, train, or car and talk about how you would use these different modes of transportation to get there.
3. Practice the Language
It’s always easier to learn a language at an earlier age. Kids are curious and love to try new things. Start simple and teach them how to say “Hello” or go over the numbers and colors. There are tons of great apps out there nowadays that make it fun for kids (or grown kids) to pick up on a new language. Our daughter loves Duolingo, Spanish School Bus, and Fun Spanish. This can be a great refresher for parents as well!
4. Listen to the Music
Music is a great way to get the feel of a culture. Search online and find music that is native to your destination. Listen to some songs and encourage your kiddo to sing or play along to the beat. Have them dance to the rhythm and if they need some inspiration check out the next idea…
5. Watch a Video of Dances or Cultural Events
This can be a great way to get your youngster to try a new dance or be inspired to learn about how the world is unique. Watching customs or dances from cultures different then their own can broaden your child’s horizons. It’s a great way to learn about history and bring it to life. Our daughter really enjoys watching the Balinese Kecak Dance and we hope to let her experience it in person at some point in the future.
6. Make an Ethnic Dish or Dessert
Making a local dish is another great way to bring your destination to life. Getting the ingredients and going through the process of preparing the dish really helps to engage kids. You can talk about the origin of each ingredient as you are cooking or baking together. Just make sure you tailor the complexity of the dish or dessert to your little one’s attention span.
What else would you add to the list? Share your ideas or where you “traveled” with your family in the comments below!
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