How to Get Children Interested in Travel

Published: 08/06/2013

Curiosity is a natural thing for children but widening their curiosity to include distant lands and cultures sometimes takes a little prompting. They are naturally keen to visit new places like a campsite or playground and get excited about taking a journey on a bus into the city or a ferry ride across the harbour but why stop there? It's great to help them develop their curiosity further and encourage it whenever possible so that they can feel passionate about the world around them and hopefully empathetic to some of the troubles that occur in the poorer countries.

The first thing that comes to mind when describing another country is the atlas. Whenever I want to show someone the country that I am referring to, it’s the first thing I grab.  Get a map of the world and explore the rivers and lakes, the roads ands mountains and outlines of countries. Show them where their favourite animals come from and from which lands the different tastes of their meals have been adopted. Map out the routes of history's earliest explorers and indulge them in a little history lesson.  Art and music have their roots all around the world.  Among all of these topics, surely at least one will get your child’s attention.

If you are fortunate enough to have a rotating suspended globe, let them have a spin and land on random locations. There is something very special about seeing our planet in 3D. It's wonderful being able to see the oceans and continents mapped out to scale in the actual shape of earth and imagine our planet suspended in space as it is.

Reading books is also a powerful tool in opening people's minds up to the world around them. Paging through an encyclopaedia or getting caught up in a great novel. Any kind of book will do, so long as it transports your mind to another country or an adventure. For youngsters there are books like Harry Potter's Britain, Pippi Longstocking's Sweden, fairytales from India, Australia or Africa, just to name a few.  And just like books, great movies are powerful tools to transport your mind and they come with images! Disney productions or documentaries about animals, history, architecture and archaeology.  There is hardly a topic in the world that doesn’t have international tendencies or roots.

How about eating some great exotic meals. You can cook them at home or go out and visit restaurants of various cultures where you’ll be likely to find different kinds of décor and people serving you too. Sushi from Japan, Italian pasta dishes and pizza, or even a burger from America. Discuss the food, dream about experiencing it in it’s place of origin and explore how it came into being.

And if that isn't enough material to get a little person hungry to travel, try the Internet.  With a world’s wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, there are no limits to what you can discover but the best way to do it is to get on a boat, a plane, a bus, maybe a train… and go there yourself!

Posted in: General Travel
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