Is it a Vacation or is it a Trip?
Recently while reading one of my favorite parent blogs, I came across this statement: “When you spend 48 hours cramming suitcases, blankets, food, and toys into a minivan and then head out of town with your kids; it’s not a vacation, it's a trip!”
Let’s face it, we all have our ideal dream of what a vacation should be. You know, the one where you’re relaxing oceanside and having lots of people waiting on you. However, with children in tow, vacations take on a whole new meaning. As you prepare to head off on your spring break adventure, I hope you are embarking on a vacation. No matter which direction you might be headed, here are a few things that might make your trip more of a vacation and give your child the opportunity to expand their thinking, engage their minds and learn along the way.
Introduce a journal. Encourage your child to draw and list what they see and eat; they could also collect autographs and doodles from people they meet as well as ticket stubs and labels to add to their collection. If free mini-maps of places you visit are available, get extras for your child to stick into their books, and help them circle the places you've seen. If you're encountering different languages, put in lists of new words and as they learn one set, add more. These activities can trigger an interest in geography and other cultures.
Give your child a camera and let them loose. Sometimes they can see much more through the eyes of the camera. (Disposable cameras work well for little ones.) Pictures can provide children a unique perspective on their travels and create a lasting memory of their travels. Photography isn’t about a location; it can also be linked to the culture and history of the place. You can encourage your kids to take pictures around a theme. Being a photojournalist will add a unique twist to their travels.
Apart from taking photographs, there are lots of ways to help your child preserve memories of his or her trip. Buy a postcard from each destination and help them to note a single memory on the back, alongside the date or their age. You could also get them started on collecting commemorative collectables that most vacation places have, such as badges, paperweights, model cars, and boats, or toy animals.
For the adventurous parent, you might want to consider a cool and unique way to go treasure hunting with your child. Geocaching is the ultimate treasure hunting activity that’s sweeping the country. This activity provides GPS-based geocaching adventures and with sites like https://www.geocaching.com/play, you can register to see over 2,437,272 active geocaches worldwide. Get your Indiana Jones hat on and start searching!
These activities will give you the opportunity to provide eye-opening experiences that will make your child ask questions, which is a sign of a curious mind. Wherever you go on your spring break adventure whether it’s traveling abroad, stateside or your local community, remember travel will broaden the imagination and expand your child’s curiosity. Have a safe, curious, and engaging vacation!
Head of Preschool