If taking your kids on vacation, why not turn travel into an educational experience? It can be both fun and informative if you do it right:
- Immerse them in another culture — Instead of visiting the tourist cities, why not spend time in a smaller, less-visited city or town? Your kids will get a glimpse at what life is really like in the country, not just the “polished” version that tourists get to see. They can practice the local language, eat real local foods, and interact with people who aren’t looking to take advantage of them as tourists.
- Encourage curiosity –– When they express interest in a certain activity or location, encourage it, even if it’s not your favorite thing to do. You can’t just hang out at the beach or pool all day long, so get out and see the sights. Your children will love to explore new things (once you get them out of their comfort zone), so let them set the pace and dictate where you go. Who knows what sort of adventures you could find yourselves in if you’re willing to follow your children’s natural curiosity?
- Eat like the locals — Want to learn a lot about the culture of a country? Find out what kind of food they eat, and how they eat it! For example, corn production is a major contributor to the Mexican economy, and everything in Mexico is made with corn in some form or another. See what sort of food the locals eat, as well as HOW they eat it (with their hands, with utensils, etc.). It can be a fascinating, educational experience for your kids.
Read Part 2 for more ways to turn travel into an educational experience…