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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

LuxuryTravelDocs' Five-Part Series about the Benefits of Traveling with your Children! Part III: Education

Last time we saw how family vacations can lead to better brain development by stimulating key systems crucial to thinking, social intelligence and goal-directed behavior. 

According to experts, family vacations are the gift that keeps on giving and with the right planning a family vacation can be educational too!

Part III: Education

A family vacation can provide education in a number of ways.  Think of the characteristics of your travel destination and you may find educational opportunities in a number of ways:  history, nature, art, culture, and community just to name a few.

Always remember what we find interesting may not be interesting to others.  This concept applies to any vacation but is particularly important for children, since they may not be involved in the planning.  Ask what they want to do and balance what your wishes may be with theirs.  According to British Psychologist Oliver James,  “The first and simplest mistake that an awful lot of parents make is confusing what they find exciting about a holiday with what their children will. So many of the ‘interesting’ things about a new place are deathly boring to the vast majority of children — high culture, for example, in almost all forms. So your child, if at all typical, will grumble at the ghastly business of being dragged round.”

Consider nature as a way to stimulate visual development. Credit Pexels
If your child is very young consider art, architecture or nature as a way to stimulate visual and even language development.  Take time to describe the colors and shapes of what you see.  You are really a child's first teacher and take advantage of the opportunity.

If your child is very young consider art, as a way to stimulate visual and even language development. Credit Pexels
Do your homework before you go to a museum or tourist site.  For example, while we all think of a museums like the American Museum of Natural History, seen in Night at the Museum as best for children, some museums that we wouldn't consider have many things that appeal to children. Take advantage of children's programs! Maybe you roll your eyes when you even think of bringing your child to an art museum, but large museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art have audio children's programs.  Take them to see and Egyptian temple or mummies!  Or just download their children's map.  Make sure you make it interesting for them and give them options to choose what they would like to do.  Play to your child's personality.

Take advantage of children's museum programs! Credit Pexels
And after the visit, remember what interested your child and bring it home.  There may so much more  found on the internet about what they enjoyed and you may inspire even more meaningful time with your child.

Wherever you go, most children will find wonder in something!  That is the beauty of exploring. “Give a two-year-old a present and she’ll get absorbed in the box instead,” says James. “It’s similar with children and travel. We should let them explore their own ways of finding wonder in their surroundings.”  With planning there are many opportunities to make a family vacation educational and beneficial for your children!

Next time: Combat inactivity when planning vacation and your child's health will benefit!

Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional.  The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice. 

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