As Daisy starts to get older, we’re finding it more important to incorporate some form of learning into our travels. She’s always learning whilst we’re away, in the same way that she is when back home, but we’re starting to enforce things a little more than we would have before. I guess this is something we’ve only recently started to do after a little bout of ‘mum guilt’. We went to Prague a month or so ago, and had to take her out of nursery – we then took her out for another week so that she could go to Tallin, Estonia. I think a small part of me is worried she is missing out, but at the same time I know she really isn’t! So that’s why I’ve decided to focus more on teaching her whilst away.
Before we travel (perhaps a month or so leading up to our flight) I tell Daisy where we are going and show her on the map and globe. After telling her a few times she then understands where we are going. A lot of the time she can then recall exactly where it is on the map too. We tell her how long the flight is and what countries we fly over. If we fly over somewhere we’ve been before then we tell her what ones and how old she was when we went! We talk to her about the climate and what the weather will be like. We’ve been on a few ‘colder’ holidays recently, so she’s now asking enthusiastically for a ‘hot holiday’. We also talk to her about the language spoken and how to say hello in that particular language, followed by the main religions. It’s easy to forget how much you can teach about a destination before even arriving.
This is when we don’t need to put any effort into teaching Daisy. She uses her own initiative and talks to people, makes friends with children that can’t speak English, socialises and generally gets involved in the local culture. If we visit a landmark or a museum then we talk to her about what it is we are seeing and the history behind it. She’s starting to understand and grasp the concepts behind monuments and sights that we go to visit. Don’t get me wrong – we have to explain it a few times and sometimes she still doesn’t fully understand. But it’s a learning experience, and one she enjoys.
We make sure that once we arrive home, we remind her about all the fun things we did whilst away. We’ll show her photos and ask her if she remembers it. We’ll ask her to tell us about her favourite part of the holiday (usually involves some form of a cake/sweet shop haha). We will then go on to talk to her about our next trip! There are ways to incorporate so much learning into traveling- what we teach isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more we can teach and we are going to start to explore these routes in more detail. Do you teach your child whilst away on holiday? What kind of activities do you do?