In my mind, there’s no better education than the experiences you have while traveling. The immersive experience helps us connect what we read in books with the real world. We meet people, experience new sights, smells, sounds and gain an appreciation not just for how others live, but how we live as well.
I wish we could travel more as a family but it’s super expensive, the plane rides are long and the amount of scheduling it requires can be too much to handle.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still learn about a place and its culture. In this episode of Adventures in Learning, we take a trip to another country without ever leaving our living room.
What I love about this adventure is that it requires kids and parents to use their imaginations. Another thing I like about this is that it doesn’t require parents to be an expert in a country or culture. Instead, it’s something kids and parents can learn about together. Showing kids you’re interested in learning helps them view knowledge as a life-long pursuit. It also shows them we’re only human, we don’t know everything.
We start with lesson in geography and use food as our gateway. Food is something that connects us all. We all need to eat, right? Food makes this adventure memorable and encourages the kids to think beyond pizza, hot dogs and cheesy macaroni.
You can scale this adventure to meet you and your family’s needs/interests/time. Instead of choosing a country, choose a state. Instead of making food, order carry out. Break up the experience over the course of the week. Talk about geography one day, read about the culture another, and end the week with a meal.
And if your kids are competitive, break up into teams: team decorating vs team cooking.
Here are some more ideas for you…
Maps + Globes
Visuals are a great way to teach kids about geography. Search yard sales and thrift stores to find globes and maps to place around the home.
Squeeze in some literacy and fun by encouraging the kids to make menus.
Some music from the region can liven things up and set the mood.
If your kids like to draw, have them draw travel posters or scenes from the region. Tape them up around the house.
Have a great time on your trip! It’s one geography lesson the kids are sure to remember for years to come.