Have you ever hesitated to pull your child out of school for a family trip? Well, let’s talk about traveling with kids. I know that even just reading this sentence can cause anxiety in some! To be honest, it does for me, too.
But there is a lot of importance, development, and learning that can come from traveling with kids. And this can be any level of traveling! It could mean packing up and taking an airplane to the other side of the globe, and it could also mean taking a class to the next town over for a field trip. Traveling can be a far or small distance, a long or short amount of time! A few months back I drove my kids one hour to our state’s capitol city to visit the zoo and see the capitol building. We left home around 9 am and were home before dinner. That was still traveling with kids!
Why is it so important? Because there can be so, so much learning and development when adventures like this are taken.
Children learn about different cultures by traveling. It’s fun to read books about cultures and maybe even watch videos, too. But you know what’s an even more engaging and fun way to learn more about the Native American tribe in your state? By visiting them.
Children become more empathetic and understanding of others when they are given chances to experience and interact with people that are not just like them. It is within our human nature to help those that are most like us, but when we spend time loving others, we are allowed to expand that empathy. And what better way to accomplish this than… visiting those people?
It teaches them to go with the flow. Especially for our school-aged children that are set on a very consistent schedule every day (which is very good for them!), it’s also great to let them experience what it’s like to have to change and adapt plans as needed.
It gives them the chance to see how the world works. A country-dwelling kid may marvel at the use of the subway system in NYC, while a city-dwelling kid may marvel at a field of wild horses in Idaho.
They learn that they have a place in this world. In a culture that is very adult-oriented, it can be overwhelming to kids when they feel like they don’t have a place they belong. But showing them that planes, trains, and buses are for them, too, gives them the message that they have a place and role in each community that they are allowed to be a part of.
There are all of these reasons and more why taking the time and effort to travel with kids can be incredibly beneficial. I will be the first to admit, it takes a lot of extra time, effort, and planning. But the payoff can also be incredibly worth it. And pulling them out of traditional school to learn in different ways isn’t the end of the world! In fact, it may just open up their world.
Do you travel with kids? What learning experiences have you found yourself coming across while traveling with them?
Photo by Ivan Samkov