Both of us love traveling and we have both traveled quite a bit already. From living in many different countries before settling in Spain to discovering new places on trips each year, no matter how strong our love our travel rhythm has slowed down quite a bit since we became parents. We are traveling a lot to the Netherlands so we have had our fair share of flights with a young child and both of us are still traveling a bit through work (C gets to travel A LOT for field hockey, I have an occasional trip for work) or for fun, we make sure to visit at least one new place each year. I have South Africa coming up in a month with my sisters, so excited!
We haven´t taken the bichin yet on any far away trips but we have taken him on various trips within Spain, a holiday to one of the Balearic Islands, on a roadtrip through France and Italy, and of course the visits to the Netherlands every few months. But I can´t wait for our first far away trip, which will probably be Asia! Living abroad, away from your family, automatically means more traveling than you would probably normally do and since the bichin joined us on so many trips already he is quite used to traveling and staying in different places, which is maybe not always convenient for routines but it does give us a certain flexibility because he so easily gets used to sleeping or staying in a new place.
What we love about traveling is exploring new places and learning about different cultures, and that learning can already start from a very young age!
There are plenty of cool decorations out there with maps of the world. When I was young I had this typical lamp of a globe and I loved studying all the countries on the map and fantasizing about how it would be to go there. For the bichin we got a wall sticker of a world map depicting which animals live in which continent. Although he is still too small to really get, he loves looking at the animals and pointing out to us where he finds a certain animal type.
Learning through play is always fun so think about games or toys from other countries to learn your kid about different cultures. We have a lot of souvenirs from our previous trips and the bichin loves playing with, for example, the wooden puppets we got from Africa or the Buddha faces we brought from Thailand. In addition, we tried a subscription to his own travel package and that was awesome! With Little Passports, he received his own mail every month with a different theme exploring the world. He especially loved looking through the animal themed material he got and proudly put everything in his own travel suitcase. It has been a real fun way to learn about travel and different co untries through play!
Kids around the world
This one is also one from my own youth, I had a book called “Kids Around The World” and it explained, with lots of pictures, how kids from many different countries were living. I seriously was obsessed with that book! Although the bichin is still a bit young, he loves looking through the pictures already and I like the idea of such books for creating awareness of cultural differences and different habits in different countries so we will definitely incorporate this in the years to come.
Having your kid helping scratching a map of the places you have been is a fun and interactive way to talk about previous and future travel. And, (bonus!) it looks great in your living or bedroom. There are plenty of nice scratch maps or pin maps out there and there is something for every style.
How do you teach your kids about different cultures?
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