Travel is a wonderful thing. It broadens the mind, exposes you to new ideas, connects you with new people, and generally makes you a more well-rounded person. Indeed, when children go traveling at such a young age, it shapes them into better people as a result.
Of course, with the world in lockdown, our travel plans have to be put on the backburner for the time being.
So why not try to replicate that traveling experience from the comfort of your own home? With a little creativity and a bit of imagination, you can create the experience of travel abroad for your child without ever stepping foot out of your front door.
Get creative and make a feast for the senses
One of the best things about traveling is the feast for the senses it provides. Smells, sounds, textures, tastes — they all work together to create an unforgettable travel experience.
Indeed, so powerful is this effect that you can smell warm falafel in a high street takeaway and instantly be transported back to your trip to Egypt years ago.
Think about the various sounds, smells, and textures you might experience when traveling and try to replicate them in your own home.
For instance, you could cook an authentic Italian dish to conjure up the smells of Rome. Or you might use a sandpit and a paddling pool, combined with some sound effects, to have your child feel as though they’re walking the sandy beaches of Australia.
Of course, this isn’t the same as the real thing. But it’s a creative twist that really adds to that travel experience.
Introduce educational elements to your ‘trip’
All travel is educational, no matter where you go. As you soak up the culture and take in your surroundings, travel broadens the mind and makes you a better person for it.
Replicate this by introducing educational activities into your lockdown travel experience. For instance, you could encourage your child to have a go at learning a few foreign phrases and using them in conversation.
Alternatively, you could have a whistle-stop history tour, using roleplay to help your child understand various pivotal moments in your chosen country’s past.
Who says your travel has to be somewhere on Earth? The Sago Mini Box is a monthly subscription box with a variety of fun and educational activities based on certain themes including space travel too. You can have a travel experience that’s literally out of this world.
Use video to explore the world virtually
You know already that YouTube is replete with a wide array of interesting and unique videos. But beyond the funny cat videos, there are also plenty of immersive tours of real places around the world.
One minute you might be walking around a busy Tokyo neighborhood, while the next you might be watching a herd of elephants graze in the Savannah. Some are narrated by the person behind the camera, while others are simply quiet so you can take in the sights and sounds of some faraway place.
As you take these tours, encourage your child to point out interesting features and ask questions. You could try to identify certain animals, for instance, or determine what country you are in based on certain clues.
Combined with the sensual ideas mentioned above, this makes for an almost authentic travel experience that will have your child in awe and wonder as they see the world from the comfort of their own home.
Of course, it can be difficult replicating that authentic travel experience in your own home. But in times like these, a little creative fun like the above is enough to stimulate your child’s mind and make them feel as though they really are globetrotting, even if just for a while.