I’ve been a traveler my whole life, and I was lucky enough to have a family that prioritized experiencing new destinations throughout my childhood. Now it’s my nephew’s turn. At two years old, and with seven underdeveloped countries, he is on his way to becoming a global citizen.
While traveling with a child It may seem difficult at any age, but experts claim that it can significantly boost development. They say that travel can expand children’s world, making them more empathetic toward cultural differences and helping them adapt to changing situations. It can even shape their linguistic development as children.
Travel + entertainment. The ability to raise a generation that knows how to live and coexist with each other.”
I watched my nephew try beans for the first time at La Guarida Havana, picking up each individual and looking at them, almost as if he were testing them. I saw him put his feet in the Dead Sea (Then quickly pull them out again.) And also try the ice cream under the shadow of the cathedral of Florence.
He may not remember these adventures, but they will affect his development, according to Hancock. She said that the fastest brain growth occurs in the first five years of a child’s life, especially in the first three years. Surrounding children from birth to approximately age three with people different from them “normalizes” that experience.
“Traveling and teaching children about their roles as citizens of the world when they are young ensures that they will retain this message into their adult years,” she said. “When someone starts a habit or tradition…early in life, it becomes the foundation through which they view the world for the rest of their lives.”
Traveling with young babies — even as young as six months old — can also help them with language development, said Erika Levy, an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at Teachers College at Columbia University.
As they get older, they lose the ability to distinguish many other speech sounds,” Levy said. “If we expose children to speech sounds from different languages, they can learn their native language later in life.”
And when they return home from a trip, their experiences can help them in school, according to Hancock.
“It makes them more open to trying new things [and] “It will definitely make children more open-minded and remove prejudice,” she added.
Here are some tips on how to maximize your child’s experience while traveling.
Take a walk in a local neighborhood.
Although it’s great to see a destination’s main attractions, a walk through a local neighborhood can be one of the most impactful moments for kids, Hancock said. A child’s brain tends to make connections based on what is familiar to him. “If you’re in Venicespend some time on the Grand Canal, if you are in Paris“Spend time near the Eiffel Tower, but the pieces that really resonate with kids are experiences they can relate to,” she said. , you’ll see people swarming their front yard and local vendors. This is much more important – you’ll get a better slice of everyday life and your child will too.
Create a holiday tradition.
Traditions can help children connect with the journey. For example, when we were kids, my sister and I would collect soda bottles in every country we visited.
Have your children play with other children.
Grouping children with other children their age will help their development, even if they don’t speak the same language, according to Levy. “Get them to meet other kids, they will play, learn, and find ways to connect,” she said.
Turn your trip into a game.
“Levy suggests asking someone to point out three things they haven’t seen at home.”
Prepare your children in advance.
Preparing children for what they are about to experience can go a long way, according to Levy. For example, tell them in advance about jet lag, or if they have one Nervous travel- Bring a special toy on board. But in the end, you shouldn’t worry too much: Children tend to be “more adaptable than we are to new situations,” Levy said.