What to teach kids about traveling

Traveling is a rewarding activity for many of us. Going to unfamiliar places broadens our horizons by exposing us to novel experiences, diverse cultures and to new friends.

It can be more so for kids; taking them on out adventures into the wider world affords us opportunities to teach them lessons that will prove valuable to them in the future, not just when they venture out on their own trips, but as they go through their daily life.

Here are some of the lessons that you can impart to your kids as you go on the road.

One: How to travel light.

There is a limit to what you can take with you as you move from one place to another. Whether it depends on what your body can carry or the luggage capacity of your means of transportation, this limit forces you to prioritize which of your possessions will be of most use to you as you travel.

You will need to guide your little ones as they pick and choose items for the trip such as clothes that are easy to clean, those that don’t take up much space in your luggage and their essential toiletries.

Two: How to keep themselves entertained.

Not every moment you spend traveling will be exciting or interesting. You can expect downtimes when you can either rest or find a way to occupy your time.

The little ones may get antsy or bored during long wait periods or while in transit. So it would be wise to plan ahead with them on how they can keep themselves entertained while still packing light. They will need to leave behind their bulky game consoles in favor of easy-to-carry books, a pack of cards, and, with your permission of course, mobile electronics.

Traveling Kid

You can also take the opportunity to point out the sceneries you’re passing through or fill them in on the places where you’re going to drum up their excitement or spike their interest.

Three: How to discover on their own.

Some kids are adventurous by nature. They will want to strike out on their own. Nurture this inclination by helping them identify interesting places where they can safely venture out by themselves such as parks or play areas, with you keeping yourself easily accessible to them should they need you.

Of course, you will need to equip for their quest. Teach them to read maps and road signs, agree on places where they can meet up with you and point out places they can go to in case they need help.

Traveling Kid

Four: How to keep themselves safe.

Foremost among our concerns as parents is the safety of our kids. When traveling, little ones should be instructed to always stay near or within your sight, to be wary of strangers and to keep your contact details handy so that they can ask someone to get in touch with you should you get separated.

Five: How to stay on budget.

A big consideration in traveling is, of course, our budget. There may be times when the things you want to buy or the activities you want to experience may be beyond your means. Usually, you prioritize those that are more affordable or you limit yourself to those that are essential to your travel experience.

Similarly, you need to help your kids understand that they won’t be able to buy all their hearts’ desires during the trip. You can negotiate with them on which purchases you can afford that they can still enjoy.

Six: How to be good guests.

Remember, no matter which place you visit, you are basically visitors there. You and the kiddies should therefore behave as good guests. Aside from being polite to the people that you meet, you would also need to brush up on the basics of local customs so as not to offend anyone.

Traveling Kid

Furthermore, it is important to respect the local environment by following their conservation laws and cleanliness practices. As the famous quote among travellers goes:

Leave nothing but footprints.

Take nothing but pictures.

Kill nothing but time.

Seven: How to be thankful.

Not everyone has the means and opportunity to travel. It is therefore important for the kids to realize and appreciate the fact that they are able to.

For me, the best way to be thankful for opportunities such as these is to make the most of them in terms of learning and enjoyment.

Planning a trip with the kiddies any time soon? Do share your tips for traveling with kids.

How moms can nurture a love for reading among kids

With all content available in a myriad of forms and platforms, sometimes we parents wonder how we can instill a love of reading among our kids.

Wishing to do so is not being out of touch with the times. Studies have shown that avid readers have certain advantages over their peers. Since reading is a more complex activity than watching video content on television or other gadgets, it helps to exercise their brains, improving concentration and imagination, as well as their vocabulary and language skills. A well-read child may have a better and more expansive understanding of the world around him and may be able to develop empathy for others.

MomSchool 3.0, Mommy Mundo

In a recent Mommy Mundo #MomSchool learning session “Raising Readers and Writers in the Digital Age,” mom and Keys School literacy coordinator Monica Lopez Javier shared some insights and tips on how parents can help foster a love of reading among their kids.

MomSchool, Mommy Mundo

For Teacher Monica, talking to your kids starting from early childhood is very important.

“Talk is the foundation of learning,” she shares. “Through language, meaning is built.”

She encourages parents to develop oral language at home, to facilitate kids in communicating and interacting with them. Kids should learn how to tell stories to learn how to put the things and situations around them in perspective or context.

Some tips she shared include:

  • Respect their think time. Younger children take time respond to your conversation prompts. Allow them the time to process the conversation and respond to you.
  • Establish rituals of conversation. Make time when you’re available to converse with your kids. Set up long talks with the kids when you can communicate with them at length.
  • Talk about complex topics. As kids grow older, allow them to process more complex ideas as they communicate with you. When letting them talk about their day, ask them what they learned or what they plan to do.
  • Don’t shy away from trouble stories. Don’t raise your kids in a bubble. For example, tell them about the bad day you’re having and how you cope with it. They will be able to express to you their similar emotions as well as model their response to challenging situations after yours.
  • Teach them to listen. Kids should be encouraged to respond thoughtfully. Help them understand that when they listen, even to opposing views, their ideas can grow.
  • Support their language development through reading. Kids’ vocabularies are better developed by reading. It also through reading that they encounter fresh concepts and ideas. Parents are encouraged to read aloud to younger kids so that children will develop a love for words and imagination that reading affords. For older children, parents are urged to discuss the books that the kids read; this will help them process what they learn from books and develop critical thinking.

Parents may be worried that buying more and more books may be a strain on the budget. Teacher Monica advises looking for libraries in your area where you or your kids can borrow books.

Growing up as a child of a reader, and becoming an avid reader myself, I can attest to the hours of enjoyment and the fun of discovery that I experienced since childhood. Being a reader has also informed my writing and my current work in marketing and in blogging.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center

MomSchool 3.0, Mommy Mundo

I’m proud that I have helped to instill the same love for reading in my daughter.

MomSchool, Mommy Mundo

MomSchool, Mommy Mundo

This #MomSchool learning session held at the Ayala The 30th Activity Center was organized by Mommy Mundo, a community of moms dedicated to making motherhood easier, happier and more fulfilling for every mom through various avenues and activities. Upcoming events by Mommy Mundo for the year are slated on these dates:

  • March 16-17: Mommy Mundo World (The 5th at Rockwell)
  • May 17-19: Expo Mom Manila (Glorietta)
  • June 29-30: Expo Mom South (Alabang Town Center)
  • July 19-21: Expo Mom North (Trinoma)
  • August 3-4: Mommy Mundo World (The 5th at Rockwell)
  • August 31 to September 1: Expo Mom Central (Bonifacio Global City)
  • October 18-20: Expo Mom North 2 (Trinoma)
  • November 23: Expo Mom South 2 (Alabang Town Center)
  • December 6-8: Expo Mom Holiday (Glorietta)

Want to be on your way to developing future avid readers? Below is a list of the books that Teacher Monica recommends for reading aloud to kids.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

My World by Margaret Wise Brown

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

Tom by Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells

Freight Train by Donald Crews

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Stuart Little by E.B. White

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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Header photo by Kim Sergeev on Unsplash