Travel broadens one’s vision. It offers new perspectives and enthralls us with the colors of life. A child’s travel experience is like bright sunshine on the young seed. Experience with the world beyond his family, nurtures him to embrace the joys of life. This travel need not be always to somewhere exotic. It has got more to do with how receptive our young minds are. In the present world driven by globalization and consumerism, outing somehow ends in exorbitant spending. We don’t need a loan for a vacation. All we need is time and a strong desire to spend that time with family. Following are the top five places I would suggest to visit with young children for them to have fun exploring,
The sky above, the Sand below, and the mesmerizing waters before, Beach is the best therapy to the stressed soul and god made a playground for the kids. My best childhood moments were spent in the beach. Standing in waves, catching the small crabs, collecting the shells, building sandcastles are still fresh in my memory. I want my kids to experience this magic.
The vastness of the sea somehow breaks the ice within the family. Unlike other places, Beaches grant them a fun-filled opportunity to introduce themselves to a variety of new learning experiences and feel everything with their own hands. Kids watch the waves, observe and hold new live organisms and familiarize themselves with the seafood chain when a seagull gulps up a fish. The beautiful shells, stone pebbles and corals kindle their desire to explore sea life and collect the souvenirs.
Children keenly observe us and try to mimic us. They always want to know more about their parents. If your workplace rules allow you to bring your kids along, please do take your kids to the office. No. They will not be bored. Instead, they will be thrilled. They will amaze us with their ability to understand and connect things. I worked in a bank. Many times, my little girl would cry when I leave for work in the morning. Once I took my 3-year-old to my office. She was enjoying all the attention and chocolates given by my colleagues when I was in a discussion with auditors. Had many questions about everything she saw in the bank. She wanted to know about the papers I had, why people brought money to the bank, who gives me work etc… The next day when I was getting ready for the office, she never stopped me rather she told me, “Amma, go soon. That big uncle and brother will be waiting for you”. That big uncle was one of our client’s auditors and brother was his intern. They daily hear us talking about our work when we mention “Amma is getting ready to the office”, “Dad is busy in office” etc and visiting it will give them a special connect for the kids and hand out a chance to know about a most spoken place that they visualized from words in reality.
Today’s parents take great interest in teaching our kids to code, to learn a new language, to paint etc. Let us also teach them history. History is not just about memorizing years. It’s a record of inspiring people who changed the world. It’s about real-life examples of perseverance, valor, smartness etc. Life of Rani Mangamma and Rudramma is my girl’s favorite princess story.
Learn about the history of your next vacation destination and include historical spots in your itinerary. When we visited Mahabaleshwar, we went to a fort of Shivaji. It was a good opportunity for me to tell my girl about Shivaji Maharaj, his valor, his mom, and his acumen. When kids get to see historic spots they will be thrilled and able to connect with the lives associated with that place.
Zoo is always fun. Majestic lions, naughty monkeys, mighty elephants, and chirpy birds are a treat to the young minds. The zoo is one of the best places to introduce biodiversity to our kids. It’s also a good place to hint them about the value of freedom.
When I was a child, my summer holidays were spent at my aunt’s house with my cousins. Many parents of today’s young children face a novel situation wherein some of our siblings are settled abroad. Visits to India and duration of stay reduce with passage of time due to commitments. Even if all the relatives are in the same country, many practical problems such as space constraints, professional life demands etc… deprive our kids of spending time with the extended family. Even though technologies like WhatsApp with family groups help us to connect virtually, Family functions are the practical solution to meet relatives and spend time with them.
Such events are safe grounds wherein our children learn about survival tools such as soft skills to move with people and networking to flourish in the future. Does it sound like an exaggeration? Don’t you remember how your grandpa diplomatically handled snide remarks in the function? Don’t you hear about cousins getting job offers through a distant cousin referral? When our kids meet in such functions and make great memories, it enhances the opportunity to build a strong relationship among them. Let’s make it a habit to attend the functions with our kids so that they get to spend time with extended family.
Yes. You read it right. Your own terrace. If you want something fancy you can carry a bedspread, picnic basket with snacks to munch and toys to play. Kids love it a lot. After playing just lie down and watch the sky with kids. Let them soak in the joy of stargazing. As our kids are more exposed to mobile screens and TVs, we need to introduce star gazing to them. They will have a lot of questions about stars and space. Play the guess of the animal game with clouds. The idea here is to let the kids know, joy, learning, and fun is not only in exotic places but in our own terrace. Happiness is mainly based on our state of mind rather than external factors. If there is no terrace in your home, plan for an outing to a nearby park and have fun.
Let us create beautiful memories with our kids.