Not all of us are lucky enough to travel to London for the Summer Games. That’s okay, you can begin cultivating your child’s love for international travel before he or she even sets foot in another country. Here are three ways to whet your kids’ appetite for cultural exploration.
• Learn about a new country: As you watch the opening ceremonies, talk to your kids about the countries represented during the broadcast. Ask them which countries they have heard of or visited and what they know about these places. Ask them to choose one country they’ve never heard of before and research it a bit online. Good questions to start: Where is the country located? What are some of the most famous monuments or sights in the country? The next night at dinner, engage your kids in a conversation about the countries they’ve discovered.
• Learn about an athlete’s culture: Have your kids choose an athlete from another country who does a sport that they enjoy. Ask them to learn more about this athlete by reading about him or her online. Next, ask your kids to find out three things about that athlete’s culture, like typical foods and customs from their home country. At dinner engage your kids in a conversation about the athlete’s culture. Cheer on your kids’ chosen athletes as you watch their events together.
• Make a travel wish list: Now that your kids have learned a bit about other countries and cultures, make a travel wish list together as a family. Ask your kids where they want to go, what they want to see and do in that place and what they want to eat. Come up with a plan to visit one of these places within the next year or five, whatever is realistic for your family. Kids can even begin researching flights and accommodations and help come up with a trip budget.
Your kids will be more excited about doing these things if you show excitement yourselves. Participate along with them, by choosing your own countries and athletes’ cultures to research, and everyone will get more out of it. Enjoy the 2012 Summer Games with your budding globetrotters!
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