Using Travel to Teach Life Lessons: Key Reasons to Take Your Kids with You on Trips

Traveling is not only a great way for kids to learn life lessons, it’s also a good way for them to pick up new skills, develop an appreciation for other people and other cultures and to expand their horizons.

An important thing to remember when you’re traveling with kids, make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses, even those unexpected ones. If you’re looking for a good value %APR credit card, consider the Citi Double Cash card. It is one of the few cards that offers cash back. What that means is that for every dollar you spend, you get 1 percent cash back. You can also get another 1 percent cash back on every dollar you pay off each month. This can be a great way to save money when you’re traveling.

The Importance of Travel for Kids

Here’s a rundown on why traveling the world is beneficial for young people.

  • Overcoming shyness: Travel encourages kids to question, meet new people and try new things whether it’s talking to other children in a new language, trying a new type of food or exploring a historic building, travel will bring shy kids out of their shell.

 

  • Boosting smartness: Get your kids involved in the planning of your trip, not only will this get them excited about the adventure, they will learn how to discuss and deduce facts as you go along. Let them explore maps and travel guides so they get a feel for your destination.

 

  • Improving independence: Even though young people’s independence is still limited, travel can teach them to be responsible for things like their luggage and their belongings. Let them pack their things (with your supervision), and choose which things are essential and which things they need for entertainment.

 

  • Accepting difference: When kids travel and are introduced to different cultural styles and people of different ethnicity, they begin to embrace difference rather than being prejudiced or maintaining cultural stereotypes. This makes them much more well-rounded individuals.

 

  • Understanding different beliefs: Travel allows children to understand and accept other religions and belief systems from an early age. It means that they are not afraid to ask questions and you can visit temples and churches of many different types wherever you travel.

 

  • Building relationships: One of the important things about traveling with your family is that it strengthens relationships. It encourages communication within the family group and facilitates discussions of new subjects.

 

  • Keeping the inner child alive: Kids grow up too fast these days. Traveling is a great ongoing adventure. That keeps the inner child alive. Forget the latest cell phone or video games, build sand castles on the beach, watch tigers on safari, go swimming with whales, and ride on the back of a camel. These are priceless experiences that will never be forgotten.

Take your kids traveling as often and to as many different places as you can. They will love you for it and will pass the travel bug on to their own families.

Anna Duffy writes about travel; from solo backpacking in your 20s, traveling with kids to help broaden their horizons, or seniors going on a first-time cruise.

No Boredom Zone: Camping Games and Activities for Kids of All Ages

There are loads of ways you and your kids can have fun when you’re camping. Some of the most enjoyable activities are also the simplest. Here are some ways to inject a ton of fun into a camping trip using games, crafts and activities that engage and delight.

A Scavenger Hunt

This is a great way to get kids interested in their natural surroundings. Hike one of the trails near your camp ground with your kids and you can check each item off the list as they find them. Remember to leave everything undisturbed and take a picture if you want a keepsake. Here are some ideas for your scavenger hunt list:

  • a feather
  • a frog
  • a bird’s nest
  • a red leaf and a yellow leaf
  • a pinecone
  • a slug
  • a squirrel
  • a deer

Build a Fort

Help the kids to build a special hide-out. Find a large tree or rock to support the fort. Gather lots of long stick, logs and dead branches of all sizes. Lay a tarp down for the floor. Make a frame with the largest pieces of wood you have and secure them with rope or string. Weave and tie the smaller branches to make the walls. Use another tarp for the roof or make it from more branches. Add sleeping bags and blankets.

Rainy Day Fun

Just because the weather’s inclement doesn’t mean kids can’t have fun indoors. This coloring book app for Android is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon in the tent. With just the touch of a finger, kids can color animals, flowers, birds, places, people, geometric patterns, and mandalas. There are 25+ color palettes to choose from and special effects to add at the end.

Campfire Stories

There’s nothing like sitting round the campfire after dinner and taking turns to tell a story. This doesn’t require any planning and can be completely spontaneous. Stories can be true experiences or completely made up. You can even have a competition to see who can tell the tallest tale. If you have older kids you can tell spooky stories as the sun goes down.

Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss

On your way to the campsite, pick up five glow-in-the-dark sticks and rings. After dark, place each of the sticks in a bottle of water and line them up on the ground. Have fun trying to throw the glowing rings around the bottles and see who can do the best.

Geocaching

This real-word treasure hunting game is fun for all the family. To participate you need to navigate a set of GPS coordinates then search for the geocache hidden at that location. Caches have different difficulty ratings so if you’re just starting out you can pick an easy one. A cache may be a plastic container, film canister or fake rock.

Have fun on your camping trip with these family activities!

Anthony Murray is a Dad who is prepared when he hears the dreaded ‘I’m Bored’ phrase escape from his kid’s mouths.

Image courtesy of PinkBlue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

10 Ways to Foster Your Child’s Creativity

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Modern Marriage: The New Rules and Roles for the Mothers of the Bride and Groom

Times change, and never more quickly than in the 21st century. In every area of life, the expectations of their children can be bewildering to a mature generation. This can especially be so at the key moments of life, such as a wedding. Long-established traditions can be rapidly overtaken, such as the role of the parents of the couple.

Reversal of Roles

It used to be the case that parents, especially mothers, called most of the shots in the planning and preparation of the wedding, and in paying for the various ceremonies involved. Then on the day they would merge gracefully in the background as elegant hostesses.

Today, the role is largely reversed. For the planning, parents are consultants brought in by the couple as and when they are needed. On the day, mothers can be very much in the limelight and allowed to shine. Mother of the bride dresses can be eye-catching, and mothers often party late into the night along with the most energetic of the guests.

Background Job

Make sure the lines of communication are open. Congratulate the future in-laws and make it clear you are as keen as them to make everything run smoothly.

A tricky issue that cannot be taken for granted is who will pay for what, because it is no longer assumed that the respective parents will pay for specific parts of the proceedings. Many couples expect to manage their own budget, with a contribution from their parents.

The days when the bride and her mother made most of the decisions are over. Today the bride’s main adviser is her fiancé. Together they will choose the venue, the menu, the guest list, the cake, and so on. One area that remains the prerogative of the bride’s mother is to share in the choice of wedding dress. At the same time, your daughter can help you to choose a suitable dress for yourself.

The Ceremony

For the day itself, your role as a parent is consultative. There may be traditions that mean a lot to you, but it is your son or daughter, with their partner, who chooses how the ceremony is conducted. You can make your suggestions, but don’t sulk if they are not listened to. At the rehearsal, avoid the temptation to take over—offer advice only when it is asked for.

Be considerate and adaptable if there are complications, for instance when parents have separated and have new partners. Always keep in mind that it is what will make your child happy that matters, not what suits you.

Great Expectations

Most people approach their wedding day with the expectation that they will only get to do this only once. It is important to feel that everyone is at ease and nobody wants the happy couple to be stressed by the interference of their parents. It is less important to get the details right than to set an example of adult cooperation as a model for marriage.

Abby Clements works in the wedding industry and shares her top tips for brides, grooms and other family members as the big day approaches.

 

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

There are some children that can’t stay out of the kitchen, but there are also some who don’t have a natural interest in cooking at all. Teaching your children the basics of cooking will help them to become self sufficient, and also help to minimize the risk of injuries in the kitchen. If asking your kids to join you in the kitchen hasn’t result in increased interest or excitement about cooking, you should think about what aspects of cooking might be more enticing to children their age. Is it the way that kids are free to get messy when making an easy meatloaf recipe, or the way a cake puffs up and changes color while being baked that will work best to make your children want to participate in meal preparation for now on? Since you know what really makes your kids tick, you can use this inside knowledge to create a plan that will make your kids want to start cooking with you.

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Royalty free photo

Make the Food Kids Like to Eat

Most children love sugary treats and basic ingredients, like tomato, milk and chicken. Homemade pizza, warm pastries and savory soups might be some of the types of recipes that your kids would love to make with you, as they are not complex and can be cooked quickly. Ask your children what they would like to learn how to make so that they feel that they have an important role in the kitchen too. If your kids prepare meals that they are going to want to sit down and enjoy after cooking, they will develop move of an interest in it.

Showing that Cooking Can be Fun for Kids

Cooking takes time, which can cause children to become bored. To combat this, the recipes that you make with your children should be fast and simple. As you spend more time cooking together, you can incorporate more exotic ingredients and use more complex techniques. This will make it fun but challenging for your children to keep up, giving them incentive to hold onto everything that they have learned as well as keep up with their parents in the kitchen.

Letting Kids and Their Imagination Shine Through 

Some children are natural chefs, mastering cooking skills at an advanced level well before they reach adulthood. Whether your kids have natural ability or are just incredibly creative, help their imagination to come to the forefront. When they feel that they are supported, children are more prone to gravitate toward cooking rather than be repelled.

Kids don’t always display patience and restraint when it comes to choosing how they want to spend their spare time. That’s why using electronics, playing with action figures and roaming free outside are usually the things they like to do most. If you are able to present cooking as a fun activity that entails learning, novelty and entertainment, they will want to give it a try. Use each cooking project as a unique way to explain an important principle of cooking so that they get real value out of the time that they spend in the kitchen.