7 Fun & Exciting Ways to Teach Your Kids About Culture While Traveling

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Family holidays are precious opportunities to make lasting memories with your kids. But it’s easy to fall into the same patterns of playing by the pool, visiting the beach, and going to the same restaurants every night.

On your next trip, why not delve into local culture and get your children excited about new experiences?

In this post, we’ve rounded up six fun and exciting ways to teach your kids about different cultures while traveling.

How to Teach Your Children About Different Cultures While Traveling

Whether you’re visiting the bustling city of Hong Kong, the sprawling outback of Australia, or the sandy beaches of Hawaii, there are some fun strategies for teaching your kids about cultural differences on your travels.

Pre-Trip Research

Before you go on your holiday, get the family involved in some pre-trip research. You could even turn it into a fun activity by making presentations, sharing interesting facts, and trying new foods.

Getting your kids immersed in the culture before you travel will help them experience the differences beforehand and get them excited about meeting new people and seeing the places in the flesh.

Look for Local Cultural Activities

When we travel with kids, it’s tempting to avoid cultural activities like trips to museums, walking tours, or talks. Although these are incredibly interesting for adults, there’s a fine line between teaching our little ones about different cultures and keeping them entertained and engaged.

But there are plenty of fun and exciting cultural activities your kids will love to participate in worldwide.

Local festivals, workshops, and performances are engaging and fun and often involve elements directly aimed at children.

“Visiting Uluru is a great cultural experience for families visiting Australia. There are guided walks, cycle paths, painting workshops, and a cultural center with dedicated activities for kids.” – Anne Sutherland-Smith from PreTraveller

Whether it’s a fun cooking class or a guided walk along a nature trail, look for cultural activities to keep your kids entertained while learning.

Learn Some Common Words

It’s common courtesy to learn some local phrases when traveling to a new country, so why not turn it into a fun learning experience for the family?

Look up common words online and get your kids involved in making flashcards. A few of the most useful phrases for every country include:

  • Hello/Goodbye
  • Where is ______
  • How are you?
  • How much is this?
  • Please/Thank you

“Language learning is a fun way to introduce children to new cultures. And you can take it a step further by creating poems in different languages – this gets their creativity flowing while they learn the new words.” – William Green from Poem Analysis

It’s also useful to teach children some safety phrases in the new language. Phrases like “I’m lost”, “I need help”, or “Where’s mommy” will be invaluable if they get separated from you.

Open Up Conversations About Cultural Differences

If you’re traveling to a country with cultural norms vastly different from your own, it’s important to open up conversations and allow your kids to ask questions. For example, talk about how the clothes might be different or common practices they might see, such as daily prayer.

“If you visit Hawaii, you’ll almost certainly see performers wearing the traditional pa’u skirt and lei and many locals wearing the classic aloha shirt. Teaching kids the names of the garments before you travel will help get them excited about the culture.” – Nguyen Huy from Trendy Aloha

The more you prepare your children for cultural diversity, the more respectful they’ll be when they arrive. But don’t stress if they ask blunt questions while you’re traveling. Give them honest answers and encourage respectful curiosity – most locals will be happy to teach your kids if they show interest.

Encourage Local Interactions

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a different culture is to interact with locals. Visit local parks, community events, or independent restaurants and cafes to give your kids a chance to meet new people.

“Street performances like magic shows are an opportunity to bring people together and encourage community. If you see any performers on your travels, stop and encourage your kids to get involved.” – Rory Adams from Book a Magician

Kids are great at making friends; they just need the opportunity to connect with local children. They’ll quickly pick up new games and skills and might just meet a new friend for life.

Don’t Be Scared to Visit Museums & Historical Sites

Parents often avoid historic sites and museums when traveling with kids out of fear of them touching something they shouldn’t or getting bored and causing a scene. But there are plenty of interesting, child-friendly sites to choose from.

For example, if your little one has a keen interest in animals, see if there’s a local animal museum or marine center nearby. Historical sites usually have activities for kids and can be more interactive than you might think. It’s all about researching the right options for your family in advance.

Reflect When You Get Home

After your trip, talk to your kids about their experiences and encourage them to share what they’ve learned. It’s interesting getting their perspective on different cultures, and it will help solidify their respect and understanding of different communities.

You could even help them make a scrapbook using cultural influences and your vacation photos – something your whole family can cherish for a lifetime.

Happy Travels!

Enriching your travels with cultural experiences will help instill values in your children and open up their minds to different ways of thinking and living.

It’s also a great way to make your travels more memorable and exciting for your kids, helping to nurture a love of travel and cultural diversity.

What cultural activities will you plan for your next family vacation?

This article originally appeared on ThriftyNorthwestMom and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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