As adults we spend a great deal of time preparing ourselves to go on a trip. We think about and book places to stay, budget for food and expenses. We talk about fun activities we will do during our time away and think about all the excitement that we will have. In fact this is one of my favorite pastimes!
So when the time comes to go we are ready and excited. Our kids on the other hand, aren’t always a part of this process. They don’t know what is going on or what they should be excited about. Even if you have tried to tell them what is in store for them it can be hard for them to visualize something they have had no experience with. This is especially true if you have very young kids.
I stumbled upon a technique that has helped my little ones get very excited about our upcoming camping trip. TV! As I wrote about a few days ago we aren’t big TV watchers and don’t have cable at all, but we do have Netflix and movies. My kids have shows that they love and Word World is at the top of the list. We are gearing up to go camping in a few weeks so I found an episode of Word World that is about camping. They build a tent, deal with scary noises in the forest, and just have a great time camping. After he watched that episode it clicked. We are going camping, just like they did on Word World. He can’t wait to put up our tent, and even told me that scary noises in the forest are just bugs. I have been looking at other shows to see if they have episodes that deal with camping or camping concepts.
TV can be a powerful tool to introduce:
Travel Concepts: flying, taking a road trip, cruising etc.
Calm Fears: Many shows address some fears that may arise for your child as they travel. They usually give practical ways to help your child deal with them.
Appropriate behavior: If you are going to museums or a nice restaurant, flying or going to the theatre you may want to talk to your kids in advance about how to behave and what not to do.
TV can help give your kids a visual and concrete idea about the fun that is coming up. The more you can talk to your kids, show them, get them excited about travel the more enjoyable everyone’s trip will be.
So this is our technique…how do you prepare your kids for travel? Let us know what works for you!