Monday, March 3, 2014

Armchair Traveler - Little Passports

I have a friend who often talks about wanting to give her children experiences, not just things. And I agree with that. We've slowly been broadening our travel experiences with Connor and Helen. At first, we confined ourselves to places with family, beaches, and ski resorts (and those ski resorts were always loaded with family!). This allowed Ed and I to manage Helen and Connor and also relax - because the demands of those places were minimal - or at least familiar.

Last summer, we decided to travel to England and France, and what I noticed the most was that although Connor and Helen enjoyed almost everything they did, Connor really dug into those things he had been exposed to before. In second grade, he had study Ancient Egypt and that meant that our trip to the British Museum was just amazing. Connor led us through an explanation of the Rosetta Stone, the significance of various burial customs highlighted in the museum, and the amazing Egyptian tombs at the museum. It was a real treat - and an eye-opener.

Although we did some reading about England before our trip, we could have prepared better. And pretty much every time I turn on the news I realize how important it is to give my children some sense of international education. If I were better about thinking internationally, I wouldn't have to worry. But we tend to talk about things happening closer to home, so I fear my children have limited knowledge of the wider world.

Enter Little Passports.

Little Passports puts together a monthly World Edition package for children ages 5 - 10. They have a US focused package for children ages 7 - 12.  Subscribers receive a package in the mail each month. They also have a blog loaded with awesome activities. Right now, there are instructions about how to build your own mardi gras float. - which might be how we will tomorrow if school is canceled again!

Connor received the international edition a couple of weeks ago and was thrilled to read about Japan, learn some simple origami, and answer questions about Japan. It was a conversation starter for the type of food people eat in Japan and the map that was included was perfect for being able to talk about where the country was - and how it's location influenced the cuisine. He also went to international night at his school, and saw many similar items representing Japan - which meant he was exposed to the country in two ways, with a lot of similar information. We can now go to visit some of the Japanese art at the Smithsonian and hopefully - this all builds to a pretty cool understanding of another part of our world.

Connor was thrilled. He instantly asked for us to sign up for more - which I will. All of the activities fit into a small carrying case that looks like a suitcase and is easily packed away - so I won't have random pieces of something floating around with no home. That pleases me, of course.

I wish I could take my children on multiple trips around the world, but that's not going to happen. So we're going to do some armchair traveling instead - and when the opportunities arise to go further, I hope it adds to our enjoyment.


I received the Japan box in the mail free. All subsequent boxes will be purchased by me.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this! I love the idea; Aria would really enjoy it.