It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we travel. In 2020, the travel industry all but disappeared temporarily, and travel has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels. If you have young kids who are too young to get the COVID-19 vaccine, you might still be worried about travelling with your children and exposing them to the virus.
Also, travel is expensive! Although it offers an explosion of new sensory experiences for your little one to absorb, pricey plane tickets can nearly break the bank. Why not save those experiences for when your child is a little bit older and instead expose them to exciting sensory experiences from the comfort and safety of your own home?
Studies show that play is one of the most powerful ways of enhancing development in young kids. Playing is how kids learn, and studies show that parents who engage in mindful play and bonding activities with their children will raise happier, healthier, smarter, and more emotionally intelligent kids than parents who do not engage in this way.
We have broken down ways of playing and bonding with your kids that give them the experience of travelling from your own living room, dining room, playroom, kitchen, or backyard. We made sure to cover all five senses to help you give your kiddos well-rounded experiences.
- Taste + Smell
We’ve tackled taste and smell together because they work together so closely.
To help your children become adventurous eaters, make sure you’re an adventurous cook! Let your kids help you pick out recipes from other countries. You could try making croissants the Parisian way or sushi from Japan. Though the youngest kiddos won’t be able to help you cook, they will be able to explore new tastes, textures and smells. Discuss the smells and tastes that your child experiences, and ask them to name the new sensory experiences they have. Ex. That was spicy, sour, sweet, fruity, salty, hot, cold, and so on.
If you have a toddler, you know that nothing within their reach is safe. Toddlers love to explore everything with their hands. Each new item they get to touch opens a new world of tactile possibility.
A sensory play box, which is a set of exciting small toys and objects that stimulate sensory discovery, is a great way to open your kid’s eyes to a new sensory world. Boxes that focus on a different country or culture can offer your kids a taste of what it’s like to live in that new place. We currently offer Egypt, France, India, and Japan sensory play boxes in addition to a flight-themed box.
Even the youngest babies can benefit from listening to music. You may have heard of the Mozart Effect theory, which states that babies and kids who listen to classical music will become more intelligent than those who do not. Although this theory has not yet been proven, there are clear benefits to being exposed to listening to an especially playing music from a young age. You might regret putting a drum or a recorder flute in your child’s hands at first, but what they will gain cognitively will be worth the noise.
Exploring music from other countries, especially sung music in other languages, will help you show your kids the world through song.
You and your young children can explore an entire world’s worth of art on the internet. Try printing out the most famous painting created by an artist from each country you hope to visit with your child someday. Better yet, try recreating famous artworks with your child, or create your own new work of art. Washable non-toxic paints are a must-have for parents hoping to bring out their children’s artistic sides.
You don’t have to leave home to show your kids the world. Besides, the main thing that matters to them is you and your love and affection. Now, go play!