01 Jun 10 Questions to Open Young Travelers’ Minds
Traveling this summer? Take this opportunity to open your child’s mind to more than just the history of the ruins, the natural surroundings of the park, or the architecture of the cathedral. Buy them a journal and teach them how to reflect on what they see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Journaling is an ancient tradition that dates back to at least 10th century Japan. Let your child know that when they are journaling, they are taking part in a historic tradition. Plus, journaling and the process of reflection has been proven to help us clarify our thoughts and feelings, build creativity, integrate our learnings, become better writers, enhance our ability to express ourselves, and understand the world around us.
You can get journals of all shapes and sizes. A few years ago, my son had a hand made leather journal with a string to tie it closed. It looked like something from Pirates of the Caribbean, and he cherished his vintage pirate’s journal. Now, he would be more likely to do a photo journal on #instagram. My daughter, well, she prefers flowers, or kittens, or stripes, or just about anything colorful. Myself? I just buy a Moleskine for my own writing. We all have our preferences, so let your kids choose the journal that fits them.
Sometimes it’s hard to just write. Give your kids a head start with these 10 questions. Encourage them to illustrate their journals too.
- What’s different here than where we live? What’s the same?
- Take a minute to stop and notice. What do you hear? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you feel? Write down five things you notice right now. What do they tell you about the place where you are?
- If I said we were moving here for a year, what would make you most excited? What would make you most nervous? When you grow up, would you want to live here? Why or why not?
- You get to write a travel blog about great things kids can do here. What makes this place special? What are five things you would put into your travel blog? What would you tell your best friend to be sure to experience?
- What do you like or dislike about the food here? How is the food the same or different here than at home? What’s one recipe you wish you could have so you could make that food at home.
- If your grandmother had visited here 50 years ago, what do you think she would have seen or heard or done?
- What things do you notice about everyday life here (money, language, weather, songs, games, people, transportation, etc.)?
- Take a look around. What do the kids who live here do for fun? What clues do you see?
- What are things that you can do here that you can’t do at home? And what are things you can do at home that you can’t do here?
- Was this place what you expected it to be? In what ways? What surprised you?
With every trip, you are building memories. And memories turn into stories. Journals are a great place to capture these stories.
P.S. You can purchase this cute travel journal on Etsy.