With the recent drop in temperature, it’s natural to want to stay inside and hibernate. But the chilly weather doesn’t mean you have to stop exploring! If you and the kids want to escape and discover the world, here are some easy, fun suggestions for winter adventure and learning:
Go on excursions – Expose your kids to new experiences with trips to galleries, parks, theatres, festivals, science centres, zoos, aquariums and other major attractions. Over the holidays, my family visited Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and we had a whale of a time. Looking at exotic marine life in the famous Dangerous Lagoon – a moving walkway through an underwater tunnel – certainly made us feel like we weren’t in Toronto.
Immerse yourself in a second language – Practice a second language by reading books, listening to music and watching television and movies with English subtitles. For a great multilingual retail experience, check out specialty store Rainbow Caterpillar for children’s books and games in a rainbow of languages.
Cook together – If you have young chefs in the family, explore new cultures through cooking. Try following recipes in another language or experiment with a new cuisine altogether. There are many fun cookbooks for kids that are educational and help boost skills in math and reading.
Visit your local library or bookstore – Accompany your kids to your local library or bookstore to select reading materials that interest them, or scroll virtual options together using e-readers. You can mix it up with non-fiction, fiction, magazines and catalogues. Pick up the Ultimate Globetrotting World Atlas from National Geographic Kids – it's the perfect guidebook for young travelers.
Go to the movies – Who doesn't love a movie on a chilly winter afternoon? Whether you choose to take a trip to the theatre or view a foreign film at home, encourage dialogue and debate around the movie.
Play games – There are many educational toys, games and activities that promote world geography, heritage and culture. Maplelea Girls has a niche line of specialty dolls that come with journals and accessories that capture the spirit of Canada. For a more global experience, check out Little Passports to have monthly adventures delivered to your door that bring the travel experience to your kids.
Get musical – Whether belting out in song or playing along with an instrument, music is a great vehicle to explore new tunes from cultures around the world. For extra school credit, listen to music in French to practice comprehension and build vocabulary.
Take virtual field trips – Don’t fret that some of the most famous museums are far from home. Remember to take advantage of the exhibits that offer virtual tours. They are inexpensive, if not free, and offer immediate access to recognized institutions across the world. Go to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Boston Children’s Museum or Le Louvre in Paris and be home in time for dinner!
Do you have aspiring globetrotters at home? I'd love to hear what you would add to the list.
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