We thought it would be fun to ask some of our fellow family travelers about amazing educational experiences they have had while traveling: we call it “Worldschooling Wednesday”.
Today’s featured blogger for Worldschooling Wednesday is Christine Leger from Tapped Out Travellers. We highly recommend you check out their blog about family travel.
Nestled deep within Brupark, at the edges of Brussels (Belgium), hubby and I took the little monsters to Mini Europe for a nice, quiet morning of exploring, learning and fresh air. The kids are 4.5 and 1.5 years old and enjoyed themselves right up until the end of our visit, which lasted roughly 2-3 hours.
Through many of his TV shows and books, the toddler has been passively learning about world landmarks. We have also been traveling Europe for the past 2 years, averaging one ‘vacation’ every month.
Clearly baby girl has no idea what is going on around her, just enjoys watching the boats float by, pressing the buttons and listening to the music, but there is education in that as well; cause and effect. Press this button, music plays. Press that button; the Ferris wheel spins. She may have learned a few choice words when daddy got his boat stuck in the docks and his money ran out before getting unstuck.
The toddler – lets call him munchkin, monster on his iffy days – enjoyed reading the map, taking us along the marked path from one monument to another, and showing his little sister how to press the buttons properly. All pretty standard day-trip activities. What made Mini-Europe so different was the ‘aha’ moments my son was having at each individual monument as we walked up to it.
The Eiffel tower was no longer this behemoth of a building, but merely a 13 ft high structure that he was allowed to touch and stare at for as long as he wanted. Arc du Triomphe was only slightly taller than mommy and daddy and he was able to make out some of the text on his walls. Each building brought up memories of when he was there, what he did before and after exploring that particular monument and over all renewed his sense of wonder and amazement at these great works of architecture.
It had never dawned on me until we started traveling with the kids; how do these buildings look to them? We gasp at their size as grown adults of roughly 5ft7 stature, but when you are only 3 ft tall, and most adults looks scary and overbearing, what does Big Ben look like to them? Finally, these constructions were brought down to his level and he was able to properly study them without the shock of size and crowds.
Every once in a while, he pointed out a monument that we hadn’t visited before and he wanted to know everything about. Nanny even asked what a specific building was once, and he jumped at the chance to tell her; “That’s Amsterdam Nanny! Even I know that”. Oh to be 4; getting away with sassing nanny that way will only last so long.
As an educator, and a mom, I understand the true meaning of education; it doesn’t always come from books, or a museum. Sometimes a simple walk in the park can lead to brainstorming and forming connections to ideas even he didn’t know he had.
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