Traveling with your kids is more than just a chance to make new family memories. Exploring new places, trying out different foods, and mingling with the locals is a great way to expand your horizons and have fun. But, there’s more to traveling than simple enjoyment. You can use your travel adventures with your kids to help them improve their language skills.
Boosting your kids’ language skills is a way of investing in their future. Teaching them how to communicate better and helping them acquire new vocabulary can be made into a fun activity that they’ll love. If you’re not sure how to do this, we’ve got you covered. Here are six best practices for boosting your kids’ language skills while traveling.
1. Use New Words Repeatedly
Traveling is a great opportunity for acquiring new vocabulary and teaching your kids some new words. This is because it may be the first time they’re facing some objects, places, or notions of any kind.
The key to helping them learn is repetition. For instance, it’s the first time your kids see a monument, and it’s a completely new word for them. Make sure to:
- say the word monument each time you pass one by
- use the word in conversation casually
- ask them if they know what a monument is
After a couple of times, your kids will spontaneously adopt the new word and state using it in their speech. Do so with new things that you run into on your travel adventures and have your kids learn while having fun.
2. Explore New Situations
Kids learn through experience, and traveling always comes with a new thing to do, say, or ask. This is why this is the perfect learning opportunity for your kids.
Prepare them for new life situations such as:
- ordering their drinks and food in the restaurant
- asking for directions
- communicating with people on the farmers market
- buying a bus ticket
Teach them about the phrases they’re supposed to use and practice with them before asking them to try it out. They’ll be excited to have this new responsibility and try out the things they’ve never tried out before.
3. Draw Your Adventures
Some kids are visual learners, which means they acquire new skills through the things they see. This is why drawing helps them memorize better and summarize the new things they’ve experienced during the day.
Therefore, try organizing a little drawing session every night before going to bed. Ask your kids to:
- draw the things they found amazing that day
- add as many details as possible
- explain to you what the drawing represents afterwards
This way, the kids will practice their speaking skills and find it easier to process and memorize everything they learned.
4. Use Music
Does your traveling include some new music, sounds, or instruments? It’s another great way to teach your kids new vocabulary and language skills.
Have your kids:
- listen to local musicians and music
- dance to it with you
- talk about how it makes them feel
- compare it to the music you usually listen to
Teach your kids about the instruments, type of music, or famous musicians from your travel location. It’s a great conversation booster and will inspire your kids to talk, talk, and talk — which is exactly what you want.
5. Tell or Write Stories
When your kids experience something special and new, you should use that opportunity to have them practice their language skills such as speaking and writing. These travel adventures can inspire your little ones to become storytellers and share their experiences with the rest of the world.
To motivate them to nurture their language skills this way, ask them to:
- tell you how they feel after each day
- write a letter or an email to their grandparents or friends sharing their travel stories
- record a video postcard for someone they love
Find a way to have them talk about their adventures and learn the skills of retelling, storytelling, and organizing their thoughts.
6. Keep a Travel Journal
Writing is an essential language skill that your kids need to nurture to improve and become true language masters. Fortunately, travel gives you a chance to inspire your kids to keep a travel journal.
This journal will serve two purposes- it’ll become a memory of a lifetime and will boost your kids’ language skills.
Tell your kids to:
- choose a notebook to take with them on your next travel
- write down the things that happen to them
- share their emotions, impressions, and experiences
You can offer to help them form their chapters in the beginning or keep a travel journal yourself to compare your daily entries.
This can be made into a fun family activity where everyone contributes to creating the travel journal. The kids will love spending time with you, and you’ll love seeing them learn and grow.
Helping your kids boost their language skills and seeing them improve every day is something every parent needs to do. Travel and language-learning go hand in hand since kids are inspired by novelty, exploration, and adventure.
The 6 practices we’ve shared above will surely help you make the most out of every travel and ensure your kids boost their language skills easily and without even realizing it.
About the author:
Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at EssaySupply. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.