One of the most precious gifts you can give your child is that of experiencing a new place. It is the gift of travel, of exploring the world. In fact, I firmly believe that it helps a great deal in making your child open-minded, impartial to languages, cuisines and culture different from your own. I was lucky enough to have parents who believed in the same. Hence, every year during winter vacations I would find myself in a new city or town, assimilating something I hadn't before.
Vacations with children are unlike any you take with adults. A child looks at things differently than you do. There is an enthusiasm to know, to ask and then ask again some more. And why not because that’s when they are taking in life for the first time, absorbing everything around them as part of gradually growing up. Hence, you need to ensure that there are items in your itinerary that appeals to them at many different levels. As a parent, I think, you need to take vacations as an important aspect of satisfying the curiosity of your child. It’s as important as any other activity during their formative years.
In my inexpert opinion, outdoor activities are one of the best aspects of vacations for kids. With safety and security in cities at doldrums, you might have ended up limiting, perhaps subconsciously, the time your child spends outdoors. And nobody can blame you for that. And maybe that is why a vacation could be the much needed break for your child and possibly for you too. An escape from the classrooms or the electronic gadget-centric routines. Swimming, spending a day at the beach building sand castles, fishing, going on a cruise or a nature’s walk along beautiful trails lined with trees and flowers are the many things that come to my mind. And then there is also the ever so popular activity of taking your child to the zoo or the amusement park nearby. A jungle resort or a safari where they can see animals from close quarters, I think, is something your child would definitely cherish for a long time. I still remember the time when I has seen the Red Fort or the Taj Mahal for the first time. Thus, a holiday with some amount of history is another you can plan for your child.
I also feel that you could inculcate reading habits in your child during vacations. Sitting by the beach or the porch of your resort at a hill station, you could teach your child the perks of reading while soaking in the sun and breathing in fresh air. I remember reading the Nancy Drew or the Famous Five series on most of my vacations. In fact, for every vacation I would get a new set of books. Something you could think about incorporating? I know I will in the future for my kid.
One of my fondest memories of childhood is that of the picnics with my parents and our family friends. We would drive to some beautiful locale, which is almost at every curve of the hilly road in Meghalaya, and while the parents cooked, talked and enjoyed themselves, there would be games organized by the older kids for the rest of the kiddie gang. All in all, everyone, adults and children included, had a great time during those picnics. So, I think an outing of a similar kind is very good for children. It helps them fit in, enjoy with their friends or even better, make new friends at times.
I think every step, every outing could be used an opportunity to teach something new to your child. And by that I don’t mean that it has to be tedious. I think every vacation needs to be planned in a manner that it ends up fostering a new quality, a good one, in your child. A well-traveled person, an adult or even a child, is after all one step closer to an ideal human being. And moreover if you plan your holidays keeping the interests of your children in mind as well as ensuring them a lot of fun, you are definitely going to end up in the parents hall of fame in their eyes.