If you’re reading this blog, you understand the value in showing your children our diverse world firsthand. Exploring various cultures and visiting new places will have a lasting impression on children – and will likely impact them as they grow into adults. Worldliness is a trait that many adults never attain, but it holds the power to help shape children into adults who appreciate the vast habitat of humanity that is our planet.
There are, indeed, scores of interesting places to visit; but there are a few that are extraordinarily special – even magical – for children. These places have the potential to shape the way they view the world as they grow up. As you explore the world with your children, be sure to stop at the following 10 places.
There’s something about waterfalls – especially large waterfalls – that evoke an emotional response. Whether it’s their beauty or their impressive size – probably a combination of both – large waterfalls are particularly captivating to children. Your children should experience the falls before they grow up because it will reinforce to them the majesty of the world every time they remember the visit.
With a plethora of things to experience, London – one of the world’s greatest cities – is obviously worthy of an extended stay or repeated visits. London is a great starter city for new traveling families because it’s foreign enough that it’s awe-inspiring, but recognizable enough to feel safe. There is a lot of culture to experience, such as a visit to the Globe Theatre to introduce kids to Shakespeare and Buckingham Palace – what kid wouldn’t like to see where a real king and queen live? Older children will enjoy the tales of and a visit to the historical Tower of London.
Redwood Forest in California
A magnificent display of redwood trees will show children that the world is truly grand – and give them something amazing by which to gauge their own size and the size of the planet. The Redwood National Park is home to the world’s largest living tree, Hyperion. It stands over 379 feet tall. Some of the older redwoods are more than 2,000 years old. How’s that for giving youngsters some unforgettable perspective?
Pyramids of Giza
One of the great mysteries of the world, the Great Pyramid and the Great Sphinx are wonderful creations for children to see. Children love to learn about ancient Egyptian society and speculate on how the pyramids were created. Be sure to plan appropriately and do your research before traveling to this area of the world. Political turmoil has created an unsteady atmosphere for tourism in some areas of Cairo in recent years, so be sure to do your research. If you’re unable to take your children to the Pyramids of Giza, consider other Egyptian locations your kids will enjoy.
The Grand Canyon
If you want your children to grow up with a realistic perspective of the world’s magnanimous and mysterious beauty, make sure to swing by the Grand Canyon. It will serve as another memorable, personal testament to their own understanding of the world’s greatness. The Grand Canyon is a great example of the world’s wonder, and this curiosity will serve your children well as they grow. There are plenty of activities available that will teach your children about the nature of the canyon, such as the Junior Rangers program for younger kids and the Canyon Field School for older kids and teenagers.
As we discuss wonder and curiosity, there has to be a mentioning of Stonehenge. A kid-friendly visit to the sandstone columns will surely provoke inquisitive reactions in your children. The questions that will remain unanswered will stick with your children as they grow up appreciating the world’s many mysteries. If you want to raise children who question the world around them and appreciate its wonder, plan a trip to Stonehenge before they grow up.
New York City
A trip to the Big Apple is something every young person should experience before they become an adult. It’s basically a rite of passage. Rich in history and plenty of sights to see, NYC is also a city best explored in repeated visits or on an extended stay. Worthwhile attractions to visit include Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Of course, if you make New York City one of your repeated travel destinations, you will surely discover a few lesser-known family favorites within the metropolis.
The story behind the discovery of Machu Picchu will captivate your children as they learn about the 11-year-old boy who helped find it. Spend the day, or a few days, exploring the astounding remains of a past civilization full of wonder. Remember that part of the fun of visiting Machu Picchu is getting there. The ruins are tucked away in the Peruvian jungle, so the magic of approaching and entering it is a memory your children won’t soon forget. It will likely serve as a reminder to children that the world is still full of undiscovered marvels.
Yellowstone National Park
The nation’s first national park, Yellowstone is also worthy of an extended stay. Be prepared to live without technology – a welcomed bonus to many families – because the park is without Wi-Fi and television. Kids will see a variety of wild animals, and you should also plan to see Old Faithful. The park offers sightseeing excursions for families with kids, which can help with planning. Yellowstone National Park is a must-see for children because the nature will touch them – and stay with them – for years to come.
Known as a showcase of evolution, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is a life-changing experience. Charles Darwin, in fact, developed his theory of evolution at this astounding location where three oceans collide. A rather unusual variety of animal life has evolved at the Galapagos Islands due to its seclusion roughly 620 miles off the coast of Ecuador. If you’re able to take your children to this fascinating location, it will serve as a lesson in natural selection and the stunning, but sometimes tragic, beauty of the world. Species fight for survival at the Galapagos Islands, but it provides a chance for an up-close look at nature in a diverse habitat.
Exploring landmarks and other breathtaking locations around the world is something not every child is given the opportunity to enjoy. If you’ve made the decision to show your children around the world, you know this list of 10 is only just the beginning. The greatest places to visit might very well be the ones tucked away in your favorite, but lesser-known, part of the world. Or perhaps the worthiest place is the one you and your family haven’t yet discovered or explored.Kayla Matthews is a blogger interested in self-improvement, traveling and personal goal-setting. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter to read more of her latest posts.