INSPIRATION • July 2020
You might not be able to venture far with your family right now but that doesn’t mean you can’t embark on a series of mini-adventures together this summer. Mum and travel writer, Rachel Truman, reveals seven tried-and-tested ways to inspire mini globetrotters from the comfort of your home
Little ones will love jetting off on imaginary adventures with you. Get their imaginations going by creating a pretend airport terminal in your living room. After they pack their backpacks with holiday gear, they could design their own passports and boarding passes. Ask where they’re going – is it a real country or somewhere in their imagination? For the plane, line up chairs or dust off their car seats and buckle them in for take-off (complete with iPad and snacks for a bit of respite). Older kids could test drive their pilot skills on the Xbox with Microsoft Flight Simulator. When you ‘arrive’ they could design the country’s national flag, draw a map of landmarks, or even write a guidebook.
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Reminisce about recent holidays. Look up the destinations on a globe or label a world map with all of the places you’ve been together. Print off some photos and make that long overdue album or create a family travel journal, each writing down some of your favourite memories along with wish lists of all the places you want to go and things you want to do. The Scouts has a host of great ideas on its website – from using recycling to make famous landmarks and shoebox cities to making your own boarding pass and airline posters.
Don’t wait for next year’s festival season, pitch your tent for an adventure in your own back garden. String up some fairy lights and bunting, deck it out with cushions and get the barbecue or camping stove going to toast some marshmallows before you zip up for the night. If you’ve got the room (and plan to camp in future) go all out with this eight-person yurt. If outdoor space is tight, you could set up a teepee inside for the kids to kip in, or get creative and fashion a tent from various sheets and pieces of furniture.
Safari specialist andBeyond has partnered with WildEarth wildlife broadcaster to stream three-hour long game drives filmed in Ngala Private Game Reserve and Djuma Private Game Reserve twice a day. The virtual safaris are hosted by an expert from andBeyond and WildEarth field guides – the first 45 minutes of the afternoon drive is aimed at kids, who can send in questions. In a host of virtual experiences, andBeyond also has a special WILDchild: Becoming a Ranger series to inspire young nature lovers.
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Host themed international mealtimes complete with typical dishes and traditional decorations. Talk about the different ingredients you’re eating and any regional customs. Cook holiday favourites as a family – there are some great online cook-a-longs out there including the Wok from Home series from family fave Wagamama, which shows you how to make some of its most-loved dishes. Failing that, order a takeaway of your favourite international cuisine. And what better way to get the holiday vibe going than by dining alfresco?
On sunny days, nothing beats setting up the paddling pool to get in the holiday spirit. Make it extra special by creating a resort-style kids’ club feel with some garden games such as giant noughts and crosses or Jenga scattered about. Set up a makeshift ‘pool bar’, too, with fresh fruit smoothies or mocktails (freeze some for a cool treat later on). Little luxe-lovers could also create a mini-spa with footbaths and nail painting for a spot of pampering by the pool. Meanwhile, you can string up a hammock and pretend you’re being rocked by the balmy Med breeze.
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If you can’t make it to the world’s top museums, aquariums, and galleries, you can get a virtual dose of culture thanks to plethora of digital tours available aimed at kids. They can head into a time machine to discover the treasures and stories inside the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s #MetKids programme, designed by kids for kids. Author Jacqueline Wilson will fire their imagination on a tour of Tate Britain, while Sir David Attenborough can be their tour guide on one of the Natural History’s series of online tours. You can even go on an virtual walk through the Roman baths in Bath, around the atmospheric tombs of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or travel back to ancient Athens in Greece.