When we go to a new place, we love it if the children understand a little bit about where they are visiting. At age 2 and 4, it can be tricky for them to understand the significance of the wonderful sights they have seen. When we can, we read and learn about specific places. That’s easy for places like London (read my post here for lots of ideas), but for most destinations, you’ll need to get a bit more creative. This begins with injecting some general wanderlust into them from a young age. There are lots of great picture books out there that can help you out, here are a few of our favourites.
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Here Comes the Sun by Karl Newson
Here Comes the Sun is about a little owl who travels the world each night to wish the stars goodnight. The owl crosses oceans, deserts and forests, flying over sleeping animals.
We first encountered this beautiful tale on CBeebies Bedtime Stories read by George Ezra. Ted became obsessed for a while, and when it stopped being available online, we just had to buy the book. We don’t read it every night anymore but recently when I asked Ted which story he would lie to give his baby cousin for Christmas this was his answer straight away. There can be no higher endorsement.
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
This is the story of a snail with an itchy foot who hitches a ride on a humpback whale. Together they explore the length and breadth of the oceans.
The Snail and the Whale is a classic, and the latest one of Julia Donaldson’s stories to be made into a BBC Christmas special. It is a timeless tale about feeling small in a big world. The end is particularly good with the stories the snail tells his flock, inspiring them to travel too.
Where Would Santa Go? by Julia Inserro
This is the story of two children who wish to travel on Christmas Eve. Santa wakes them up and takes them on a magical adventure to see the best the Earth has to offer.
I was sent a free copy of this book to review (full review here). We loved reading the story and looking at the stunning pictures. It really shows a wide variety of places, from festivals to historical sites and wild places to cities.
Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski
If you are looking for an Atlas for a preschooler, this is the one I would recommend. Unfortunately, it does not include every country in the world, but the ones it does cover it does beautifully. The maps are covered with details about the country’s culture, landscape and sights. It is a perfect way to start a conversation with little ones about what they think each country will be like.
Do you have any more suggestions for this list? I’d love to hear them.