Those of you who know me personally, know that I LOVE to travel. Seriously, if I could get paid to travel the world, I would in a heartbeat.
I have traveled abroad, lived abroad. I like to travel high end and travel more budget style. I love seeing new cultures, meeting new people, trying new foods. I love learning about history and politics.
Most importantly, I love introducing my 10 year old daughter to the world. Some people don't like to travel with children, but I think it is such a great experience for them to see the world beyond the town in which they live!
Yes traveling with kids can be a bit more hectic and stressful but with a little planning and some patience (and some essential oils for travel and jet lag), traveling with kids can be a world of fun!!
This year, my daughter was fortunate enough to go to France this year with my Aunt Judy. My aunt, a former high school French teacher has led many student groups to France. I was lucky enough to travel with her and a group when I was in 7th grade and again 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter.
She has graciously taken most of her grandchildren on individual trips when they have been about the age of 10 or 11. This year she generously extended the offer of traveling to France to my daughter! Two weeks in France!! What a wonderful gift and opportunity for her!
Now, let me tell you, I am a former elementary teacher. Everything to me is a learning lesson. This can sometimes be annoying to my family but I consider it part of my charm. (hahaha!)
Whenever we travel, I love to ‘pre-teach' to make the trip mean more to my daughter. I don't make a big deal about it but rather I buy (or take out from the library) a variety of books that may help the trip mean even more.
Now, don't worry…these aren't giant historical tomes. Rather, they have been age appropriate for her but run the range of picture atlases to picture books set in a certain country to travel books for kids to non-fiction books about the country.
I just let her read them at her leisure (she loves to read) and it makes the trip mean so much more.
Years ago, when we took her to London, the fact she had read some simple picture books with London landmarks in the setting made seeing the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey mean so much more to her! They were familiar.
Now that she is 10 and a very good reader, I wasn't limited to picture books! I found about 15 books that she flipped through, read, re-read over the course of about 8 months.
These books primed her mind for traveling to France and the trip to France basically became almost a field trip of sorts to see what she has only read about!
I am sure there are many books I could have included on this list. If you have a favorite, please let me know in the comments!!
Kids' Books Before Traveling to France
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know Lonely Planet
Horrible Histories – France
By Terry Deary
Simon Fete le printemps
Children’s World Atlas
Eloise in Paris
My Picture Atlas
Camille and the Sunflowers
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
My Little Orsay
The Lacemaker and the Princess
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Looking at Countries
This is Paris
Joan of Arc