June 12, 2018
Most children seem to be predisposed to love animals. They read about them in books, recognise them as favourite cartoon characters, and become captivated by wildlife documentaries. They might have the opportunity to bond with a household pet or a neighbour’s roaming cat, and it seems that all children enjoy a trip to the zoo or aquarium.
All these animal encounters can be special and educational, but when children are exposed to wildlife in its natural habitat, a new world opens to them. Wild animals are mysterious and exciting, and seeing them in the wild – whether on the allotment at the end of the road or totally outside the child’s normal environment, while on holiday – not only becomes a child’s treasured memory, but can also have a lasting impact on the person they become.
Connecting children with wildlife helps to develop thoughtful and considerate qualities. As children begin to learn about endangered species and the threats that animals face, they can also be introduced to valiant preservation efforts. As a family, you can discuss what is being done and different ways you might be able to help. You can also visit wildlife sanctuaries in different parts of the world to see caring in action. Respect for wildlife and the environment go hand-in-hand, so acquiring this knowledge can produce great role models and advocates for future preservation.
Getting outdoors is healthy for our bodies and our minds. Whether you are going on a nature hike in your area or hopping on a plane for a wildlife expedition abroad, getting children (and ourselves) to abandon screens and gadgets will both keep us moving and reduce stress. Many wildlife trips include hiking, biking, swimming or other opportunities to be physically active outdoors. A love for nature and wildlife is something that is stimulating to people of all ages. Through learning and discovering the natural world, you will find boundless interesting activities to do together.
You have probably heard it before – travel is the ultimate classroom for everything your child is learning in school. Young children are intrinsically self-absorbed and, as they begin to detect the greater world around them, they need to process this information. Wildlife travel helps kids see themselves as part of a bigger picture. Even your backyard can support a love for wildlife and educate kids about local flora and fauna – but take them on a family wildlife expedition abroad and they will return with a treasure chest of knowledge and unforgettable memories.
Inspiration for your next wildlife family adventure:
From unsurpassed wildlife experiences in the Galapagos Islands to the chance to swim with dolphins in the Azores, visit Activities Abroad to book your next family holiday.
TravelLocal has a range of family-friendly holidays with wildlife opportunities for the entire family, crafted by their experts in each country.
Naturetrek offers family tours focusing on a range of wildlife from Tigers to Brown Bears, often with a little culture thrown in.
On a Sunvil holiday to Greece, Cyprus or Costa Rica, you might come across wild tortoises and turtles on the beaches. Visit Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica between September and October to experience the entire life cycle of the turtles (egg laying and hatching).
By: Mandy Haakenson