Thursday, 31 May 2012

Travelling with kids - how much do they remember?

Surely a person would remember this?
The Minx asked me today if she had been on a plane.

I reminded her that we had a trip to Fiji last Christmas and flew in a plane to get there. She stared at me blankly. She was only two at the time.

Nugget said: "I remember Fiji"

Nugget was five, having just finished Kindergarten.

I asked him what he remembered (baring in mind that Nugget is not the most forthcoming child, this list took some time to be generated):

I remember getting blisters from my crocs.

I remember swimming a lot. At the beach and in the swimming pool.

I remember I had to drink a yucky orange drink when my tummy hurt.

I remember playing mini-golf.

I remember we got there by car then plane then bus then boat.

I remember Kids Club and going fishing.

Nothing about the culture. Nothing about the people. Nothing about the music. Nothing about the birthday celebrations. Nothing about the Fijian Santa. Nothing else.

Blisters, "Bula belly" and sporting activities.

I reckon I could have created that at home.

Tell me that the travel was not in vain?! What do you think the benefits of travel for children are?


Jo @Country life experiment said...

We took our 2 to Malaysia and China when they were 22 months and 4 years. 3 years later, the older one still says remember when... all the time. It has given her a good understanding that people live very different lives to hers.

My parents put all 4 kids into a camper van and drove us around Europe for 3 months when we were kids - best experience ever. It has really shaped my life and world view.

Coal Valley View said...

Travel at any age is definitely not in vain - unless the kids are babies. I don't think it matters exactly what they remember from a trip either. We were a bit worried about the ages of our kids on our trip around Australia (3.5, 5 and 7) but to say they benefitted so much from the experience is an understatement. We have made a point of showing them photos all the time and this sparks their memories of some of the more amazing stuff, even if they say to others their favourite thing was collecting rocks (yep, we could have done that at home). I think the real benefits they get are being together as a family and experiencing some great things together - doesn't matter where you go. These are the things they'll remember later on. xx

Mum on the Run said...

This is why I make a photo album or photo book for each holiday/trip/special event - milking my money's worth as we relive the experience over and over!!!

I must say I have limited memories from before about 5 years of age or so. I either blocked them or am just useless.
Hubby swears he can remember being two and various things that happened tho.
:-) xx

Claireyhewitt said...

A friends Mum told me recently how they were so thrilled to take their two kids to Paris, London and Ireland when the kids were 4 and 6.

And so disappointed that by the time they were in high school they remembered little other than the new coats they got...which they still had hanging in the cupboard, the cold and the long long flights.

But I think the family time is often most important on holidays. Kids won't remember it, but they will feel it.

Photographer Mum said...

Miss 5 talks about our trip to Dubbo just before she was 3 every now and then and Mr 3 (almost 4) still remembers stuff from a holiday we went on 18 months ago but if you ask them what they did 2 days ago at school/preschool you're bound to get "I don't know" from them...

Mama of 2 boys said...

Haha! This is really cute. And I often wonder this very thing. Angus doesn't seem to remember our trip to Port Douglas at all, when he was 2. We remember only too well as he was a right little monkey for the entire trip.
Our road trip to the Sunshine Coast in January this year seems to be fairly fresh in his mind though, he had just turned four.
But as you say, I honestly don't think memories are in the detail either.
Maybe once they're 8 or so, that's when I am thinking the lasting holiday memories are made.
Personally, I have very few from my childhood... because we never went anywhere!

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

I think travel is so important to help broaden their horizons, especially where we live I think travel allows them to be exposed to so many more cultures and experiences. Even a trip to Sydeny helps my kids with broadening their experiences.
I agree with many of the comments too though, it's a lot about spending time together, away from the daily grind.

Nita Davis said...

First off it is NOT in vain. Like others have said the family time in itself is important. Maybe not so much for the children's memories but for the bond such trips build.
Don't worry too much about what they remember for such young ages, a child's ability to remember first hand does not develop until their psyche develops a sense of independence which can be anywhere from around age 18mo to age five. But with the use of photos and talking about the experience over and over you can help them develop a secondary memory through your memory. It is also good to remember that while the exposure to culture will broaden their outlook on life it wont necessarily be something they consciously remember for memory is general reserved for things that are somehow important to individual at that particular point in time. For example although I can remember the home I lived in when I was 2 my memories of people don't begin until age 3.
So keep enjoying those trips and relive the memories as often as possible with your little ones.
Enjoy the moment - preserve the memory.

Emily said...

Not in vain. After all, holidays have to be for you, too! x

Jay said...

Travelling with kids has lots of benefits we find, our 3 have a better understanding of the world in general and that in itself opens doors for them as they have no fear of applying for college in another coutry and no fear of negotiating an airport where English is not the main language etc etc
They've experienced other cultures which they may not remember but it has certainly shaped them as individuals.
My middle son struggled to write clearly and hated doing this in school, however on a trip to Kenya he wrote a whole project and his writing improved more in that 2 weeks than any amount of time spent in school seemed to.
And experiencing things all together, as a family will stay with them forever, even if details are forgotten.

Ioana-Carmen said...

U are so stylish! what do u say about following each other sweetie?:X

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