My guys have loved travel since our first trips up to see family in Vancouver when they were teeny tiny babies. Because Vancouver is about a three-hour drive from Seattle, it meant a van-load full of stuff and drives conveniently timed between naps. Back then our travel needs were totally different than they are now to entertain two 7-year-old boys. We’ve tried a lot of things over the course of our travels and it’s helped me find some fun gifts for friends and family members who also like to travel too!
Travel at this age means keeping two 7-year-old boys passionate about going out into the world when their universe is becoming more centered on what their friends are doing. It means tailoring trips around some of their interests so that they feel like the trip is also meaningful to them too.
Thankfully school has given my kids a really empowering tool. They can now read and that opens up a whole new realm of entertainment. They can also write and draw about their trips and with the coloring craze there are tons of coloring books about travel like this one and this one too! And they love to talk about the places they’ve been when they get back.
Right now Magic Treehouse books are a huge hit in our house. These books are about two kids who travel around the world learning facts about history while trying to conquer quests. There is even a whole free game online that uses the facts they’ve learned from the stories they’ve read. I’ve even signed my guys up for the “KIDS ADVENTURE CLUB” so we’ll see what that is when it arrives at my house. I like this series because I’ve learned about the TItanic, Japan and pandas all because my kids are excited about the books they are reading.
Another club my kids are signed up for is Little Passports, and I was a little skeptical of this membership before we got it, but the guys love receiving a new ‘stamp’ in their passport every month as they learn about a new country. They really loved the souvenir that came with their Paris kit. When I see them looking at a map and knowing where more places are in the world than I do, I know this kind of learning is a really good thing.
My guys still love their map book and a book called Atlas of Adventures that they’ve had for a while These books are two that I love giving as gifts too. I keep our own copies on the coffee table so we can all flip through the pages and dream about the places we’ll visit on day and remember the trips we’ve had.
And we like to read novels together before bed, so last month, I found a book about Hong Kong from a series written by Giada De Laurentis because we’ll be revisiting soon and I want the kids to get excited about the trip. It’s a little like Magic Treehouse but instead of history, travel is inspired by food and I love that there are recipes included in this book. There are a bunch of books in this Recipe for Adventure series and I’m definitely going to be ordering more.
And when I look for gifts or ways to celebrate something, I love experiences and I’m a big fan of getting my kids memberships to local museums. I’ve found that so many of our local venues like our science center, have reciprocal museum benefits in other places so if I buy a membership in my own city I can use it when I travel and my kids have loved the places we’ve visited because of these benefits (and I’ve loved that their admissions have been free!)
(PS. if you’re looking for great airplane books for younger kids, here are some that we loved when my guys were a little smaller!)