Children have a natural curiosity about the world around them, and there’s no better way to teach them about geography than to travel with them. Travelling is a great way to open up your child’s mind and allow them to learn about new cultures and customs. In addition, travelling provides plenty of opportunities for children, especially GCSE learners, to practise their geography skills. Here are some tips on how to teach your child geography while travelling.
1) Use a map to show them where you’re going.
Before you start your journey, sit down with your child and show them where you’re going on a map. This will help them understand the concept of distance and give them an overview of the route you’ll be taking. As you travel, point out landmarks and geographical features that you pass along the way.
Learning how to read maps is essential in the subject of geography. GCSE students will be expected to interpret Ordnance Survey maps and use them for geographical analysis. By familiarising your child with maps, you’ll be giving them a head start in their studies.
So if possible, try to avoid using GPS when travelling with children as this can take away from the educational experience. Instead, use a physical map that they can follow as you travel.
2) Play ‘I Spy’ with geographical features.
This is a great game to play while you’re on the road. As you travel, look out for geographical features such as mountains, rivers, lakes, and forests. Then, take turns to spy on something and see if your child can guess what it is. This game is not only fun, but it will also help your child to identify different types of geographical features.
If you’re travelling by plane, this game can still be played by looking out for clouds of different shapes and sizes. You can also look for man-made features such as roads, bridges, and buildings.
GCSE students need to be able to identify and describe different types of natural and man-made features. So by playing this game with your child, you’ll be helping them to develop these essential skills.
3) Talk about the climate in different places.
As you travel, take note of the climate in different places. Is it hot or cold? Humid or dry? Does it rain a lot or is the sun shining? These are all important factors to consider when studying geography.
GCSE students need to be able to describe and compare the climates of different areas. They should also be able to explain how the climate affects people and their environment. For example, if they attend GCSE geography trips to hot countries like Spain or Greece, they should be able to discuss how the climate affects the way of life there.
4) Teach them about time zones.
If you’re travelling to a different country, your child will need to know about time zones. Explain how the Earth is divided into different time zones and how this affects people in different parts of the world. For example, if it’s midday in England, then it will be early morning in America.
GCSE students must understand how time zones work and can convert between different time zones. This skill is often tested in exams with questions such as ‘What is the local time in New York when it is noon GMT?’ By teaching your child about time zones, you’ll be helping them to prepare for these types of questions.
5) Help them to understand currency.
If you’re travelling to a different country, your child will need to know about the local currency. Explain how much things cost in relation to your own country’s currency. For example, if a cup of coffee costs £25 in Spain then this would be worth approximately $30 in America.
GCSE students need to be able to convert between different currencies. This skill is often tested in exams with questions such as ‘If one British pound is worth €0.86, how many euros would you get for £100?’ By teaching your child about currency conversion, you’ll be helping them to prepare for these questions.
Geography is an important subject that children will learn in school. But it’s also a subject that can be taught while travelling. By following these tips, you can help your child to develop their geographical knowledge and skills while also enjoying quality time together on your travels. Happy exploring!