School is just about finished for 2015 and it’s time for kids to kick back, relax and drive their parents absolutely crazy while on summer holidays. Despite some parents lamenting the challenges of entertaining kids on their holidays, I recently took my brood for a holiday to Bali and it was the perfect opportunity for them to broaden their horizons and learning whole lot of things.
From visiting a Balinese temple, to meeting local kids and playing with them, and visiting some lovely sights while we were there, the learning opportunity was not about a strict programme of study – it was a much more free form opportunity for them to learn.
I’ve outlined below a few things that we observed as great opportunities to learn while we were in Bali. First of all we got settled in our Hotel in Legian, and we were fortunate enough to be able to hire a stroller in Bali from BaliBubs Baby Hire who got us all sorted for sleeping arrangements (travel cots), and for prams and strollers. With that sorted, we were ready to embark on the fun of the holiday.
Experiment with learning a new language
A family holiday in Bali was the perfect opportunity to learn a little Balinese. While it may not be realistic to master a language on a holiday, the locals abolutely loved it when my children tried a few expressions such as “Apa kabar” (how are you?) and “Terima Kasih” (Thankyou). They even taught us a little of the local dialect Balinese which is a little different to the national language Indonesian. With the hotel staff and the shop keepers revelling in the fun of teaching a few words to my kids, I was surprised to see how much the kids really enjoyed the experience too.
Even better – they were able to use this in their play with the local children. I recommend this for kids of all ages.
Learning opportunities in the Bali Outdoors
We took the children cycling and they were chatting away with the tour guide about the local culture and history. He showed them a traditional village and explained the layout of the village and the cultural signficance of where the houses and temples are placed within the village layout. He showed us examples of Rice farming, and explained the harvest cycles and how the locals are able to make a living from this farming lifestyle.
By getting the kids on bikes and engaging in a little exercise, the learning opportunities were maximised as their minds were open – and they were absorbing knowledge about produce, agriculture, language, geography and most importantly experiencing another culture which is an invaluable lesson.
While were were being driven around by our driver to the cycling and back, our kids were learning to use Google Maps and discussing navigation and the layout of the Bali island. While we tried to limit their smartphone usage while on holiday, the maps and navigation was a great learning opportunity that we were keen they were able to avail themselves of.
Try out some holiday toys and entertainment
While on the beach, we purchased a cheap lantern and the kids had a ball while both constructing the paper lantern and then lighting it and watching their mini hot air balloon take to the skies. We purchase a small kite from a local seller and worked with them to put together the kite and fly it while on the beach. One of the local beach vendors explained the tradition of kite flying in Bali and the annual festivals and kite flying competitions. On the way home, we quizzed the kids about what they had learnt that day and were delighted as they recited the fascinating details of the Bali kite rituals to us on the way back to the hotel.
Suffice to say that despite it being a holiday, our trip to Bali was an incredible opportunity for the children to learn and they absolutely thrived on the experience. Don’t write off your holiday as a time for the kids to stop their learning adventures, in fact a holiday is one of the greatest learning opportunities they will get!
Some great resources for family holidays and the learning opportunities they represent: