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100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life

Cover of 100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life

100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life

From Your Backyard to the Ends of the Earth
Kids who learn to travel will travel to learn. National Geographic Traveler Editor Keith Bellows sends you and your children globetrotting for life-changing vacations that will expand their horizons...More
Kids who learn to travel will travel to learn. National Geographic Traveler Editor Keith Bellows sends you and your children globetrotting for life-changing vacations that will expand their horizons...More
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Description-
  • Kids who learn to travel will travel to learn. National Geographic Traveler Editor Keith Bellows sends you and your children globetrotting for life-changing vacations that will expand their horizons and shape their perspectives. What youwon't find inside: predictable itineraries and lists of landmarks and events. Instead, you'll get evocative, slice-of-life experiences and age-appropriate ideas that illuminate place and culture.

    Each chapter of 100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life plumbs the heart of a special place--from the Acropolis to Machu Picchu to the Grand Canyon--all from the perspective of insiders who see destinations through a child's eyes. You'll meet actor and travel writer Andrew McCarthy, who tours the suqs of Marrakech with his seven-year-old son; photographer Annie Griffiths, who shares the miraculous migration to Mexico of the monarch butterflies; Tom Ritchie, who has guided countless children and parents to Antarctica for more than 30 years; the waterman who knows where to see the ponies of Assateague in the true wild; and countless others who are cultural treasures, great storytellers, and keepers of a sense of place.

    Packed with ideas to supplement the travel experience--foods, music, films, and carefully curated lists of kid-friendly activities and places to eat and stay--this inspiring book is the perfect trip planner to excite children about culture and the unique magic the world has to offer.

    From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Grand Canyon Eons in a Rock Sandwich

    For too many kids, seeing the Grand Canyon--277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep--is just an hour spent staring out over the abyss, posing for photos, and jostling with other tourists for prime viewing spots without ever dipping a single sneaker below the rim.

    Yet, below the rim, says botanist and wilderness skills expert Mike Masek, is precisely where kids need to go to begin to appreciate the Grand Canyon's natural, geologic, and historical wonders.

    "The Grand Canyon is not just an object to be seen, it is an experience to relish for a lifetime," Masek explains. "Each child should spend time hiking below the rim. The immensity of the canyon makes people think big. While this is rewarding, the true nature of the canyon comes alive upon closer inspection."

    Taking a day hike or participating in a ranger-led hiking program gives kids the chance to safely examine little treasures they would miss from the rim, like the fossils in the rock layers, lizards basking in the sun, and desert wildflowers and wild- life, Masek adds.

    "As they are walking down the trail, have the kids stop and look back up to see the work that went into building the trail," he advises. "Point out the transition from one rock layer to the next. Encourage them to think about the different body responses they experience when descending and climbing."

    Both Masek and Flagstaff-based wilderness guide and forester Brad Ball suggest taking the South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge, a three-mile round-trip hike that's appropriate for kids, yet still offers a 360-degree view of the inside of a canyon.

    "What's unique about this trail is that it follows a ridgeline, while most of the other trails follow fault systems," says Ball. "This creates these classic panoramic views. Plus, it is the right length for kids--they could hike down and back up in about three hours--and it's a maintained trail, so it is moderate by Grand Can- yon standards. Below the rim, the Grand Canyon is a pretty rugged place, so you have to keep that in mind when visiting with kids."

    The iconic Grand Canyon experience is the overnight mule ride down to the Colorado River; riders must be at least four feet seven inches tall and weigh less than 200 pounds. The ride can be physically taxing, especially in the heat of summer.

    As an alternative, Ball suggests taking one of the National Park Service--sponsored North Rim one-hour or half-day mule rides designed specifically for kids age seven and up. In addition to being accessible to children, the trips typically are avail- able on the day of arrival, unlike the overnight treks, which can fill up more than a year in advance.

    Grand Canyon naturalist guide Jake Slade says the key to making any Grand Canyon visit memorable for kids is choosing activities that match the child's natural interests.

    "The first time I came here I was 12 and I was bored out of my mind," he recalls. "Now I live here, because as an adult I was able to get down into the canyon and explore. So if your child is interested in science and nature, or loves to hike or ride bikes, or maybe is interested in history or Native American culture, there are resources here to facilitate experiential learning in that area."

    Before you visit, Slade suggests browsing the Grand Canyon Field Institute (GCFI) programs that will be offered during your stay. The GCFI, a non-profit partner of the national park, supports education, the arts, research, and other programs for kids age six and up. The single-day "Meet the Canyon" class can be scheduled in advance...

About the Author-
  • Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, KEITH BELLOWS has launched 30 magazines, television, and radio properties and has lectured around the world. He is editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler and project leader of Learning2Go, an innovative program he developed to bring children and parents together around travel as a learning tool. A graduate of Gordonstoun School in Scotland and Dartmouth College, Bellows has appeared regularly on The Today Show and Good Morning America.

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100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life
100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life
From Your Backyard to the Ends of the Earth
Keith Bellows
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From Your Backyard to the Ends of the Earth
Keith Bellows
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