Books to Help Your Child Discover New Worlds From Home

Use books to instantly transport your kids to different places, cultures, and a whole new world of adventure!
Mar 19, 2021



Books to Help Your Child Discover New Worlds From Home

Mar 19, 2021

For many families, the ability to experience new places is not always possible. Whether it’s due to travel restrictions, work or school commitments, or a matter of budgeting, having a few tricks up your sleeve to “escape” while still at home is a good idea.

Kelly Matthews, a 4th-grade teacher in Colorado, says books are the perfect alternative for exploring different places and worlds. “When you have a chance to delve into a different world using literature, you develop more empathy and understanding,” she says. 

Here are three tips to help your child discover new worlds from home through books.

1. “Travel” as a Family

Matthews says exploring books as a family will naturally help your child become more enthusiastic.

“Showing interest in the books your child is reading helps them feel comfortable to ask questions about where or when books take place,” she says. “Discuss the location or setting and your interpretations, comparing and contrasting your point of views.”

Patrick Mongeau, a 2nd-grade teacher in Massachusetts, says asking simple questions can increase comprehension while allowing your child to express their original ideas and thoughts.

Where are they? can elicit a response that shows understanding or misunderstanding. How is that different or similar to your world? can really push their thinking. Keep mum until you hear their ideas and take them with an open mind,” he says.

2. Visualize Your Adventure

Matthews recommends reading books set in different worlds and then watching the movie version. This helps children “see” the director’s interpretation and determine how it may have differed from their own. Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia are two favorites.

Take it a step further by having your child create their own movie trailers, or by acting or pretending they are in the book. They may even like to create an alternate ending for a story they wish ended differently. 

“They learn so much by visualizing the book’s setting, characters, and details that by the time they are finished, they get so much more out of it,” Matthews says.

3. Feed Your Child’s Understanding

Mongeau believes the best way to travel from home is through cooking and eating dishes from different parts of the world.

Books such as Sarai and the Around the World Fair can provide inspiration while also helping your child develop empathy and their own sense of self.

“Seeing things that are different is so important for children to develop a sense that who they are is not ‘normal,’ it's ‘local’ and ‘personal,’ and every bit as unique and strange as these different worlds,” Mongeau says.

Shop books to explore and discover new worlds below! You can find all books and activities at The Parent Store.

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