GoBRT’s Kids Trail is developing a special educational series between grandparents and the grandkids. From promoting activities to do together to travel games kids can play whether near or far, 2016 Summer Season will see the Kids Trail help grandparents glue the generations together.
There are many great quotes about the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Sam Levenson famously said, “The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” (from BrainyQuote.com). How true that is.
Why are grandparents important to a child’s development? Nancy Craun, owner of Go Blue Ridge Travel and a Nana herself says, “Coming from a different generation, grandparents see the world from a different perspective. We are a great resource to connect kids to their family’s history. And most importantly, kids will accept that sometimes we have different values than their parents and that is ok. Plus, as life gets ever faster, grandparents are often the perfect, though sometimes taken for granted, support system for families in these changing times. For example, last summer, we had a multi-generational week long trip to Massanutten Resort with my sister, and my daughter and her children. Playing mini-golf together was good for all generations. This March we all will travel to the Riveria Mayan for their Spring break.”
“On the trip back to Atlanta where they live, I took two days and stopped over at several attractions along the way. The granddaughters learned that even Nana could have new learning experiences like driving a golf cart at Virginia’s Frontier Culture. I had to laugh when my ten year old told me to press down on the gas slower to prevent a jerky take off Nana,” said Craun.
“In a survey conducted by AARP, only 19% of American households contained a married couple and their children, compared to 40% in 1970. The term “family” is more fluid than ever before. It now encompasses multiple genders, ages and status mixes. That means that the traditional grandparent/grandchild dynamic has shifted too. And in some situations, there are even more options for bonding, so that connection can be even stronger.” said Valerie Lindsay, author with MyKidsAdventures.com.
The Kids Trail was started in the the summer of 2014 here in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and West Virginia. The mission was to create bucket lists that included travel experiences all children should have before turning 18. “Although the major emphasis has been on fun, parents have told us that they are amazed at the learning that occurs visiting the Valley,” said Craun. “When my grandchildren visit, I am at first in a panic stage on what we can do together. Then I reach out to the Kids Trail and begin to plan a week of activities. This does not mean that I have to spend tons of money at attractions but instead I expand on learning thru travel with a new twist.
Here is Grandparent – Kids Idea #1 – “Local Resourcing – Bringing the farm home to the table”.
Create a cooking show combined with a local farm experience.
Try an experiment and be amazed how much more children will eat when making the food alone. Now kick this up a notch and combine a kid’s mobile talents with a trip to a farmer’s market or to a U-pick farm. The valley has many agri-tourism opportunities for families including MacKintosh Fruit Farm and Great Country Farms here in Winchester, or Back Home on the Farm in Harrisonburg,Virginia. These farms offer fun activities for the kids as well as the opportunity to go out and pick the prime vegetables or fruit of the week.
The night before the trip plan a recipe the kids agree upon. Keep it simple. Since farms can be a full day’s visit and the kids may be tired, plan to cook the day after going but kick it up a notch. Kids love mobile phones. Make the meal a cooking show production.
Decide on a show title and which child has what responsibilities. Then let the kids’ imaginations take over. “As a chef, the kids can explain what they’re making and why this is going to be good for them. For extra fun, sent the show to Mom and Dad. Then incorporate what they have made into the next meal and let the kids receive the rave reviews,” said Craun.
Mom and Dad can reverse this experience by asking the grandparents for a recipe. Then over dinner get the grandparents on the phone to share the experience. This can help ease the long distance blues both the kids and grandparents often feel. The following ideas are tried and tested ways to connect generations across the web. Most of these are better using Skype, Google hangouts or other web chats. Many will work on the phone too, with a little tweaking.
Follow the Kids Trail Grandparents Series on Go Blue Ridge Travel. Spring is just around the corner and Bucket, the Kids Trail’s Mascot, is about to pick the top road trips for Spring and Summer including Bucket’s third birthday party in July a the Family Drive In Theater.
Launched in December 2011, Go Blue Ridge Travel (GoBRT) is an e-commerce marketing company using digital internet channels to both create a travel ecosystem community. Founded and owned by Nancy Craun who grew up in the area and has 30 years of experience in the event planning, restaurant, hotel, and marketing arenas. GoBRT covers 160 plus mile radius of the Interstate 81 Corridor spanning the states of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. In 2014, the Kids Trail was launched with grants from Virginia Tourism and now has over sixty partners with a mission to showcase multi-generational travel in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley.