Family Travel Planning & Reading Lists: The Spain Edition

For us, family vacation planning is like child development.  When your child is born you first confirm that all of the large, gross motor skills are functioning then move on to assess the more detailed, fine motor skills.  With trip planning it’s generally same thing. We get the big heavies out of the way first… planes, trains, and automobiles.   When this stage of travel planning is complete  my husband & I heave a long, sigh of relief and start planning the details.  What will we see, do, eat, and experience?  This is the fun part. The “fine motor details” of the trip, necessary to having fun and being efficient with our time.  This is crucial especially when traveling with kids.

 

S reading at Shakespeare & Co., Paris

 

The development that goes into your vacation planning can foster your child’s personal development.

Reading about our destination (in a non-travel guide format) is just as much a part of travel planning as is scouting out local markets or researching historic sites.  We try to nurture our kids’ personal development, education and cultural mindfulness through our travels. Choosing captivating reading material to peruse ahead of time is a fun way to launch the adventure.

We create family book lists for all trips, domestic or international.  (Unless we’re going to Disney.  They’ve been adequately schooled.  Thanks Walt!).  If our lists are done well (and followed through with…) it’s fascinating to watch the kids’ minds puzzle together pieces from their reading, their travels and their school education.  Below is our book list for our upcoming trip to Spain.

 

The Story of Ferdinand  by Munro Leaf

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

“Ferdinand” was first published in 1936 and it weaves the tale of a young bull from Andalucia, (Ronda as it looks from the illustrations) who finds his inner strength not from being the chosen bull for the bull-fights in Madrid, but by being himself and enjoying the simple pleasures  in life that HE treasures.

 

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.

Don Quixote of the Mancha (Everyman's Library Children's Classic) by Miguel de Cervantes adapted by Judge Judge Parry

Classic, Spanish and fun.  Although we are feeling bad for Don Quixote right now…

 

Platero y Yo  by  Juan Ramon Jimenez

Platero y yo / Platero and I by Juan Ramon Jimenez

Jimenez paints a beautiful picture of the Andalucian countryside in his touching tale of a young man traveling with his donkey Platero. He describes the life and children of Andalucia and bits of their rich heritage.  We bought the bilingual version so we can practice our Spanish.  Honestly, this has not “grabbed” our kids yet, so excerpts from the book will do the trick.  There are more kid friendly all-Spanish versions available.  Hopefully a good read for post trip reflection.

 

Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi by Rachel Victoria Rodriguez

Building on Nature - The Life of Antoni Gaudi by Rachel Victoria Rodriguez

“(Antoni Gaudi’s) home is in Catalonia, a place of jagged mountain peaks and silvery olive trees, splashed by the sparkling sea. The wild beauty of this landscape makes a deep impression. He thinks of it as the Great Book of Nature, and he will read from it all of his life.

Gaudí becomes an architect, learning the rules of form and structure that buildings are supposed to follow. But the shapes and colors of the natural world still inspire him, and he works them into his buildings. Leaves climb up walls. Pillars are giant animal feet. A long bench snakes around a playground.

Antoni Gaudí turned nature into art, and in the process he revolutionized the world of architecture.” (text courtesy of Rachel Victoria Rodriguez and Amazon.com)

 

Messi: The Inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend – (a biography) by Luca Caioli:

Messi: The Inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend, by Luca Caioli

Now, even though Lionel Messi is Argentinian, he has become a legend for Spanish soccer (and beyond!).  Our son adores him and this book was for his enjoyment and pre-trip excitement.  Now if we could only get our hands on four Barcelona vs. Real Madrid tickets.  Sigh.

 

The Story of the World: Volume 2:  The Middle Ages, by Susan Wise Bauer

Story of the World, Vol. 2: The Middle Ages, by Susan Wise Bauer

 

Great children’s history series!  This volume covers the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance and honestly, and I cannot wait to read it!  Again, this is another “excerpt” read for now, but the info collected in this series is really well-done and will be a great cross-over book for future European exploration with the kids.

 

Trip planning and child raising both have unique development phases.  But a well developed trip can help form a well developed child.  

PLEASE feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section.  We’d love some more ideas!

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Those are great. You have a beautiful family, and they are lucky to have you!

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