Traveling to Japan with Kids!
How to prep your kids for their first trip to Japan? We asked travel writer and mom of three, Heather Jenks, how she introduced Japan to her family with Little Passports! Read what she had to say below.
Preparing to take your kids to a new country can be exciting and nerve-racking. When we started planning for our first ever trip to Japan, I wanted to teach the kids something about the country before we went. That is where our Little Passports World Edition subscription came in handy. We had fun introducing the country to our kids with the Japan kit, and the crafts and activities were well received by all three of my little ones. My oldest son, who is 7 years old, dove into it the most. It was a great way to start the discussion on the geography, food, and culture of Japan!
Diving into Little Passports
The first thing my kids always want to do is use the stickers. They love the fact that you get to put one in the passport, one on the suitcase, and then find the country on our world map for the “push pin” sticker. We showed them where Japan was in comparison to where we lived, and talked about how long the flight was going to be as well as the path of the airplane.
Both my 5-year old and my 7-year old loved the origami! They both chose to make the boat in the instruction booklet, which came with some origami paper. One of the tips in the booklet was to color the bottom of the boat with a wax crayon so that it would float better. This created a great discussion about water repellent materials. We did an experiment on which boats would hold up longer, the ones with the wax crayon on the bottom or the ones without!
One of the other crafts in the Japan kit was making a carp (koi fish) kite, similar to those they hang on Children’s Day in Japan. While we haven’t done this craft yet, we talked about what they represent in Japan and how parents wish for health, good fortune, and success. We also took a trip to our city’s Japanese Garden where we fed the koi fish in the pond. Their mouths were so big and round, and the kids saw the similarities of the circular mouths of the kites.
Besides the language difference, another big concern we have as parents when traveling with kids is finding local food that they will eat. Our Little Passports Japan kit talked about Bento Boxes and what kids typically eat during the day in Japan. My oldest son is really curious about cooking and making food these days, so this was the perfect activity for him! We made traditional sushi rice and let him choose the ingredients according to the ratios of rice, meat, vegetables, and sweets that we read about in the kit.
Ready to Go!
We can’t wait to take Little Passports on the road with us to Japan. My 7-year old is looking forward to seeing the Himeji Castle, like the picture on the postcard from Sam and Sofia. Dad is looking forward to fresh sushi from the Tsukiji Fish Market, the same place that Sam and Sofia found the sushi eraser included in our Japan kit. Most of all, the kids liked clicking through the interactive games and map in the Japan Boarding Zone on the Little Passports website. It’s given us some good ideas for places to visit on our trip!
Discover more about Japan and its culture with our World Edition!
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Recommended for ages 6-12
“My son looks forward to the adventure in our mailbox each month!” – Adrian, mom of 10-year-old-son
Explore the world, one country at a time, following the adventures of Sam and Sofia. Learn about Japan, Brazil, Madagascar and more through letters, activities, stickers, souvenirs and more!
Heather is a mother of three young children living in Washington state. She loves traveling and teaching her kids about other countries and cultures and sharing those experiences on her blog. In her spare time she loves reading, writing, volunteering at her children’s school and teaching figure skating.
Want to know more about Japan? Read below!