the holiday season is in full swing.
There’s never been a better time than now to cultivate a love of travel and cross cultural curiosity in the children you love. There are many ways to incorporate global learning into your child’s life, even when you’re not traveling. There are so many different products on the market that can inspire the children in your life without breaking the bank.
i’ve complied a list of affordable gifts that are sure to inspire young travelers and global learners alike.
*This list was curated independently. I was not compensated for any of these suggestions, nor did I receive any of these products in exchange for a recommendation.
CUSTOM memory match game
There are so many benefits to memory match games for toddlers: they increase short term memory skills, help to classify similar objects, improves vocabulary and so much more! What a great way to help your own little traveler keep memories of family adventures alive, by customizing a set of these with photos of their own travels! Choose 12 of your favorite travel photos to complete this beautiful set. You could also make a set based on famous landmarks around the world for your young globetrotter to memorize!
To buy: pinhole press.com, $19.99
This atlas takes your child around the world learning language. The book is filled with wonderful illustrations of children in their everyday environments, and the book also comes with an app to download with native speakers reciting phrases—how cool is that?
To buy: amazon.com, $17.37
Get your older traveler’s creative juices flowing with a digital camera. Taking photos is an awesome way to get kids engaging in their surroundings in a personal way, and it’s always great to see their photographic perspective of people, places and things. This Sony Cybershot set comes with a 20.1MP camera, camera case and 8GB memory card—it would make a great gift for your budding travel photographer.
To buy: target.com, $119.99
Passport sticker books
Whether your children are experienced world travelers or have yet to take their first trip overseas, these passport sticker books are great for imaginative play. Children of all ages will enjoy these sticker books—my girls are nearly preteens and still love playing with them just as they did when they were younger. They come in a set of a dozen passport books and passport stickers.
To buy: amazon.com, $11.49 (per dozen)
Ancient Egyptians were advanced and thriving. Not only did they build structural masterpieces that are still standing thousand of years later, they created a game, Senet, that is still played in Egypt today. Gift your child the game of pharaohs and queens.
To buy: amazon.com, $28.44
lonley planet kid’s travel journal
Journaling is a great way for children to remember special memories from their travels. This travel journal is designed with the young adventures by world’s leading travel publishing company, Lonely Planet. It’s packed full of cool illustrations, spaces to draw, maps and questions to give your explorer things to write about.
To buy: amazon.com, $12.99
Tuskegee airmen red tails model mustang plane
The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of famed African-American fighter pilots in WWII, known by the red tails on their planes. Your aviators in the making will love putting together this model plane, and can learn important history at the same time.
To buy: ebay.com, $15.98
hearts for hearts dolls
Hearts for Hearts dolls are special. Each girl comes from a different part of the world (Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Afghanistan, United States, México, Laos, Nepal and Lithuania), and has a unique story to share. The dolls come with a small book detailing the girl’s story, a bracelet for your child to wear and a comb. Each doll also has her own beautiful accessories and details; Rahel from Ethiopia has a natural, curly hairstyle and Nahji from India (pictured) comes with a nose ring and henna design on her hand. $1 of all sales are donated to charity, and they are perfect for parents who can never find dolls that culturally represent their children.
To buy: amazon.com, starting around $30
All the way to Havana
Cuba is a magical place, trapped somewhere in time while merging into the modern age. Children of all ages will love this story that takes them deep into Cuban culture as a boy and his family drive to Havana, and their adventures along the way. This wonderful story is sure to inspire a family trip to the island.
To buy: amazon, $17.09
Personalized luggage tags
Every serious traveler needs bag tags of their own—your child is no exception. These personalized luggage tags would be the perfect gift for families like mine who have children with uncommon names. I mean, I can never walk into a store and find a keychain with Amaris, Ariela or Nasir on it! The tags come in 11 different colors, and your home address and first and last names are inscribed on the back!
To buy: neimanmarcus.com, $12
Train set and table
Your train lovers will spend hours playing in their make believe city, rolling through waterfalls and bridges. There are so many scenes to keep your little one busy, plus it comes with storage bins underneath—holla’! Be sure to buy a few extra trains as the set only comes with a few.
To buy: amazon.com, $119.97
The kids and I sure could have used a few of these when camping in the Sinai Desert on the Red Sea. There was no electricity and it’s hard using an outhouse in the dark—just sayin’. Your favorite camper will love this headlight that comes with adjustable straps, as will avid late night readers. The headlight rotates and batteries are included.
To buy: amazon.com, $8.99
Atlas of Native Nations of the United States
All of North and South America is Indigenous country, and it’s important to honor those whose land we occupy. This atlas is filled with history, stunning photos and maps. You and your child will learn about different tribes, their clothing, language and customs; you will also learn about the great displacement of nations. This atlas is also special because it includes maps of Native lands after they were stolen, giving insight on where tribes were forced to relocate. It is an important addition to any atlas lover’s collection.
To buy: barnesandnoble.com, $14.98
Manhattan City Blocks Set
This modern set of blocks brings a bit of New York City into your home. Your little one will spend hours building the Manhattan skyline, creating his or her own architectural masterpieces.
To buy: thetot.com, $42.50
Atlas of Adventure
If you or your young ones need any inspiration to spark your wanderlust, look no further. This beautiful atlas is filled with a collection of stunning drawings that take you on adventures across the seven continents. You’ll shower with with elephants in Thailand, see the Great Pyramids of Giza, dance samba in Brazil, play soccer in Senegal and so much more!
To buy: paper source.com, $30
World Map Coloring Tablecloth
I don’t know about your kids, but if mine go two seconds between activities, they’re complaining that they’re bored. *Insert eye roll here.* This large tablecloth is a world map that will keep children of varying ages busy for hours, and they’ll learn facts about different countries and continents. What’s also cool is that it comes with ten markers, and is machine washable for reuse!
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $30
wooden sushi play food set
Expand your child’s play menu with this wooden sushi set. They will learn new vocabulary words, and get to practice using chopsticks—the way billions of people around the world eat.
To buy: amazon.com, $23.68
Little Citizens T-shirt
This adorable Tea Collection t-shirt is perfect for your little citizen.
To buy: teacollection.com, $19.50
Mae Jamison plushie
Mae Jamison is the first African American woman to visit space. This adorable plushie will encourage your space explorer that anything is possible, and that the sky’s the limit!
To buy: etsy.com, $20.75
This globe is something special. Your preschooler will love learning about the seven continents with these pull apart pieces.
To buy: schoolspeciality.com, $24.97
Doll travel accessory set
Our Generation dolls and their accessories are beloved in our home for their cute designs and economic prices. They come in many different ethic backgrounds, shades and hair textures—which is also an important plus. My girls love taking their dolls on imaginary flights with this set.
To buy: target.com, $24.99
The Last Princess
Before Hawai’i was stolen by the United States, its people were ruled by a royal family. Learn the story of their last princess in this book that’s filled with gorgeous drawings and native Hawaiian words.
To buy: barnesandnoble.com, $1.99
Reusable airport sticker tote
This cute sticker tote comes with over 80 reusable stickers and two scene boards to place them on. It’s perfect for long trips, and is sure to keep your toddler occupied.
To buy: amazon.com, $9.98
2 piece tiger luggage set
This cute, 2 piece luggage set comes with a hard case backpack and rolling suitcase.
To buy: ebags.com, $99.99
Korean alphabet magnets
These colorful Korean alphabet magnets are the perfect way to help familiarize your little ones with another language.
To buy: amazon.com, $22.38
Travel Stub Diary
If you’re anything like me, then you’re one of those people who saves ticket stubs, maps, brochures etc. from every trip. My girls have started to do the same, and we never have a place to store these precious items. This travel stub diary is a great way to keep these memories preserved.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $12
Middle East Architectural building blocks
These building blocks will delight children of all ages. Each piece is beautifully handcrafted in Middle Eastern-style architecture.
To buy: ebay.com, $23.99
Hats of faith book
This board book is dedicated to displaying different head coverings that are used around the globe as an expression of faith. From Rastafarian and Sikh men to women in hijab, orthodox Jews and nuns—many different faiths use head coverings. Learn about them in this beautiful book that promotes religious and cultural understanding.
To buy: amazon.com, $10.83
gold giraffe nightlight
Light up the room with the spirit of East Africa. This beautiful, golden giraffe nightlight is perfect for any nursery or toddler space.
To buy: worldmarket.com, $12.99
Travel pillows are wonderful for long journeys, insuring comfort and sleep. This cute owl pillow is small and functional, and includes a snap for hands-free transport.
To buy: amazon.com, $15.96
Latin Caribbean music set
Make beautiful music with this set of instruments inspired by ones used in various countries across Latin America. This collection would be fun for the whole family.
To buy: musicmotion.com, $99
United States crayons
Use these crayons to color with, or as a puzzle when practicing U.S. geography. They are a perfect way to remember states, and which Indigenous tribes they once belonged to.
To buy: etsy.com, $24.99
Your little aviator’s travel future is so bright, they’ll need cute sunnies to protect their eyes! My kids are never without a pair of stylish sunglasses when traveling.
To buy: target.com, $5.99
what are some of your favorite travel/globally-inspired gifts for kids?
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