Bribing Kids to Learn About the World

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Bribery is a parents best friend.

Whether it’s “just eat 5 more bites and you can have desert” or  “if you get your homework done you can go ride bikes” having a bribe in your back pocket (figuratively speaking) is often a lifesaver.

Lately, our family has been traveling like crazy.  No, I’m not complaining in the least, but from a mom’s perspective it can be a little crazy.  Between the packing, unpacking, laundry, and not to mention that I have 4 kids to feed, clean up after and homeschool, our days have been pretty full lately.

With all of this travel and everyday chaos constantly around me, I’m often left feeling like I should do more, especially when it comes to teaching our kids about our destinations.  I want these trips we do to enhance the kids education and not just be another vacation.  But fitting it all in is an entirely different matter…


So when I saw this tip over on Tropic Of Candycorn about Educational Bribery, I knew this was exactly what we needed.

Here’s how it works.  Since we want our kids to learn as much as possible about where we’re going, we put the ball in their court.  We offer a list of suggestions for things they can do to learn about our destination and in return they can earn a little money to spend while we’re gone (or save it away until we find a decent toy store like my oldest is doing).  This way they learn a ton, can get something while we’re traveling, and I don’t have to do the busy work…aside from sitting back and learning when they report back to me about everything they’ve learned!

Here’s a list of some things our kids are doing to earn money for our upcoming trips to Prague and Turkey:

  • Identify where we are going on a map. Print out a map of the country and correctly label at least 10 thing on it (including where we are going).  Color the map
  • Watch a documentary about where we are going
  • Learn 10 words in the language that they speak where we are going
  • Write a list of 5 questions you want to know about where we are going and look the answers up in a book
  • Look at a guide book and find 5 cool things that you want to do on our trip. Tell our family about them at dinner time
  • Learn three cool historical facts about where we are going that you can tell our family
  • Write a 1 page report about where we are going
  • Spend 45 minutes reading a book about our trip and then tell someone what you learned
  • What is the weather like where we are going? Make up a list of things we should pack and then pack your suitcase (have mom check your things before you pack)

Oh and in case you’re wondering, it’s working like a charm.  The kids are upstairs packing their own suitcases with weather appropriate clothes!

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

4 thoughts on “Bribing Kids to Learn About the World”

  1. Great article! Our kids are grown and we have grandchildren, 1 great and 1 great on the way! Our family loves the outdoors, hiking, fishing, exploring our wonderful world. Thanks so much for these tips to get kids excited about going to the next destination! We are trying to match schedules with our kids so we can take the grandkids on a trip such as you have described. Thanks again!


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