This is Toronto
We had been talking about our family trip for a while, and our daughter was getting excited to go to Toronto, the city that I grew up in. We pulled her out of bed at 4:30 am and jumped into the taxi. She was smiling from ear to ear as we drove to the airport, wearing her Dora pajamas, her slippers and holding her blanket and doll. As we pulled up the airport she screamed “We’re here! We’re here!”.
The flight was easy, she slept once just after takeoff, and we made our way downtown. We had a few hours to kill before meeting my cousin so naturally we went to the park. My daughter made some new friends, as she always does on the playground and, instead of telling them that she lives in Vancouver, or that she is visiting, she just said with excitement “This is Toronto!” I then explained to the parents that she had just arrived from Vancouver.
How Do Young Children Understand Geography?
Our daughter knows the names of lots of different places. She also knows that we take two ferries to get to my parents’ house in the Gulf Islands and that we took a plane to get to Vancouver from Mexico. However, I don’t think that she can understand how far away each place is or where each place is yet. Sometimes she gets confused and thinks that Vancouver is Mexico which makes me wonder if she remembers Mexico at all.
Last week my step-sister flew into Vancouver from Korea, before moving back to Toronto. So our daughter saw her in Vancouver last weekend and then in Toronto this weekend, which did not really help her to understand distance!
Travelling With a Child
I am very thankful to be able to show my wife and our daughter the places that I remember from my childhood. Travelling with a child is a whole new experience for me, especially in a big city like Toronto. But we have found that as long as we visit at least one playground every day, it’s almost as if she hasn’t left home at all.