Must-Have Skill for Children #22: Traveling Through Time

Mindfulness is all about staying in the present moment to allay feelings of stress—but sometimes you have to put that aside! December 8 was Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day, and the ability to travel through time is also a must-have skill for children. Whether you and your child choose this day to go into the past or into the future, you will test your creativity and learn a lot through this experience. 

Here’s what your child will get out of traveling through time. 

Benefits of Going Back in Time

Figuratively going back in time is an excellent way for your child to experience history. It can be difficult to understand everything that they learn through a textbook, especially because it can feel too distant for them to relate on a personal level. However, experiencing a specific time period through visualization and playacting can help their understanding and enhance their perspective—in a way that’s fun and exciting! 

This can teach them about various classes, eras, and cultures. Maybe your child can hold afternoon tea like the upper class during the British regency era. Maybe they can try to read an Aztec calendar. They can learn about the perspectives of people during a certain time period. Your child can be fully immersed in the experience, from how they dress to the way they speak. They should try to be as objective as possible, meaning they are open minded and respectful of the cultures and viewpoints without glamorizing them. 

Another important aspect is understanding the consequences of actions as well as the intentions behind them. If your child has trouble understanding cause and effect, traveling back in time to live through the experience (armed with “spoilers”) can clear things up. 

Benefits of Going to the Future

Time travel isn’t a one-way street. Your child can also look ahead to the future! This is beneficial as they can practice thinking about the future—not only by formulating their own future but also by projecting how current events will set off a chain reaction. This will benefit your child’s ability to think critically, solve problems, and take into consideration multiple factors for the best predictions and plans possible.

This is a soft skill that, when used in a more realistic sense, is incredibly useful in the career sphere. After all, each and every business has to consider how their actions now may shape a more successful future. Policymakers and politicians are particularly skilled at envisioning the future based on what actions they take. Anyone involved in the technological sphere is shaping the future with what they create today. A prime example is Steve Jobs who was considered ahead of his time and catapulted tech into the 21st century. For even more of a challenge, your child can consider the future based on past precedence as history is thought to repeat itself. 

Alternatively, your child does not have to be grounded in realism when they travel to the future. They can think far, far into the future. Might it be a dystopian sci-fi landscape? Might all humans live in space in a few decades? Or might we regress and return to living more primitively? This is a great chance for them to get creative, imaginative, and downright silly about all the possibilities the future holds.

How to Be a Time Traveler

For future Pretend to be a Time Traveler Days (or really whenever feels right), your child should choose one time period, past or future, and commit to it for the whole day! But they can have fun with it. Even if your child has become an 18th century explorer, they can pretend like they are still in the modern world and, therefore, absolutely confused about everything in sight. For example, they can say, “Back in my day, we sailed to different countries! Leave the flying to the birds!”

Your child must always be ready for a temporal adventure! Prepare them in advance by introducing them to many different time-traveling media, such as TV shows like Doctor Who, books like Magic Tree House, and movies like Back to the Future. Teach them about historical events and talk to them about some of the current events and projections for the future. They could even read news articles appropriate to their reading level.

Convinced that traveling through time is both a fun and educational activity for your child? Help them hone this must-have skill for children today! Decide on a time period to travel to and turn a day that might have seemed ordinary into something extraordinary.

For more useful skills for your child, check out our Must-Have Skill for Children series! Want your child to have excellent study skills in particular? Visit a JEI Learning Center near you today and talk to an expert about our State Standard-aligned programs.