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Planting Seeds for a Love of Travel

Little Passports

However you receive news these days, it’s hard to avoid stories about the growing importance of the international economy. With all this talk about a global perspective on money, there’s a noticeable lack of coverage about the importance of a global perspective on life.

That’s why I love Little Passports. The 4-year-old company is based near my home in the San Francisco Bay Area, and its flagship product, a world travel-oriented subscription service for kids, is designed to inspire young travelers to learn more about the world around them.

In a nutshell, it’s all about turning our kids into the next generation of global citizens.

To kick off the service, subscribing youngsters receive an “Explorer Kit” that comprises a suitcase stuffed with a world map, a passport, a letter from (fictional) characters Sam and Sofia, an activity sheet, a sheet of stickers and a “boarding pass” that kids can use to access a host of online games.

Every month after that, kids get a package that focuses on a different country. These packages usually include a letter from Sam and Sofia, as well as a special souvenir and a variety of hands-on, artsy-craftsy activities that represent the nation in question.

New for this year, the company also offers a U.S.-oriented service, which spotlights two states every month.

(The format of this offering is slightly different, but the idea is the same.)

This week, after learning about the company from one of my editor friends, I got in touch with co-founder Amy Norman to chat about her inspiration. Amy told me the driving force behind the service was a desire to raise kids who know and care about the world around them.

“We’ve seen statistics [from National Geographic] that indicate 60 percent of adults can’t find Iraq on a map, and 50 percent of kids can’t find New York,” she said. “We wanted to offer the opportunity for people to educate their kids—and themselves—and make the whole process fun.”

It’s important to note that Little Passports isn’t for every child. The World edition is geared for kids ages 5-10, mostly because it comes with small pieces not suitable for little humans. The USA edition skews even older (7-12), because it’s more reading intensive.

Still, if you’re hoping to raise kids who appreciate travel, Little Passports is worth a look.

Including shipping, each flavor of service costs $13.95 per month; they’re slightly cheaper if you pre-pay for multiple months at once. The company is running a sale through Cyber Monday. For more information, click here.

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