Teach Kids About London Before Visiting

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We are taking the kids on their first jaunt to Europe this fall with a whirlwind trip to London! We have 3.5 days for the whole family to enjoy the city before we have to head back home. Why are we going so far for such a short trip? Because the tickets were cheap and our vacation time is dwindling. That’s why.

On our recent trip to Hawaii, we did a bit of preparation beforehand and it really enhanced the trip for the children. Even though they are only 2 and 4, they have the capability to recognize their surroundings and put their experiences into perspective.

It’s a bit hard at this age, because I’m not ready to introduce my children to some of the more gory aspects of London’s history, but fortunately, London has tons of history and culture that can be age-appropriate!

This collection is aimed at the preschool (pre-Harry Potter!) age group. At this age, just reading them fun books or watching a movie together can be educational and help set the stage for an awesome trip. So here we go!

A London Education for Preschoolers

Picture Books

London A Book of Opposites by Grosset & Dunlap

Good Night London by Goodnight Books
Pop Up London by Lonely Planet

All Aboard the London Bus by Francis Lincoln Children’s Books

Madeline in London by Ludwig BemelmansLuke Goes to London by Hyde Park Editions Ltd

Katie in London by James Mayhew

Read-aloud Chapter Books

My kids are just getting to the point where we are reading them chapter books. These are also great to bring along on the trip for bedtime since they tend to be lighter then picture books and they are often available on Kindle.

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Magic Tree House: Stage Fright on a Summer Night by Mary Pope Osborne

Kid’s London Guidebooks

Guidebooks may not be the correct word, but these are all books designed to teach about London, instead of stories that take place in London.

This is London by Miroslav SasekLondon City Trails by Lonely Planet KidsKids’ Travel Guide London by Flying Kids

We completely must go to London by Lauren Child
A Walk in London by Salvatore RubbinoLondon for Children by Matteo Pericoli
Big Picture Book of London by Usborne

Activity Books

The best thing about activity books is you can save them for the plane ride! That way pull double duty as a distraction on the plane and an educational tool that will be fresh in their mind.

Things to Spot in London Sticker Book 

Peppa’s London Day OutLondon Children’s Map

Movies set in London

Again, movies are a great resource to save for the plane ride. Our flight to London will be overnight so I’m hoping they’ll sleep a good portion of the trip. I know they aren’t going to sleep 13 hours though! So we’ll need a movie or two to keep them occupied. These have the added advantage of just being great movies!

101 DalmationsPeter PanMary Poppins
The Great Muppet CaperBedknobs and Broomsticks

Music from the UK

My children are not particularly educated when it comes to great music, they still prefer Old McDonald, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the time for an introduction! I could list hundreds of modern and classic bands here, but since my kids already know the Beatles, we’ll be listening to them before our trip.

Abbey Road by the Beatles


If your child has a favorite book about London, consider getting a coordinating plush that they can take pictures with around town.

For some kids, it might be more fun to pick out a special new toy while in London. For other kids, having something special to take on the trip and have throughout would make the whole trip more exciting.

Padding Bear Stuffed Animal


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