Earlier this year, when our family visited Paris for the first time, we asked the kids what was on their must-see list. The only sights they could name were the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
We wanted them involved in planning the trip, so we gave them a copy of Mission Paris: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure to get them in the spirit. It’s a travel guide just for kids, written as a secret spy mission.
In the book, young readers are selected to be special agents and tasked with a number of assignments to gather intelligence in Paris. Sixteen famous museums and landmarks are featured, including the Musée d’Orsay, Luxembourg Gardens, Sainte Chappelle and Palais Royal.
Keen agents must hunt down clues and key features of various attractions. They're given points for completing each assignment, such as locating an ancient Sphinx in the Louvre, the statue of Joan of Arc at Sacré Coeur, the miniature cannon at the Palais Royal, and La Géode (a mirrored sphere) at the Cité des Enfants.
As kids complete each mission, they learn interesting facts and history about Paris. They'll discover what the Louvre was before it became a museum or the story behind the biblical kings on the outside of Notre Dame. They'll even undertake a challenge on the Paris Métro system, and get points for speaking French or trying French foods.
Mission Paris is a perfect way to engage young travellers. There's nothing boring about museums, cathedrals and monuments here—instead, the book offers a creative way to explore the city as a family and to get children excited about their travels.
As our children were older (13 and 11 at the time), they weren't as interested in a scavenger hunt. However, the book was still a wonderful introduction to the city's iconic landmarks and it helped the kids choose the sights they were most interested in.
Mission Paris is part of a series, so your special agents can gather intelligence around the globe. Other titles focus on London, Rome, Barcelona, Washington DC, New York, Amsterdam and Florence. If you're headed to one of these cities, be sure to pack a copy for your young adventurers.
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