Explore AviationHas the latest Disney animated film “Planes” sparked your child’s interest in aviation or travel? In the movie, Dusty, a crop duster, dreams of entering an-around-the-world race. Naturally, he’s qualifies for the flying tournament, which features a variety of planes and race segments around the world. It was a heart-warming story that my son really enjoyed.

Besides a fun night of entertainment, the movie has encouraged my son’s interest in airplanes and travel. With back to school hitting high gear, most families including my own can’t jet off to exotic locations but there are a few ways to foster your little ones aviation and travel interests from home.

1.Visit the Local Airport.

Start with a visit to your local airport to see real airplanes in action. Some airports offer tours that include behind-the-scenes exploration. Here in Arizona, both the Tucson International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airports offer tours. Even if your airport doesn’t offer tours, you can watch aviation in action as the planes take off and land.

Pima Air and Space

Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

2. Explore Air and Space Museums.

Air and space museums offer great opportunities to get up close and personal with a wide variety of airplanes. The Pima Air and Space Museum says they have some of the aircraft & vehicles that inspired 12 of the main characters from Planes on display. These types of museums can be found coast to coast from the Quonset Air Museum in Rhode Island to The Palm Springs Air Museum in California. If there isn’t an air museum near you, your local science museum will likely have an aviation exhibit.

3. Let Kids Plan a Trip.

From home (or the library) let you kids plan their own trip around the world. Help them research different locales from Planes like India and Iceland or let them create their own route around the world! Their only limitation is their imagination.

Planes image courtesy of Walt Disney.