The Land of AND Travel Guide is here to share ideas and ways to talk to your young travelers about their adventure through Land of AND, and how we can all accept differences and include those we meet.

There is no such thing as “normal” in this world, only “typical.” Unfortunately, it is so easy to exclude those that we think are different or unusual. When we do, we miss out on so much – from new experiences to new ways of thinking and appreciating what makes us special and unique. The act of inclusion can have such a positive effect on everyone around us, and make our world a kinder, happier place. Land of AND is an important tool to use in understanding what differences can bring to our lives and how to embrace all the unique characters we meet.

This guide follows the map in the back of the book.

Click on the image below to see a large version of the map.

“No, it’s not just your chums
Invited to come
On our boat down this river to drift.

Bring the ones that seem strange,
AND it’s you who might change
Because your opinions could shift.

Things can be pretty boring and stale when you only include the ones just like you or those you know. Having everything the same just isn’t that fun or interesting. Friends come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and personalities here in Land of AND.

“You may not have thought
That these skills they have brought
Would be useful but now you can see

That unique’’s a great thing!
With so much they can bring,
They’re in no way considered faulty.

Everyone has unique skills to offer the world. When we appreciate people for their skills, allowing them to contribute in work and play, we learn that everyone is important, and has something to offer.

How to include:

What skills do you admire in others? If you see someone that can do something, ask them about it, ask others what they like to do. What are you really good at? What set of skills makes you unique? List the some skills you have.

“If you try to suggest
Bringing on all the rest,
It’s the Yabbut that wants to refuse.

So please notice its tricks
To influence your picks,
AND include all we see on our cruise.

Don’t let the lurking Yabbut convince you to exclude others. When we catch ourselves, or others saying “Yeah but…” it is often followed by an excuse to leave someone out.

How to include:

Make sure that no matter how different or unfamiliar someone may be, ignore the Yabbut and invite them along.

“Well, our boat needs more zazz!
Some razzamatazz!
AND this group will sure brighten our space.

Because we want to grab
Those uncommon and fab
AND not be afraid to embrace.

The world would be a VERY bland place if we all looked and acted like each other. If we’re lucky, we’ll meet people who act, sound, or dress differently from the way we do. It may seem strange, but they are just being themselves. Instead of being offended or annoyed by them, why not admire their style? What about you? Are you being true to your OWN sense of style?

How to include:

Find ways to include those that look different: ask them about how they dress, where they are from. Dress the way that you really want to, don’t just try to fit in, but be yourself with how you look.

“There’s so much to discover
AND learn from another.
New perceptions will be our reward.

Give people you meet a chance to be heard. Everyone has something interesting to say. Listening to someone is a great way to include them, and you’re almost sure to learn something new every time.

How to Include:

Share your stories with others. Stop and listen when someone is talking to you. Ask others about their lives, and listen to what they say.

“See, different’s not weird,
Or a thing to be feared.
It only means not just like you.

Some people may look odd or strange to you, but that is how they were born. Don’t be afraid of someone’s physical structure – they may be really tall, or really short, missing a leg or in a wheelchair. It doesn’t mean they are bad or scary, just different.

How to include:

When you see someone whose body is different, don’t stare or hide, just smile.

“A peculiar outside
Can cause someone to hide
Because they were never accepted.

But since now we agree
They’re just like you and me,
Let’s take them to where we are headed.”

When someone feels like they don’t fit in, they may hide from others or be shy or not want to participate. But we are all different, no one is “normal.” Some of us are just typical.

How to include:

Let them know they are accepted for who they are. You want people to accept you for who you are, right?

“Inclusion’s a breeze!
You can do it with ease.
It’s basic and quick, like a smile.

Everyone wants to be acknowledged. So even a simple hello or a wave to someone will make them feel noticed, and that THEY matter. We all feel happier when someone else notices us.

How to include:

Make eye contact with someone and simply smile or say “hello” to them. If someone is helping you in a store or assisting you, smile at them and say “thank you.” Acknowledge the help they are providing to you. We ALL matter.

“They were constantly passed.
But they’re picked up at last,
Since we chose to snag all that we found.

If you see someone being left out, whether it is on the playground, having lunch or any other time when there is a group doing something but someone hasn’t been invited, ask them to join. Being left out never feels good, does it?

How to include:

Make sure that everyone is picked for a team. Ask the shy or quiet kids to join you at lunch or come play with you.

“But here in this land,
Inclusion’s our stand.
AND everyone gets to stay on.

Don’t let the Yabbut talk you in to excluding your new friends. Don’t let others make fun of or ignore the new people you meet.

“Inclusion can reach
Beyond just this beach,
And rub off on to those who now see,

That AND isn’t scary.
In fact, it’s quite very
A marvelous, fun way to be!

When you include others, your world becomes more fun, colorful and exciting. Including others is just the simple act of being nice, saying hello, accepting others uniqueness and differences. You may even make a new friend out of the experience, and so might they.

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katie@facetedpress.com

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