I am frequently asked “What are the best apps for kids to learn geography and practice map-skills?” I put together a list of 8 of my favorites: the first 3 are interactive atlas/map apps that are fun to explore (especially when parents/teachers and their kids explore together!) and the final 5 are engaging geography games that even adults will enjoy! Continue reading
“We have kids from Nicaragua, Guam, and Africa in my class…”
“We made masks from China, Peru, and Africa…”
“He is been to England, Africa, and Italy”
I have a pet peeve. It makes my skin crawl when I hear people referring to Africa as a country, instead of an immensely diverse continent. Did you know Africa has well over 2000 languages and innumerable ethnic groups, in its 54 countries!? My goal is to help parents and teachers dispel stereotypes by teaching a variety of stories from different countries in the continent.
One great book that counters stereotypes, “Africa is Not a Country,” gets to the heart of modern Africa: rural and urban families, living contemporary and traditional lives, and children in their homes, with their families, going to school, and playing with their friends. In this activity- which touches on 25 countries in Africa- kids will be locating and coloring countries on the map as they hear them mentioned in the story. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Geography, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Literature, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, People, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zimbabwe
Tagged fiction children's books, maps
It seems that in our busy life of fast food and convenience, many people have become so disconnected from their food, they don’t know where their food actually comes from (or what it is made of!). This is the first article in a series to help kids understand more about our food system.
Today we’re mapping our fruits and vegetables: with a little research in the supermarket, the kids are discovering where our food was grown and how long it traveled to get here!
Recently I was interviewed by Mom’s Homeroom about how to incorporate geography and culture into your home, and my kids got to “play” in the video. The kids *loved* talking with the cameramen, playing with the lights and microphones, and thinking that we were famous.
When I was little, I loved maps (I still do). As a mom of 4 little kids, I try to instill the same curiosity in geography in my kids. I recently saw a great idea on Grasping for Objectivity, that had the kids polling friends and family to see which states they had visited. I think this is a great activity for kids- whether they are just beginning to learn geography, or are experts. It was a concrete way for my kids to learned more about the states positions in relation to one another, to compare sizes of states, to talk about distances, and even to visualize where we had driven across the country. What a fun activity!!!! Continue reading
If your kids are anything like mine are, your long driving trips begin with the ubiquitous “Are we there yet!?” before your car even gets to the highway. As a preemptive tactic (one of many!) for our 10 day spring break trip out west, I used google maps to make up individual maps for my kids to reference and mark our progress.
Here are easy instructions how you can put your kids in the navigator’s seat on your next road trip, and have them be in charge of telling the car if you’ve arrived yet. Continue reading
We are getting ready for our school’s International Week at our house, and I have volunteered to set-up tables for Ethiopia and Mexico, and also will contribute to the China table. This weekend we began to make some materials for our “touch tables.” You might have seen 3D Salt Dough Maps before- they are made by mounting self-hardening dough onto cardboard, forming the mountains and other physical landforms, and then allowing it to dry so you can paint it. Kids (and adults!) learn just as much in the process- or more- than from the final product, and you end up with a beautiful, handmade display item that is just perfect for an International Week at school. Continue reading
Whether you’ve got budding geographers, you’re a family that loves to travel, you’d like to make your classroom more global, or you just want to spark an interest in the world, these 5 map gifts will pique your curiosity as well as your children’s.
1. FAO Schwarz Big World Map. Kids and adults love to place the Velcro labels of continents, countries, animals and bodies of water onto this large, felt wall map. I love this idea: the huge, eye-level, colorful map draws kids in, and keeps them coming back for more.