My husband thinks I’m crazy.
Long before the election, I was going on and on and on about how the situation in North Korea was scaring the bejeezus out of me. I would read news article after news article and ask him, “have you seen this?” He would try to talk me off the ledge by telling me that we probably had more pressing concerns to think about. He was right, but now North Korea is back in the news and I find myself terrified again and wondering how the people in charge in Washington are handling all of this.
There’s not much I can do to make a difference in situations like this as I have no interest in running for public office. I choose to believe the government will make the right decisions for all of us citizens. In my house, however, I’ve already begun placing a big emphasis on the importance of learning about other cultures and other areas of the world. I strongly believe that the more we know about one another (in any context) and the more sane dialogue that takes place, the better we all will be.
My children are obviously a little too young for these life lessons right now, though, so, for the time being, I’m focusing on simple things like geography toys, which will help them start to build an understanding that there’s a whole lot of world outside of our little bubble.
Geography Gifts for Kids
My son is very into puzzles right now, and while he hasn’t quite grasped this Puzzle Globe, he sure has a lot of fun trying! The puzzle has 14 pieces and allows kids to start to build an understanding of how all of the continents fit together. I love that this isn’t your typical flat puzzle and, let’s be honest, it’s a great decorative piece when it’s not in use!
Little Passports is a subscription box that takes kids on a new adventure around the globe each month. Each month a new kit will arrive that will contain letters from their fictional tour guides, souvenirs, activity sheets, stickers, photos, and more. Kids will love getting new mail each month and learning about a new place in the world!
I’ve made no secret of my love for Tea Collection, and one of the main reasons I love them is because they have a goal of making sure all of our “little citizens” learn about the rest of the world. While I love their country-focused collections, this Little Citizens Tee is perhaps my favorite item of all because 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of this tee are donated to the Global Fund for Children.
We are just about to get our son’s bedroom painted and after that I’ll begin putting his bedroom together. I don’t yet have any bedding for him, so there’s at least a 50 percent chance that I will get him this Doodle World Map Duvet Cover! He’s obviously too young to do any coloring now, but in a few years it’ll be a lot of fun to start filling this in with him!
There are a lot of United States puzzles out there, but I was drawn to The Land of Nod’s My Puzzle Tis of Thee after watching a video where my friend’s four-year-old was using the puzzle and naming each state plus its capital like a boss. Granted, he learned that information elsewhere as this puzzle doesn’t list full state names nor does it list capital cities. It is, however, a high-quality wooden puzzle that will help kids learn their way around the United States in no time. (And, I assume it has good juju, and that my kids will one day be reciting the states and capitals like it’s no big deal.)
This ball is sure to keep kids who enjoy doodling busy for awhile! The Seedling Color the Earth Inflatable Ball is covered in fabric and comes with fabric markers, which makes doodling easy. I love this addition to the ball’s description: “Note: As the borders in our world continue to change, you can keep your earth ball up to date with the included markers. This kit makes for a great opportunity to share with your child how the countries of the world have, and will, continue to evolve.
I know I’m not the only person who sees the words “Carmen Sandiego” and then immediately wants to start singing the iconic theme song, right?! I lived for Carmen Sandiego as a kid, and now younger generations can get their fix in a more new age kind of way: via an app, of course! Carmen Sandiego Returns – A Global Spy Game for Kids helps kids learn geography and flex their problem-solving skills as they search the globe for Carmen Sandiego.
Explore the World is a fun board game that the entire family will enjoy. Players travel to and learn about different areas around the world. In addition to learning about various regions of the world, players will also learn the flags of various countries.
This is the World: A Global Treasury by Miroslav Sasek
You could probably call me a Miroslav Sasek groupie and it wouldn’t be inaccurate. His geography books for kids are beautiful to look at and to read. While This Is the World: A Global Treasury contains places from around the globe, there’s an entire series of books and most of them focus on just one individual location, like San Francisco, London, Rome, Texas, and so many more.
The I Never Forget a Face Matching Game is a great way to introduce children to the concept of diversity and that people around the world all look different. The back of each matching card identifies the character’s country of origin.
How do you plan to teach your child(ren) about the world outside of their immediate community? Are there any geography gifts for kids that you like, or would consider buying for your own children?
Also check out: