We are a little anal about not having many toys with batteries in the house. Maybe that’s why any “talking toy” is very special to Anna. I wanted to get her a good US Map puzzle for a while, and I also wanted our deeper study of US to coincide with Independence Day. So on 4th of July she received her own special “birthday of America” gift – Melissa and Doug US Sound Puzzle. I had two reasons to buy a sound version of it - Anna doesn’t care much for normal puzzles, and I wasn’t sure as to how to pronounce correctly some states and many capitals (the puzzle says the name of both the state and its capital as the piece is placed on it).
We read an interesting book while working on the puzzle – The Little Man In the Map. The book starts with pointing out 5 states that make an outline of a man – I have never noticed it before. Anna was able to find it pretty quickly in the picture above – she took those puzzle pieces from the board. The book goes ahead giving some sort of clues about each of the States and also about their division into regions. All that was way over her head, and in the middle of the night she woke me up and informed me that Montana monster face (that was a clue in the book) is scary and she wants this book out of her room now. My main complaint about the book is its awkward rhyming, but I still recommend it for older kids and highly visual learners.
We also finally read The Scrambled States of America. Anna didn’t like it at first and expelled it from her room, but then suddenly wanted it back and wanted me to read it again. I was pointing out the states to her on her puzzle, so she could connect to the story somewhat better. I thought that the book is pretty clever and might interest a wide range of kids, but only older children and adults can fully appreciate some of the cultural jokes in the side stories of the book.
I am not sure if we are going to spend more time on the United States during this pass through. I am trying to follow Anna’s interests in our geography journey and even though she is excited about her puzzle, she doesn’t seem to be too inclined to get any deeper into either a general study of the United States geography (mountains, lakes, rivers) or into any of the states. However, it happened more than once already - she returned to a particular topic in a few weeks. I do have something else planned for the next week if I see that she is ready to move on, and I think that we will do a deeper dive into California soon as well. Stay tuned and visit History/Geography linky at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn for other history and geography journeys.