Thursday, March 27, 2014

I am excited about March topic for Poppins Book Nook, Where in the World, and I am sharing in this post how I teach geography through games.
Teaching Geography Through Games
Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog! Clip Art for Poppins Book Nook is by Melon Headz

Teaching Geography to Young Children

Preschool Geography for 3 year old
Since both my husband and I are the first generation immigrants into US, it’s extremely important to us to raise our child as a world citizen. We started introducing our daughter to geography and world cultures when she was about 3 years old through books, games, and crafts. You can check out, for example, my post: Preschool Geography: Discover Ireland or visit my World Geography category. We never made geography a sit-down lesson, but instead we are weaving it into many daily activities and conversations. As a recent example of an impromptu geography lesson for our now 7 year old, we were talking about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and pulled out an atlas to see where the flight was supposed to travel and where it ended up and why it is so hard to find.

Introducing Globes, Maps and Atlases

Maps and Atlases
Sadly, we don’t have space in our house to put up a wall map. Smarty still loves her V-Tech Fly & Learn Globe (you can see it behind her in this photo) that she received as a present when she was 3, but we are hoping to replace it with a real globe as a present for her next birthday. A fun introduction to maps is Greetings from Kiwi and Pear book that comes with a map of the world and stickers for it. Another great “travel the world” book that I recommend is gorgeously illustrated Around the World with Mouk.

An Amazing Book of Maps

Sadly, an introduction of atlas in school must have been botched, because suddenly Smarty started to say that maps are boring and she doesn’t like them. I decided to reset this perception, and, luckily, just the right book came along. Maps by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski is an amazing book that is a lot more than just “maps”. It doesn’t contain every country in the world, but the countries that are included have amazing level of detail fitted on the page – from the landmarks to favorite foods to popular names to famous people. The moment I saw it in the library, I knew that we have to have our own, so I bought ours from Amazon. I can’t wait to do some country studies based on this book, but first I wanted to get daughter back to loving maps. So I introduced:

HedBanz Geography Game

Geography HedBanzMy daughter really enjoys playing HedBanz during playdates. Her enthusiasm for the game gave me an idea for geography twist on it. I took our set of landmark cards that came from $1 in Target, and we first both looked through them to make sure that we at least know what the options are. It also gave Smarty a chance to learn some new landmarks like Easter Island Statues. Then we took turns trying to guess the landmarks in 5 moves or less. An additional fun twist was that we could ask each other to “act out” the landmark. Then Smarty could earn an extra point by locating the landmark in the Maps book.
Find it on the Map
Smarty had a blast with this game, especially since she beat me with her extra points, and is now delighted about her new book of maps. I have a lot of plans for this book, including our next mini-unit on Mexico, since we are going there for our spring break vacation.

More Geography Fun:

Follow my Pinterest Geography board

Share With Poppins Book Nook

Mother with children read book
I am delighted to join many fantastic kid bloggers in this March edition of Poppins Book Nook. I am sharing the joy of books with fantastic co-hosts:
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Poppins Book Nook Giveaway

Where in the World Giveaway
Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of Where in the World!  The winner must reside within the United States. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here. Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where in the World Link Up

You are welcome to follow Poppins Book Nook on Facebook, Pinterest and browse the collection of ideas below.

I am linking this post to my favorite kid blogger link ups and share days


Emma @ P is for Preschooler said...

I like how you weave geography into daily life and fun games! Geography as it's taught in school *is* boring, I agree with Smarty on that one. Have a great time in Mexico! :)

Ticia said...

I'm with Smarty too, geography taught in school tends to be boring and not taught well. I had horrid memories of it in school.

You're doing a great job changing that perception though.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Thanks for the "Maps" book recommendation! I'm always looking for good books that teach kids about the world.

Birute Efe said...

My major was supposed to be Geography. But I dropped it after 3 years because it was boring. Who could think geography is boring? Unfortunately, it is :( I am sure Smarty will learn sooo much in Mexico trip, especially with little home learning before. Great job, Natalie on making maps and geography more fun.

min said...

I love the game idea!

Kristina said...

We have those Landmark Flashcards, too! Thanks for the reminder : ) And love the geography "charades" game. Sounds fun!

Victoria said...

I wish I'd had a geography teacher with your passion. I love how you're simply weaving geography into your life rather than set time alone. Love the twist on charades too. :)

Lauren- SAHM I am said...

The Kiwi and Pear book looks awesome- I may have to invest in those!

Chareen said...

that book looks like fun. Going to check if my library has it :)

Leah Courtney said...

I love idea of using games to study geography. I will admit that it's an area I haven't focused on as often.

Anonymous said...

I found this post from the Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop. I teach sixth grade world history/geography in a public school. My not-quite-four-year-old son is obsessed with maps, and, as he gets older, I hope to incorporate some of these ideas in my lessons with him (and with my sixth graders).

Sara Lehman said...

Your passion for making geography exciting is inspiring!

Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!

Thaleia said...

Love all of these Geography ideas. Looks like a lot of fun while learning! Thanks for sharing at the Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop.

Deceptively Educational said...

I have got to get that Maps book. My oldest son loves geography so thanks for the inspiration!

Boy Mama Teacher Mama said...

GREAT stuff! Thanks for sharing at After School!

Lisa Marie said...

It is amazing how much fun you can make a subject! Great work. :D

Laura Flaute said...

I love your HedBanz - wonderful idea! She is a great world citizen already <3

Ashley said...

Looks like a great book! You guys have so much fun with geography! I have never been a big fan of geography, but my girls LOVE maps! They love pointing out countries and states they know; even more so since the past Olympics!

Rebecca said...

My kids still love their v-tech globe too! LOL I need to make some more geography games up myself because my children are also under the impression that geography is boring :-)

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic. Geography couldn't be more fun!

Thank you for bringing a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!

lkgmita said...

You've been featured on this month's Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! Can't wait to see what you share this month!

Phyllis said...

What great ideas!! Thanks for linking up to the History and Geography Meme.

Allen jeley said...


Sujata said...

Using HedBanz to practice Geography is such a great idea! There are so many other subjects we could use this for too. Thanks for sharing.