Happy new week, y’all!
I hope that you had a sweet Valentine’s Day celebration and that those of you still buried under the snow are managing to stay warm!
We spent each night of our weekend watching the Olympics. We stayed up WAY too late and ate way too much popcorn with peanut M&Ms. They mix it together, the popcorn and the M&Ms. I was skeptical, but honestly I don’t think I’ll ever eat plain pop corn again. It’s SO good their way!
Anyhow, those Canadians sure did put on a good show on opening night didn’t they? We were mightily impressed!
I sort of thought that the boys might get bored during the entrance of all the athletes, but they didn’t. They got a real kick out of it in fact.
See, ever since the start of the school year we’ve been holding regular geography bees, so they’ve been really studying our maps and globes. They thought it was really fun to see “real live people” from all those countries carrying their flags into the games. There were squeals of excitement and furious map-pointing after each and every country’s announcement. Our crowd went wild every time a “stan” was announced. They dig the stans, I don’t know why. Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Khazakstan… they love them all. They got really excited about the Mongolians too. They have great regard for Genghis Kahn you know 🙂 Go Mongolia!
So, in honor of the Olympics and all the fascinating countries and peoples participating, here are a few of our favorite resources for growing to know and love the big wide world:
1. Children Just Like Me – A beautiful, respectful and fact-FULL look at the lives of children the world over.
2.. Chart Maps from Teacher Created Resources – These maps are so great and so inexpensive. They are not too overwhelmingly huge, but they are big enough to see easily. My own product testers have deemed them the perfect size for taking from the wall and carting about the yard during imaginary journeys (hoorah for lamination!). The maps are broken down by continent, which makes it easy to look and learn in smaller, more manageable chunks.
If you have these maps, or are thinking of getting them, and you’re missing South America, let me know. Somehow we ended up with two South Americas. I’d be happy to send one to a new home. It’s already laminated and everything. The map has been claimed!
3. Offices of Tourism – Many countries have some truly spectacular tourism sites. Our most recent favorite is South Africa’s. Just Google the country that interests you + “tourism”.
4. National Geographic – We are new subscribers to this awesome magazine, but we’ve been coming home from thrift stores and garage sales with stacks of them for some time. How could we not love a magazine that combines our two favorite subjects of study, geography and nature? One could spend days on their web site too, so if you haven’t taken a look in a while, do. I’m willing to bet you’ll have an eager little person peering over your shoulder in no time.
5. A Child’s History of the World – We’ve been reading through this book this year and have so enjoyed it. While it’s not exactly a “geography” text, it does tend to be a jumping off point to searching out places on the map, looking up historic monuments and present day photos of the places that we read about.
6. The 10 Days Games – Really great fun! We have one and can’t wait to add more.
7. Don’t forget our 50 great states! We had a lot of fun “visiting” the states over the summer, and still take a magic bus ride from time to time.
We also learned a lot about the states by collecting the state quarters. Each time we found a state, we’d look up their tourism office on the web and get little glimpse of life there. A special thanks needs to go out here to Annie, who found our missing Utah quarter and sent it all the way to us. We now have all 50 states, and believe me when I say that $.25 has never made five people more excited than it did the day Utah showed up in our mailbox!
Now that we’ve got all those quarters, we’re looking very forward to collecting state postcards during Aimee’s Great American Postcard Swap. There’s still room for more participants, so head on over and sign up!
What about you? What’s your favorite window on the world?