Homeschooling is so fun 🙂 My children have been asking questions lately about where different countries are, so I let their interest inspire us to take a trip ‘around the world.’ Of course, I can’t afford a vacation even as far as the beach right now, and it’s only forty-five minutes away! So our trip must, of necessity, be a virtual one. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a boring one!
First, we took a look at our globe and found Florida (where we live) as a point of reference. Then we searched together for the places my children wanted to ‘visit’ and talked about how they’d get there. My Renaissance Girl was all about taking cruise ships and planes, but my Little Caboose suggested submarines, hot air balloons, and flying saucers, among other things. (All clear contenders for ocean crossing, clearly! She did specify that we couldn’t take a train or swim across, though.)
Then, we got a big blue bouncy ball, some shaving cream, green food coloring, bowls, some painting sponges, and went to work. A great big dollop of shaving cream and a few drops of green food coloring was all it took to make washable ‘paint’ for our super-sized globes. (Everybody was dyed green wherever the shaving cream touched, lol, but it all washed off with soap easily when we were finished.) The girls took turns making their own globes. With the younger ones, I named the continents they were creating and pointed out where we lived in relation. With my older one, I asked where certain continents/countries were, and she pointed them out. Then she got all ‘topographical’ and wanted to add in mountains and volcanoes, which was fun and made for her own unique spin on the globe (pun intended!).
We wanted to use a great big blue exercise ball, but ‘somehow’ mine got popped the last time my children were playing with it, and I didn’t want to spend $20 on a new one, so I bought a big bouncy ball from Walmart for $2.50 instead. I’ll probably spring (Sorry, I can’t help myself, lol) for the big ball when we do latitude and longitude, though, because it’s already got the lines of latitude on it!
Next, we’re going to hang a twin-sized white sheet on the wall and project a world map on it so we can trace it. Then we’ll use fabric paints and markers to color it and label the oceans, continents, countries, and major cities. It’ll be an ongoing project with my children creating art that reflects the regions, drawing in landmarks such as The Great Wall of China, The Sphinx, Mt. Rushmore, and whatever else fires their imaginations. And when we’re done, it’ll be our special occasion tablecloth (with a clear tablecloth over it for protection) and the clear tablecloth will function as a dry erase board when we pull out our map mural for other geography projects. So fun! (I’ll post updates as we progress. 🙂 )
Here are some other sites that have great ideas we’ll be checking out, too!
This site seems to have disappeared, but this was a cute idea for learning the continents…sing them to ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.’
Love this idea from All of a Kind Family!
This looks like so much fun from The Crafty Classroom!
More to come!
In the world of a child wonders are as simple as sticks and sheets, leaves and books, boxes and giggles, and the promise in a rainy day. The Seven Wonders of the World of Childhood
Children who love to read…READ! Engaging children’s hearts in the wonder of reading instead of just training their minds in its mechanics. Raising Bookworms
Think homeschooled children are unsocialized, over-controlled, locked-away-from-the-world misfits? Think again! My Renaissance Girl
On a Winnie the Pooh style ‘long explore’ my little Pooh Bear discovered the world in ways only a toddler can do in…The Many Adventures of My Little Pooh Bear
L.R.Knost is a best-selling parenting and children’s book author and founder and director of Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, an online resource for gentle parenting education, articles, and research. Books by L.R.Knost include Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood ; Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages ; The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline ; and Jesus, the Gentle Parent: Gentle Christian Parenting (Release date: May 2014) the first four books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, as well as her children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series available from Amazon and other major retailers.