While you may not think of geography and preschoolers going together, preschool is actually a great time to teach geography. Young children are fascinated by far off places. So don’t hold back teaching preschool geography today!
Preschool Geography Tips
1. Hang a map on the wall
Hang a map on the wall so you can see the world. This can be a large map or a small paper map you tape onto the kitchen cabinets. Every time you read a picture book or watch a movie, look on the map to see where the story happened. Gradually your child will be introduced to world geography.
2. Read picture books about the world
Picture books are a great way to study the world. Kids can see picture of different styles of dress. The plants and animals appear in the illustrations. Best of all there are many delightful books about every area of the globe.
3. Draw the varying clothing styles
After you read the picture books, draw the various clothing styles into a notebook. Are the people wearing clothing for cold weather or hot weather? What types of hats do people wear? Is it colorful? Ask your kids how the clothing compares to the clothing they wear on a daily basis. Preschoolers love to study different styles of clothing.
4. Make foods from around the world
As you read the picture books from every corner of the globe, try your hand at making regional foods. Food have a way of sticking in the memory. Your children may not remember the picture book you read, but they’ll remember the food they try.
5. Play games from around the world
There are hundreds of games from around the world that are new to your children. Pick up a book such as Play with Us: 100 Games from Around the World and learn games from all over the world.
6. Watch movies and TV shows
Movies and TV shows give a better glimpse into other cultures and places than anything but actually traveling there. You can hear the sounds, see the sights, and glimpse the artwork on the walls. Movies and shows are a wonderful way to transport us through time and space, all within the safe walls of our living room.
7. Study plants from around the world
Plants vary as you change regions and continents. Start with your own area before studying the different types of plants that grow around the world. Palm trees are much different from evergreens, and the soft ferns of a rain forest are a sharp contrast to the thorns of a cactus.
8. Study animals from around the world
Just as the plants change, so do the animals. Study your child’s favorite animals and take a look at the areas the animal lives in naturally. Is the area dry, wet, cold, or hot? What is their natural habitat? Studying the animals of the world is a wonderful introduction to geography.
9. Make flags from around the world
Depending upon whether you count Taiwan as it’s own country or not, there are 195 or 196 countries in the world. Each country has it’s own flag. As you study the regions and countries, make small flags of the various countries to pin onto the wall map. You and your child will be able to see at a glance how many different countries you’ve studied.
10. Study architecture from around the world
Just as the clothing, plants, and animals are different around the world, so is the architecture. As you browse through picture books or on the web, point out the differences in the houses. Some houses are very simple. Other homes are grand. Look at the different architectural styles around the world and chat about why people build such different houses.
Just because our kids are young, doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy studying geography. Go ahead and start, keep it simple, and keep it fun. You’ll be amazed how much your children absorb just through the gentle exposure.
What is your favorite tip for studying geography?