Friday, June 8, 2012

Around the World in 80 Minutes

“Daddy, what’s inside the Parthenon?” Questions like these have replaced “Why is grass green” at my house thanks to the Around the World Toob® from Safari Ltd®.  The educational possibilities of this collection are almost unlimited, and my kids are drawn to the beautiful replicas.

Around the World
 We started by using the Around the World figures to make matching cards, which are popular in many elementary classrooms.  In this case, we have colorful replicas in place of pictures. I wrote cards with the name of each wonder and its country. Then my six-year-old worked on matching them up.

Brennen tries to remember where Big Ben is located
He was thrilled when he was able to match each of the ten figures to its name and country. Then we practiced saying the name of each wonder. Fortunately Machu Picchu wasn't included in this group, or I'd have been in trouble.

Then we brought out our world map. My four-year-old joined us for this, and both boys enjoyed trying to locate the country where each figure belongs and place it on the map. Although we have a large world map, this would work with any sized map, as the figures are just a few inches wide at most. 

Caleb sets the Empire State Building in New York
This turned out to be a wonderful group activity, as my oldest gave the name and country for each replica and his little brother tried to find it on the map. I was no help at all, as I spent the whole time trying to figure out why my camera batteries kept dying. A few minutes later, they had each model in the right place, and were they ever proud of their work!

Emily joins in for a group shot
So in one morning, my kids learned some history and some geography while playing and having fun. I learned what's inside my camera, which was far less fun. Now if I can only figure out what's inside the Parthenon.

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