It was just over four years ago.
Our oldest three kids were 3, 2, and 7 months.
I stuffed nine suitcases until each weighed exactly 50.0 lbs.
We packed the triple stroller that we’d bought on Craigslist.
I loaded three bags with activities to keep the kids busy on our 15-hour flight.
And we headed to Hong Kong for a semester.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe we did it. That crazy adventure required an intense amount of planning both before and during our stay. Was it possible to bring three small kids on the subway during rush hour? How could we get our triple stroller on a double decker bus? How would we maneuver a city with more stairs than ramps?
From riding the subway to learning basic Chinese and going out for dim sum, our kids had a marvelous time. While my husband taught, we walked to nearby parks and visited the open air markets. When he was off work we visited islands and beaches.
In those five months my kids learned a lot about their world.
Wait, you say. What can I do to teach my kids about the world without traveling around it?
I hear ya. Because we’re not planning a trip like that again anytime soon!
(This post contains affiliate links.)
How to teach preschoolers about the world
You knew I’d say that first, right? When you read, your children’s world is opened up right in your living room. Especially when you read books like these:
- Me on The Map, by Joan Sweeney, is a fabulous introduction to maps and geography.
- Toot and Puddle, by Holly Hobbie, is a favorite at our house. While Toot travels the world, Puddle stays home and enjoys the detailed postcards from Toot’s adventures.
- Children around the World, by Donata Montanari, introduces children to twelve different children around the globe. Each child tells about his or her language, food, clothing, school, and daily life.
- Amelia’s Fantastic Flight, by Rose Bursik , is a book to read next to a globe. Find all the places Amelia visits on her imaginary flight!
- One World, One Day, by Barbara Kerley, is a beautiful book of photographs. From breakfast to bedtime, your preschooler will be entranced by pictures of children all around the world doing just what they do – only differently. Be ready for questions!
2. Explore maps together.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to teach kids geography is by doing puzzles together. Before long, your preschooler will be doing the puzzle himself! We like our Melissa and Doug floor puzzle (pictured). The kids have also gotten a lot of use out of our wooden United States puzzle, which was a little pricey but worth every penny.
We don’t own a globe for the kids yet (I know, I know), but my husband has this amazing world atlas app that the kids love to explore with him. You can even spin the globe!
3. Bring the world to your door.
Have you heard of Little Passports? This is a spectacular company that delivers quality educational materials right to your home. This month we had the opportunity to receive the first package of the Early Explorers subscription plan, which has some wonderful activities for preschoolers!
When the box arrived in the mail, my four-year-old couldn’t wait to dive right in!
In the first box, we received a traveler’s kit:
- a fun, sturdy suitcase
- a big world map
- a 20-page activity book
- stickers and a wall decal
Right away we unrolled the world map. “It has lots of states on it! Where’s Wisconsin?” The concepts of country and continent aren’t clear yet, but no worries. 😉 We marked our state with a bright red peg from our Sorry game.
He had fun locating each continent on the world map as he added the sticker to his suitcase.
Together, we found landmarks and animals on each continent. He circled them in the activity book and thoroughly enjoyed the other activities, which were just at his level.
Later, after I’d gone on to fix lunch, he decided to use the stickers to find each of the continents on the world map puzzle we’d put together earlier. I love how this activity box inspired him to take the learning further all on his own!
Of course, this traveler’s kit is just the beginning. When you sign up for an Early Explorers subscription, you’ll get an adventure delivered to your front door for every month you subscribe. After you receive your traveler’s kit, you’ll explore monthly themes.
In the themed boxes you’ll receive
- a 20-page activity book
- flashlight adventures
- stickers and wall decals
Wondering what the themes are? Here you go!
- natural wonders
- world coins
- world discoveries
Excited to learn more about the world with your preschooler? Learn more about Early Explorers here!
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