Get your kids excited about geography with Flat Stanley! Explore new countries and cultures with the Flat Stanley’s World Wide Adventures series and find more great kids geography activities below.
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Keep A Journal
Record your family vacation by keeping a travel journal. It can include words, travel photos pictures, and memorabilia such as ticket stubs, napkins, and stamps. You can either keep one journal for the whole family or have each member create his or her own. To sneak in some more learning activities, encourage your kids to write and draw about the differences between the people, food, and customs of all the places you visit.
Find A Penpal
Flat Stanley uses the mail to travel the world and make new friends and so can your child! Corresponding with another child from a different country via mail or email is an exciting way for your child to learn about a different culture. Your child will be able to find out about the daily lives of people different from him or her and get answers to questions while making a new friend.
Draw a Map of Your Town
Brush up your child’s map skills and sense of awareness by creating a map of your town. Take an imaginary tour around your town by picking out the most important places in your community. Since home is the center of your child’s life, start your map by drawing your home in the center of a piece of paper and adding each place you and your child come up with in relation to it. Places of interest to your child may include parks, library, police station, fire station, hospital, supermarket, school, and favorite restaurants. To extend this activity, next time you walk or drive to one of the places on the map, have your child time how long it takes to get there and then record it on the map. You can also do this activity with a map of your town and have your child highlight the places he or she knows.
Start a Stamp Collection
Collect stamps from your own mail, ask friends and family to send your child letters, or purchase inexpensive stamps at the post office or stamp dealers. Have your child paste the stamps onto this printable stamp collection sheet and write at least one fact about the stamp, such as when and where it was received, the country in which it originated, or who or what is featured on it.
Keep Up With Current Events
Choose at least one local and one national news story to talk about with your child each day. Use the news expand on topics your child is studying in school or look for articles related to places they have read about in favorite books like Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures!
Read Books Together About Diverse Places
Let Flat Stanley be your child’s tour guide to the world! Flat Stanley’s trips far away countries like to Japan in The Japanese Ninja Surprise or Egypt in The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery offer a fun and educational introduction to new places and cultures.
For more world wide adventures, look at a map or globe and make a list of all of the places you and your child would like to visit. Then ask your local librarian or bookseller for recommendations of books about each country.
Trace Your Family’s Geographical Roots
Try to trace your family’s heritage as far back as you can and determine the countries of your family’s origin. Find these places on maps and read books about them.
Keep a Weather Chart
Help your child understand different climates around the country by keeping track of temperatures in other cities and states. Have your child pick a place that he or she has heard of and check the weather there and in your own town once a day.
Hit the Road
Plan to travel to your next family vacation spot by car. A road trip is a fantastic way to see the sights. Ride along a scenic coastline, drive through a vibrant big city, or stop off at a state park for a “monumental” picnic. Before you hit the road, select your final destination, research your route, and make a list of the attractions you’d like to visit along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for unexpected adventures and activities!
Send Yourself a Postcard
While you’re on vacation, pick up a postcard at a local souvenir shop as well as a stamp from the post office. Write your favorite experience or activity from the trip on the blank side of the postcard, add your address and a stamp, and drop the postcard in the mail. When you return home, you’ll have the perfect vacation memento waiting for you.
Learn the Lingo
Conversing with the people you meet on a trip abroad is a great way to learn about a foreign country. Make an effort to speak with your new friends in their native tongue. Here’s a quick way to learn the basics before you reach your destination: Grab some sticky notes and a pen, and then find a bunch of objects around the house that you either look at or touch every day. Using a language translation guide, write the foreign word for each item on a sticky note and place it on the object. Every time you see or use the object, say the word out loud and try to memorize its meaning. Before you know it, you’ll be bilingual!
Spice it Up
Research the local cuisine of the country or state you’ll be visiting on your next family vacation. Find some recipes online, gather the ingredients, and get the whole family involved in preparing the meal. Whether it’s Spanish paella or Texas barbeque, sampling the food from another region is a terrific (and simple) way to immerse yourself in its culture. So, grab some seasoning and discover what your taste buds have been missing!
Create Your Own Stamp
Why not jazz up your family’s mail with customized stamps? The United States Postal Service has partnered with several online vendors who will help you turn your photos (or children’s artwork) into official postage. Transform your pictures with Flat Stanley into stamps and share his travel adventures with far-flung friends and family. Visit USPS.com to get started!