We have all seen those crazy videos with a three-year-old that can name all the countries and their capitals. Personally, I think that is so cool! And though I can’t say I have goals of making my preschooler the next geography whiz, I think teaching preschoolers a little geography can help give them a global perspective and a concept of a world outside their own. Here are five tips for teaching your preschooler geography.
Put A Map In The Play Area
Having a colorful world map at your child’s eye level can foster curiosity, and naturally, lead them to ask questions. There are several maps for children on the market, many showing where different animals live. Other ways to include maps in playtime can be through puzzles and books.
What child doesn’t love animals? My two-year-old is currently obsessed with lions. An easy avenue for teaching your toddler geography is by telling and showing them where different animals are from. Using your map, show your child where their favorite animal lives. Many children’s maps have animals on the map, which makes it easy to start those conversations.
Take Note if They Show Interest in a Country
When my two-year-old watched the “Bubble Guppies” episode about Austrailia, an obsession was born. She quickly learned that kangaroos and koalas are from Australia, and they were instantly her favorite animals. I started doing a little research on other things that are from Australia, from fairy bread to dot painting, and she loved anything Australian I introduced. If your child shows an interest, milk it for all it’s worth. Exploring the country together will not only teach them geography, but it will help build their curiosity and research skills, too.
Use Media From Other Countries
We are living in such a globalized society that finding resources from other countries is fairly easy. Use them with your preschooler! This may mean watching movies in Spanish, listening to French jazz, or simply reading a children’s book by an African author.
Talk To Your Child
This last tip is so simple, but might be the most important. All the other tips were tools with the purpose of leading us to conversations. As your child plays with a map, tastes a macaron, or listens to “Frozen” in Spanish, be sure to take the time to talk. Tell them where the language is from, tell them what country created that cookie, and help them identify the continents. It will not only build their vocabulary and increase their geography skills, but it will also grow your relationship with them.
What tips do you have for teaching preschoolers geography?