Geography is a way of thinking, of asking questions, and of observing and appreciating the world around us. It gives us tools we need to move about in the world, to make wise decisions about our environment, and to relate more meaningfully to people from other lands and cultures. You can help your children learn geography by offering them interesting and fun activities and by encouraging them to ask questions about their surroundings.
Everyday learning experiences
In an everyday walk, these children are beginning to understand how people relate to the Earth, how they change the environment, how weather changes the character of a place, and how one place relates to another through the movement of people, things, and ideas.
Children's everyday play and experiences give them the basis for the geographic knowledge that they will learn in school. With just a little encouragement and some direction, young children will develop the vocabulary, awareness, and curiosity that will help them better understand and learn geography.
Activities to consider
Talk the talk
Use maps as often as possible. As you plan outings and trips, as you watch television shows, or read stories to your children, keep a map close by. Children who grow up around maps and atlases are more likely to get the "map habit" than those who don't. So, get a good atlas, as well as a dictionary. Check public library used - -book sales or yard sales for good buys. You can often get maps at little or no cost.
The activities suggested are only a few examples of the many ways you can bring geographic thinking into your children's early experiences. Such simple, enjoyable activities can stimulate children's interest in geography and give them a basic understanding that lays the foundation for study.