It is currently March Break in the province of Ontario where I live and teach, and this means many students are away on vacations for the week. Many people escape to warmer destinations for March Break which I totally understand, however I think we have many amazing Canadian tourism opportunities within our own country that we should explore. Now anyone who knows me knows I am huge about Canadian Pride and love learning more about Canada as a country and enjoy travelling within Canada. So much so that my daughter Thumper who is just over a year old now, had already visited 3 provinces but time she was only 6 months old.
Geography the Forgotten Subject
Geography is more than just naming the countries in the world but focuses on landforms, physical features, boundaries, people, transportation and much more! Funny enough both myself and my husband took minors in University so it is definitely a subject we enjoy and maybe also part of why we often describe ourselves as travel bugs. My husband and myself love to travel and explore the world around us, and often spend countless hours dreaming of future vacations so much so that we have a world map with push pins in our bedroom identifying dreams of places in the world we wish to visit. We are excited to teach Thumper about the world and all about the forgotten subject of geography. The Education is currently focused on promoting STEM (Science/Technology/Mathematics) with literacy sprinkled into the mix, so Geography is kind of a lost subject.
Canada is a large nation and I believe it is super important for us to teach children to be geographically literate starting at a young age. The Ontario curriculum doesn’t teach Canada’s Regions: including Canada’s Physical Regions and Canada’s Landform regions until Grade 4 which is really far too late. Teaching children about geography allows them to connect ideas of what they know about a place and to appreciate new destinations. I hope to spark curiosity about geography, travel and where we live in the world through the following fun geography ideas for kids.
Why Travel within Canada?
We should encourage families to travel and explore within Canada as our own backyard offers so many things to see and many learning opportunities about culture, traditions and different ways of life from the East to West Coast. Canada is a diverse country that offers: nature, sports, cities, museums and cultural experiences. Tourism within Canada offers the oceans, the forests, the mountains and unforgettable views. The climate of Canada offers amazing activities year round from snowshoeing and skiing in the winter to swimming and biking in the summer. Little Miss Kate writers Erin and Katie love to travel within Canada for tips check out our blogs on these Canadian Destinations/Attractions:
Why is teaching Canadian Geography at a Young Age Important?
Children who are geographically literate understand Canada’s geography and how they will create a better society within Canada:
- They have a better understanding of Canada’s business and economics and how we use natural resources
- They understand and appreciate the transformation of Canada as a nation from past to present
- They will work towards creating sustainable resources and environmentally friendly policies in procedures
- They appreciate the culture that has created Canada into a multicultural nation
5 Fun Ways to Help Teach Children about the Canadian Provinces and Territories:
1. Geography Subscription Box – How to teach kids Geography
This is why I was so excited to find a subscription box The Great Canadian Adventure that teaches children about Canadian Geography and Canadian History starting as young as 4 years old. The resources that The Great Canadian Adventure provide are awesome for home schooling, summer learning or even better taking with you while you travel our great country of Canada! They would also make a great addition to a kindergarten geography lesson.
These geography projects for kids are not based on traditional provincial curriculum but are instead based on the Royal Canadian Geographic Society’s Six Elements of Geography: The World in Spatial Terms, Places and Regions, Physical Systems, Human Systems, Environment and Society and The Uses of Geography. The subscription box creates fun ways to teach kids and can be used universally across Canada. The books are full of fun geography lessons which incorporating science, language and mathematics.
Tiny Travelers Subscription Box
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2. Geography Songs
Children learn through repeating things such as songs as they get stuck in their head making it easy for them to memorize the lyrics and the knowledge. This is a great way to introduce geography for pre-schoolers, as even if they don’t understand the geography concepts they can make sense of it later.
Canada in My Pocket: An animated cartoon for a kid’s song that tells about the significance of the symbols on Canadian coins. It’s teaches children about money and how to count.
This Land is Your Land: A simple sing along song that features Canadian Geography
Canada Geography: Learn about Canada and it’s provinces, territories, and capitals with this educational kids video and catchy song.
The Provinces of Canada: Children learn about all 10 provinces and 3 territories.
3. Globes and Maps for Kids
Children learn best through hands on exploration, so making maps and globes available in their environment is a great way to give young children exposure to mapping activities for kindergarten aged students. There are lots of different map games or geography game ideas that you can play with young children that teach them where to locate countries on a map or a globe. Globes are a great learning tool, and maps can be hung around the house or classroom to give kids exposure to them before learning higher level mapping skills.
Puzzles are great hands on activities that expose kids to geographic information as there are plenty of geography puzzles available, ranging from wooden ones that little kids can complete, to bigger floor size jigsaw puzzles that teach basic geography knowledge.
5. Geographic Games for Kids
There are lots of geography games ideas that you can play with a globe or a map with kids. The first game is that you throw the ball in the air and where your hands land you have to try and name that country, continent, or ocean. Kids may need assistance at first but over time will begin to learn where certain locations are located and what colour they are on the globe or map. The second game is that you can play with a Map of Canada is that you point to a location and then the child has to name the Capital City in that location.
* I received a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.