Teach Kids about Geography

Canada’s Regions: 5 Ways to Teach Young Children about Geography

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?

Vancouver with kids

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:

Great Canadian Adventure Subscription Box

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. 

The Great Canadian Adventure is unique in that their subscription is as educational and offers fun ways to teach geography and teach history! The Great Canadian Adventure offers 4 different subscription options: Canadian People and History (Ages 8+), Canadian Geography (Ages 7-10), or Tiny Travellers (Ages 4-6). The great  thing is you can have access to these amazing geography materials in just 3 easy steps:
 
1. Choose Your Adventure
2. Choose the length of Subscription
3. Check your Mailbox every month (Best Part is its all shipped for free within Canada)

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

Each month your child will receive interactive booklet and supplies that will introduce them to the geography or history and culture of each Canadian province. These aren’t your traditional workbooks as they offer hand on activities and less text. The subscription box was designed with the idea of receiving a box a month for 12 months, one for each Canadian province or territory (Nunavut and North West Territories were combined). These books offer fun geography activities to capture the interest of young children aged 4 to 6 years old and introduce them to Canada’s provinces and people using number sense, science, and literacy activities. This is perfect for students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 and only costs $24.95 a month.
 
Each book contains stickers to help prepare the main character for an adventure within their province, for example in Newfoundland and Labrador  the child must help Wapaskw the Innu get ready for fishing, my using stickers to provide him with all the necessary gear. Each book also has a laminated paper character for each province to dress using sticker clothes so the child can dress them in traditional clothing, and use their imagination through pretend play as they play with the character and the provided home. 
 
Each book also contains numeracy activities. The following numeracy expectations are included across the series: number recognition, counting 1-20, simple addition and subtraction, sorting objects, comparing objects, counting forwards and backwards, more or less, estimating, repeating patterns, balance and equality, ordering objects, measuring, building 3D models, shapes and much more! For example: In the Newfoundland and Labrador Book: children have the opportunity to practice tracing shapes while learning about glacier and icebergs. 
 
Each book also contains literacy activities. The following literacy activities are included across the Tiny Travelers Series: Alphabet letter recognition, writing practice, and fine motor skills practice through tracing. For example: In the Newfoundland and Labrador Book: children practice the letter P for Puffins that live near the Ocean, and the Letter C for Caribou that are also found in Newfoundland. 
 
Tiny Travelers Subscription Box
Tiny Travelers Series also includes Science activities that focus on: creating colour, seasonal changes, , senses needs of plants and animals, direction, location and distance, land forms, land and water, map symbols, weather, community, economic activity, natural resources, how the environment impacts humans, how humans impact the environment, change over time, littering and recycling. Science experiments included applied to the natural systems at work in each province. For example: Engaging in the Science of baking by creating Newfoundland Snowballs – tasty chocolate fudge balls. 
 
Review of Tiny Travelers Subscription Box  
 
Overall I love the Tiny Travelers Series and can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to explore and engage with the activities as so far we have just read through the book as at 1 she isn’t old enough to appreciate the activities yet. I enjoy reading the stories to her and talking about each province giving her exposure to Geography at a young age. As a teacher and a parent I think these books did an excellent job of teaching the Geography of Canada while incorporating some super fun learning experiences in literacy, math, art and science. The graphics and story line are appealing to this age group as it is colorful and fun making in engaging for kids rather than boring paper pencil workbooks. Overall I feel it is a very high quality product for a very reasonable price at $25 a month. This would make for an excellent birthday or Christmas gift as it would give them something new and exciting to look forward to every month in the mailbox. I love this series so much that I only have reviewed the first 6 books but will definetly be ordering the next 6 books. 
 
Here are some pictures showing each Category of Learning Included in the Tiny Travelers Series:
 
Science:

Tiny Travelers Science Tiny Travelers Science

Math:

Tiny Travelers Math Tiny Travelers Math
 
Literacy:
 
Tiny Travelers Literacy
 
How do I sign up for a Subscription

If your interested in buying: Tiny Travelers Subscription Box 
SAVE 15% with Discount Code: LITTLEMISSKATE 
You can get the whole 12 Month Subscription for just over $20 a month!

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.

Children and Maps

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. 

4. Puzzles

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.

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