As we learn about places throughout the world I like my kids to keep little country fact sheets that detail what we find out. It’s a place to record the information they are reading from our country studies all on one page.
Typically I have them each choose a different country in the same region. For example, my son may choose Italy, my daughter Germany, and my other daughter France. Often I choose a country too – like Spain. I get my little toddler’s help since he’s too young to work on his own, and we do ours together. We search the internet or go to the library for books, then spend a few hours reading them, writing down fascinating facts, drawing maps and flags, and just satisfying our curiosity about our countries. We fill out our country fact sheets and often fill the back sides of the page with more interesting things we discovered along the way. We often intersperse that time with discussions about similarities and differences we see between our own country and those we are studying. Here is a printable country fact sheet if you want to try this with your kids.
If possible, I like to find some stories from the countries too. Many countries have traditional folk tales, fairy tales, myths, or legends that my kids love to listen to. Famous art and music is another fun focus. We have our television attached to our computer with an HDMI cable (making our big screen function as a computer monitor so everyone can see it well), so I pull up famous art from the country using a simple internet search. Sometimes we watch YouTube videos of traditional dance or music, travelogues, or other informational videos too.
Whenever possible we also love to incorporate food into our country studies. Typically I assign each of the kids a day during the week to help me cook, so on their day they help me make food from the country they learned about. Then over dinner they can present their country fact sheet and tell us all they learned while we try some of the cuisine.
By the end of the week they have all learned about all of the countries by researching, discussing, writing, and listening to presentations. It’s a fun way to bring other cultures and places a little closer to home.
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