Those of us who care for young ones have the most incredible opportunity, to watch them blossom as they grow in their knowledge of themselves, their world, and others in their world. How do we introduce our children to a fascinating world while keeping things simple enough for them (and for us!) to enjoy?
My goal for this series is to share resources our family has used to get a very small glimpse of cultures around the globe. We are not trying to be comprehensive but give our kids the beginning of the idea that people have different ways of thinking and doing, and that we can learn from each other.
We started our “trip” around the world by assembling play passports. We used the beautiful printable passport at My Halal Kitchen. That post also contains some good suggestions for areas to explore.
Here’s our process:
- Color an outline of the country’s flag.
- Write a few interesting facts on this page, such as official and widely spoken languages of the country, continent (after looking in an atlas), and common foods.
- Read a picture book related to the country or a folktale from that region. Perhaps illustrate the story.
- Add a stamp to our play passports noting the country name and date we “traveled” there.
And here are two resources we use often:
Usborne Children’s Picture Atlas/Ruth Brocklehurst; illustrated by Linda Edwards. London: Usborne Publishing, 2013. ISBN 978079450640-7. This is a gorgeous first atlas that adults also have picked up and flipped through with interest. The first part explains topics such as countries, maps, geographical features, and symbols found on the maps in the second part of the book. The actual maps are overlaid with small pictures of people, animals, art forms, and industries that are common in those regions. There are also lists of things to spot and a brief index at the end.
Geo Puzzles by GeoToys. These puzzles are medium quality. The cardboard is thin, so the pieces bend easily and don’t stay interlocked well. However, when I bought them, they were more affordable than some other options I could find. Most countries, as well as states in the USA and provinces in Canada, are individual pieces, except for the really small ones. The puzzles are too difficult for most preschoolers to do alone, but as we do them together, I get to refresh my geography.
And now for some resources specifically related to Algeria. These are the ones we used because they were easily available to us:
Algeria/Falaq Kagda. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1999. ISBN 0-7614-0680-8. With long nonfiction books like this, we look at the photos, and I might read captions or a sentence from the text. Or answer a question. Any similar book from your library could serve the same purpose.