As you begin your holiday shopping for your Little Explorers & Scientists this year, consider these gift suggestions that make learning fun while inspiring innovation and creativity!
Exploring World Geography:
An inviting and accessible atlas is a must-have reference book in every little explore’s library. National Geographic’s Little Kids First Big Book of the World introduces young readers (preschool thru early elementary) to the wider world by exploring landscapes, people, languages, landscapes, weather, animals, and much more. On each page, colorful photos are paired with maps and basic facts about each continent. My Pop-up World Atlas and The Amazing Pop-Up Geography Book provide a playful introduction to to the contents of the world using colorful pop-up flaps and movable components to further entice young readers as they explore world geography. Focusing on the similarities and differences of the culture of the world, the book People celebrates cultural diversity as it presents the amazing variety of human life on Earth through detailed illustrations and simple text – comparing the broad variety of colors, features, languages, clothing, architecture, religions and cultures of people around the world. This book emphasizes that while humans are very diverse, they are all alike – a massage suitable for preschooler as well as older children…and adults!
Beyond reference books, puzzles make learning geography fun and interactive, while building fine motor and problem-solving skills. The GeoPuzzle World, or the comprehensive 6 GeoPuzzles Set (featuring the World plus Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the U.S and Canada) include pieces shaped like individual countries (or states and provinces) which further builds a child’s visual reference for each country’s appearance while teaching where each is located within a continent or the world.
Focusing on United States geography, States Sequence is an innovative way to learn the U.S. states and capitols while playing this interactive game of strategy. As a learning tool for elementary age children, this approach to learning is much more appealing to an elementary student than flash cards or memorization!
Looking for a gift for a Little Explorer that keeps on giving? How about a subscription to Little Passports? You can purchase a 6-month or a 12-month subscription to the program and a new destination to explore will be delivered right to your doorstep. Monthly packages feature items such as maps, activity booklets, stickers, photographs and souvenirs. Young children (ages 3-5) can “explore a new world theme” each month such as art, music, oceans, or natural wonders with the “Early Explorers” subscription. Children ages 6-10 can discover a new country each month through the “World Edition” subscription and receive souvenirs and hands-on activities. For ages 7-12, the “USA Edition” subscription delivers two new states each month, featuring activity-packed “State Journals.”
Exploring Nature & Science:
Much like geography, a reference book such a kid-friendly almanac is a nice addition to a little scientist’s growing library. For preschoolers, Little Kids First Big Book of Why features colorful images and lively information presented in an accessible question-and-answer format. The book also includes hands-on activities and crafts perfect for young learners. For preschool through early early students, The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature is a classic introduction to fun facts about the natural world. This treasury includes The Berenstain Bears’ Almanac, a complete almanac of the seasons, The Berenstain Bears’ Nature Guide, an informative guide covering basics facts about animals, plants, and insects, and The Berenstain Bears’ Science Fair, covering a variety of machines and how they work, including plenty of projects and experiments. For elementary students looking to delve deeper into science (ages 8 and up), the Basher Science Series covers a variety of topics presented in an engaging, informative and entertaining format. Topics include Planet Earth, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and many more.
For the child who loves to explore the back yard, an “Insect Hunting Kit” can offer hours of science-based fun and educational backyard exploration. The Bug Catching Tool & Magnifier, a Critter Case or Critter Habitat, Youth Binoculars, and a kid-friendly reference guide such as Bugs A to Z or Little Kids First Big Book of Bugs, creates a complete kit for a catching, studying and releasing a variety of backyard bugs. A set of “real” Binoculars for young explorers who can handle gadgets a bit more responsibly is an easy upgrade for older explorers.
Looking to learn more about the Human Body? For Preschoolers, Dr. Seuss’ Inside Your Outside provides a simple and fun introduction to human anatomy in typical Seuss style. Focusing only on the skeletal system, the beautifully illustrated Bones compares and contrasts the skeleton of the human body to the bones of various animals, looking at size, scale and various special features. For elementary students, reference books such as Uncover the Human Body and First Human Body Encyclopedia show what is inside the human body and how things fit and work together in a way that makes the subject fun and accessible to young children.
For both nature studies and the study of the human body, a kid-friendly science lab set (age 3-9), microscope (age 7+), a human X-ray or animal X-ray sets can add to the tactile exploration of science and nature, and compliment many of the books listed above.
Finally, a fun way to add science to any day is through music. Here Comes Science byThey Might Be Giants, is a fun and lively music collection covering a wide range of science topics. Songs are silly and engaging to appeal to young children, but the selection of songs cover a variety of basic science concepts for young minds. The CD also includes a DVD featuring videos of all the songs, many of which the visual helps children further understand the meaning (or utter silliness) of the lyrics.