Children are playing in the sand. They make roads for cars. One builds a castle where a doll can live. Another scoops out a hole, uses the dirt to make a hill, and pours some water in the hole to make a lake. Sticks become bridges and trees. The children name the streets and may even use a watering can to make rain.
Although they don't know it, these children are learning the principles of geography. They are seeing how people interact with the Earth, manipulating the environment, learning how climate changes the character of a place, and looking at how places relate to each other through the movement of things from one place to another.
With this book, we hope you, as parents, will get ideas for activities that will use your children's play to help them learn more geography--the study of the Earth. Most of the suggestions in this book are geared to children from 5 to 10 years of age. Keep in mind, however, that youngsters vary widely in their development, and others--younger and older--may find the activities appropriate.
- Where are things located?
- What characteristics make a place special?
- What are relationships among people and places?
- What are the patterns of movement of people, products, and information?
- How can the Earth be divided into regions for study?
Use this website run by the U.S. Department of Education to help your students learn geography. This is a complete teaching module so you are able to run though all the lesson on the website.