A Geography Notebook for Younger ChildrenJanelle Knutson
Because young children are naturally curious about the world around them, elementary years are a great time to introduce your children to geographical locations and basic map skills. You don’t have to purchase another curriculum though. A geography notebook and an eager learner will provide ample opportunities to explore the world.
What You Need
- (affiliate link) 3-ring binder for creating a geography notebook
- 7-8 dividers for dividing the notebook by continents
- printable maps such as those created from WonderMaps mapping software
- colored pencils, scissors, and glue
Setting Up Your Geography Notebook
Setting up your geography notebook is simple. Just label the dividers with the names of the seven continents and place them in your binder. You can write world on an eighth divider if you plan on mapping things that span more than one continent.
It can be helpful to print off several maps ahead of time. This way you can quickly pull out the map you need when your child’s curiosity strikes.
How to Use Your Geography Notebook
Make map work meaningful and fun for your young child. There is no need to schedule lessons. Instead, keep an eye out for opportunities to tie geography into what your child is naturally curious about.
- Do they have a favorite movie that takes place in a real world location? Have them cut out a picture of their favorite character from the movie and glue it on a map of the country or continent where the story takes place.
- Many fictitious stories are set in a real location. Your student can mark the setting of the story on a map or even map the travels of the character as the story unfolds.
- Is your child interested in animals or insects? Map where their favorite animals live.
- Have your child color in the states or countries where friends and family members live.
- Does your church support missionaries? Mark where they live on your maps.
- Use your geography notebook to mark the locations of events your child is learning about in history.
- Do you have a child who loves candy? Make a list of their favorite candies and mark where the factories are located that produce those delicious treats.
Are you starting to get the idea? Look for ways to tie geography into the things that delight your child. The possibilities are endless.
Tips for Using a Geography Notebook with Young Children
A geography notebook can bring an awareness and excitement about geographical locations to the young child. The goal is to make it an enjoyable experience not a tedious task. Here are a few suggestions for creating a geography notebook with young children.
- Have them mark locations on the map with a dot and then you fill in the rest of the information. This allows them to be a part of creating the map while removing the frustration of writing.
- Young children have short attention spans so try to keep map work to a minimum. You can use WonderMaps to customize your maps ahead of time with the information you need. This will shorten the time your child needs to spend on map work.
- You can have your child add stickers to the locations you are studying. For example, she can add butterfly stickers to all the places that particular butterfly species lives.
- If you don’t have stickers, you can cut out pictures from magazines or images found online. Paste them in the appropriate locations on the map.
Your child’s notebook will aid in the retention of facts and become a memorable notebook to show to family and friends. Do you have additional ideas for a geography notebook? Feel free to share them in the comments below.