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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Products to Discover the World

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

How do you discover the world? How do you teach your children about the world and its places without leaving home? Today I am going to share some great resources to do just that. These books and kits help learn about the globe, countries, cities as well as discover parts of the world like the ocean and more. They are for mixed levels of kids and will add some fun to your home or class. The first is Discovery Globe: Build Your Own Globe Kit by Leon Gray and illustrated by Sarah Edmunds. 



This kit comes with everything you need to put together your own paper globe as well as a book, Discovery Globe: World Explorer's Guide. The guide is full of information about the earth as well as the places, animals and people that inhabit it. First though it has instructions to build your own globe using the supplies in the box. Here is what it is suppose to look like.
I however made the mistake of opening the box and starting the project before we cleaned the family room for Hazel's birthday party. Then had to put it away, but I misplaced the connecting piece for the dowels so our globe does not stand well and is certainly not at the correct angle.

I used tape on the dowels and it really did not hold them well. However I love the details and illustrations on the globe. Here is a closer view without Hazel trying to hold it in position for me.

Now building this globe was pretty easy, but Hazel probably would have struggled to do it herself. She did help me though. The suggested grades are third through seventh. This may be why. Inside the World Explorer's Guide are colorful pages explaining things like Earth in space, land and water, biomes, natural wonders, extremes, animals, world heritage, cities, unusual jobs from around the world, traveling the world, famous people and more. There is a bit about everywhere in our world and it is a fun resource for students to learn geography, science and culture. 


Another fun world kit comes from the Smithsonian. It is Smithsonian Exploration Station: World Atlas by John Farndon. This one is recommended for slightly younger kids ages 6 to 8. Inside this box is an inflatable globe, a world map poster with squares for the three pages of stickers provided, a guidebook and three 3-D models to build.

The guidebook has information about various parts of the world (mostly by continents) as well as natural things in the world--ocean, mountains, etc. It is also colorful and informative and easy to read. It has some fun things. Then there are the reusable stickers to put on the map. This would be a fun activity in a homeschool to learn more about geometry. I love that the book also has Did You Know sections about the various areas. The models are of the Eiffel Tower, Chichen Itza, and Taj Mahal. I love how this kit combines the geography, science and culture and makes it accessible for young elementary students.

Our next book is A World of Cities by James Brown. This book is a bit oversized and the pages are like posters about various cities. Within the poster is information about the city. It is a beautiful book and would be a wonderful coffee table book as well as a book for kids to use in class. It is recommended for grades 2 to 5. 

You can see the finer details in this sample page. There is information around the edge of the page as well as throughout the artwork itself. This book is just beautifully done.


Our next book is full of fun and a bit of culture. It is Around the World in 80 Puzzles by Aleksandra Artymowska. Hazel loves this book. It has various drawings and asks the reader to find something that is different in the picture. Some of the pictures are culturally done and others are more about travel or fun. There is a puzzle about the Eiffel Tower, temples, rain forest and more. However the puzzles themselves do not teach about any of these places. It is a fun book for activities while studying the world or just for fun puzzles. It is recommended for grades 2 to 4.

This book takes the find the hidden pictures or I Spy puzzles to new levels. Each double page has two things to do on it. One is usually finding something in the picture while the other is doing something like this one--starting at the person and find your way to the empty bottle using the ladders and gangplanks. The thinking skills in the puzzles are wonderful and it is such a fun book. I love that some of the puzzles bring in a bit of world culture as well.

Our next book is less about geography and more about science. It covers things like dinosaurs, animals, butterflies, trees, planets, mountains, storms, transportation (ships, trains, etc.), speed, and so much more. The book is Highest Mountain Smallest Star: A Visual Compendium of Natural Wonders by Kate Baker and illustrated by Page Tsou. The purpose of the book is to help learn about how heavy, how strong, how small, and how tall things really are. And it looks at both the natural world (and history of the world and universe) as well as manmade things. It has a bit of everything in it. 

This book is one of those that you will just keep opening up and reading. It will give you information but is not one where you just sit down to read. It is full of so much information and you need time with each page. Each pages is stuffed with details and facts. Plus the illustrations are beautiful. It is a resource book that kids will keep wanting to check out at different times and will fill some of those bored moments. 

Our final book for today is A First Book of the Sea by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton. This book is recommended for Preschool through grade 2. This book is full of poems and beautiful illustrations to go with them. It is divided into four chapters: Down by the Shore, Journeys, Under the Sea and Wonders. Each chapter has between 11 and 15 poems in them. Since they are poems I think the book could also be used with older grades during a poetry unit. The pages are beautiful and the poems are lovely. They take you to the ocean and leave you to explore your own memories.

Some poems are very short like the one on the sample page and others are a bit longer, but none are super long. They all fit with the illustrations on a single or double page. The truth is the poem and picture together are just amazing. 

I hope you will check out these beautiful resources to show your kids the world. They are perfect for at home resources or classroom use. Happy reading and exploring!