The plan is to cover as many countries as we can going continent by continent (I wish I had thought of this a few weeks ago!). I will share the activities we do here in case anyone wants to join in the fun. This post will cover the basics about getting started.
First step, you will need passports. These are incredibly fun and the boys are so proud of them. There is a great printable here. I just wrote their names in after printing to keep it easy and glued a picture in. I tried laminating the cover, but then it wasn't flexible enough to fold it, so I used clear contact paper, added some blank pages ans sewed a seam in the center (but a few staples would do the job too). I also printed some passport stamp images
Next up I thought it would be fun to keep a travel journal. I bought blank books at the $1 spot at Target and these have proved highly entertaining. To add to the fun I bought this Flags of the World Sticker book. You could simply print flags and glue them in for a more budget friendly option.
The picture below shows the United Kingdom page of Will's journal. I asked him who the person was on the first page. Big Ben. Naturally! These are fantastic keepsakes!
Next we need to learn about our world! We went through the house looking for books we already owned about different cultures and were surprised to find we had a pretty nice collection already. We set them up in the bookcase as shown in the first picture.
I also decided to make continent boxes. I had seen this idea on several Montessori inspired blogs and pinterest and had started them last summer, containing them in simple gladware tupperware containers. This year we upgraded to these kraft paper document boxes from Target so they could make a nice display on our bookcase. They only ever have two out at a time, so I've been buying them up two at a time as we shop there!
What is inside the boxes? I'll show you as we go through each continent, but again, we went around the house to see what we already had that could work (coins, postcards, trinkets) and asked family members if they had anything to contribute. The dollar spot at Target is a great resource, too. We found landmarks of the world and animals of the world flash cards that we distributed in each box. Last year we also participated in a world culture swap and received little packages from Canada, the UK, and Malaysia.
We also invested in two books that I am really happy with. These were both bought on amazon. The lift the flaps Picture Atlas from Usborne is filled with really fun facts and the boys love looking at the little illustrations. The unicef book provides a glimpse into the lives of children in different parts of the world.
Finally, we need some fun activities, like cooking and crafting. Clearly Pinterest is a great resource for this! Here is my World Traveler board, which I am adding to all the time. Another great resource is youtube. Especially the Rick Steve's travel videos. I would just recommend a pre-screening just to be sure it is appropriate for your child.
Cost Plus World Market is also a great place for some international treats without slaving away in the kitchen!
I would love to hear from you. Does this sound like something you would enjoy hearing more about? Do you have any customs or recipes to share? And, if you don't have children at home, don't worry - they are almost back in school and then I will have more time for sewing and crafting again!
Thanks for hearing me out! xo, Courtney