My husband is a frequent traveller and my children are all so used to it. In fact, through him, they got to know different continents, countries and cities. As we are based in Singapore, countries such as Brazil and Peru which he visited sound really exotic to us. Since they are curious about his travelling, we took the opportunity to reinforce their geographical knowledge using puzzles, books and toys.
It was easy to engage the children with toys and puzzles. As for books, we ran in circles for a while. I finally found the reason for their disinterest – the typical nonfiction books embedded with photos and facts were too boring for them, regardless how easy the readings were. All children are different, mine happen to love illustrations more than photos.
Books that engaged my children
Ready to Read – Living in South Africa, Living in Mexico (suitable for age 5 to 8)
We previously borrowed non-fiction books on countries, many fruitless attempts to get them interested. During my most recent visit to the library, in the very same section, I found 2 cute-looking books on South Africa and Mexico and thought I should give it another try. They totally loved it. The books are narrated by children growing up in their home country. Supported by adorable illustrations, the books cover the particular country’s history, geography, culture and daily lives in a simple and captivating manner. There are also books on other countries such as India, China, Italy and Brazil. I am going to order the books online soon.
Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy World (suitable for age 4 to 8)
We have tons of Richard Scarry at home, simply because my son loves vehicles. The books are also usually filled with funny stories that my children found amusing. In this book, the author introduces major cities of the world, mainly by illustrating their landmarks, culture, food and coupled with funny stories.
Usborne Big Picture Atlas (suitable for age 5 to 8)
This atlas sub-divides the world into 17 sections, starting with a world map, then followed by Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, etc. The pages are illustrated with people in their traditional costumes, or key achievements, landmarks or animals living there.
Of course, the best way to expose our children to other parts of the world would be travelling there. We love to travel. But this requires time and money. With 2 more babies coming due soon, I better keep my life simple and stick to reading books for the time being.
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