Fun Geography Lessons: Postcard Exchange and Virtual Travel — Babylicious by Figur8

Fun Geography Lessons: Postcard Exchange and Virtual Travel

This is a fun way to learn geography and take a virtual tour around the world that we came across on the BrillKids Forum. What’s involved:

  • Ask friends and family living in other countries around the world to write a postcard to your child. Ask them to write a few interesting facts about the country they live in on the postcard.
  • If you want extra contacts, visit this post on the BrillKids forum and PM the parents who have added their names on this list to participate in a postcard exchange. You will need to send a postcard in return to the children of these parents. On your postcard  you should introduce your child and write a few interesting facts about your own country.
  • Another place to check out for postcard exchanges is Post Crossing.
  • Pop your postcards in the mail and wait for the other postcards to arrive.

Lesson ideas:

  • Introduce each country one at a time. You can make it the theme for the day/week/month.
  • If you have a large map of the world, you can stick it up on a wall and let your child place a sticker for each country “visited”.
  • Kerileanne (the Mom who introduced the postcard exchange on the BrillKids forum) has a great idea where they stamp a “passport” for each country they visit so her child can see the countries they have “visited”.
  • Create a postcard scrapbook.
  • Google images of famous landmarks for each country. Let your child cut them out and paste them into a travel scrapbook. Back in my time, we raided the travel agencies for their brochures (which is a great option if you want to see what are the popular tourist attractions).
  • Older children can create a diary of their “visit” to the country.
  • Check out Youtube videos of special celebrations in that country.
  • Learn a few words of the main language spoken in that country, e.g. “hello”, “goodbye”, “please”, “thank you”.
  • Read books about each country “visited”. National Geography has a terrific series of books on “Countries of the World“. For an easier series of books, you can check out Red Robin’s “Let’s Visit” series.
  • Google more information on each country. The World Fact Book is another place to get information.

Benefits of this activity:

  • Your child will learn about a new country.
  • Your child will make new friends from other countries.
  • Perhaps your child may even continue to be “penpals” with his new friends. Although in this day and age they are more likely to be email-pals.
  • Your child can practice writing. For younger children who do not write well, it is probably a better idea to let an adult write since there is only so much space on a postcard. If Aristotle wrote on the postcard, he would probably only be able to write: “Dear …., My name is ….” and that’s if the postcard is a big one.
  • Your child can learn a few facts about his own country if he’s involved in writing the postcard.

About the author

Dr Shen-Li Lee Dr Shen-Li Lee is a freelance writer and mum to two boys who have been the inspiration for her ongoing study in child development and education. She searches for the balance in child development methods and educational philosophies that will encourage the nurture of happy, confident and successful children. She shares her views and findings at Figur8.


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