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.