With my oldest going into first grade this year I thought it was time we began learning the 50 states and their capitals. We ended up traveling through quite a few states last year on our family road trip, but my kids were still a little young to grasp the concept of distance and geography. In fact, I can’t even count the number of times I had to explain why we hadn’t made it across 3 states in the past hour.
Well, we’re planning an even larger road trip next summer, so I figured there’s no better time than right now to start memorizing and learning all about the places we hope to see. Maybe by the end of it, my 6 and 4 year old will understand maps and distances better. And maybe just maybe I won’t hear “Are we there, yet?” a gajillion times. A momma can hope, after all.
I became inspired by the idea of learning the 50 states this year while briefly perusing the Target dollar spot. …yah, you know what I’m talking about. Every momma’s favorite spot inside Target. There’s something there for EVERYONE! Except maybe Daddy, who wishes Target didn’t even exist. Anyway, it’s that time of year again and Target is starting to carry their awesome little school workbooks, teacher stickers, planners, and school supplies. It’s every homeschooling mom’s kryptonite. And we LOVE it!!
I picked up an awesome little USA workbook and my wheels began turning. Before my husband even made it home from work, I had already been online researching and ordering extra supplies from my best friend, Amazon Prime. Oh, you know him too?
For starters, I ordered this Melissa & Doug USA Map Floor Puzzle right away, because my kids love puzzles and hands on learning. This particular puzzle is made by Melissa & Doug, so I knew it was bound to be good quality and I wasn’t disappointed! The pieces are nice and thick, so they can withstand being stood on. Just in case your toddler decides to walk across it. Which mine did. Right away. So, I’m just saying…it’s sturdy for a puzzle. Not that I’ll let him do that on a regular basis. #boymom
Another thing I love about this puzzle is the brightly colored states and helpful drawings on each state. Florida has a space shuttle, California shows the Golden Gate Bridge, and Kentucky sports a drawing of a horse Which my daughter insists on holding on to until it’s time to insert it into the puzzle. It’s nice to have those little pictures, especially if your child can’t read. You can help them out by asking them to find the yellow state with a cactus on it, or the state with a guitar on it. Then you can explain a little bit about why each state has that drawing. In short, we really enjoy this puzzle and I’m sure it will get many years of use as we play together as a family and homeschool our children.
I also ordered this United States of America Placemat. We don’t generally use placemats at mealtimes, but I thought having a laminated colorful map to hold would be handy. Well, it turns out my kids love it and want it out during lunch time. It’s so cute to see them munch away on their PB&J sandwiches while they point to all the states they want to visit. In fact, we’ve been having some great conversations during mealtime, all thanks to this cute little placemat!
I love that we homeschool and are able to make learning fun for our kids. Watching them learn and enjoy it is so rewarding! Now, the question is, how do we make all our subjects this much fun?
Until next time!