Geography Fun for Carnival #6

It’s time for our 6th SACH carnival

and it’s my first time to host a carnival!

SACH is the South African Carnival of Homeschooling Blogs and we warmly invite other South African bloggers who’d like to join in the next carnival to click the link at the bottom  🙂

To readers from around the globe, welcome, and come and see what South African homeschoolers do for ~

Geography Fun!

Singing their way through their Geography Fun, Taryn of Hayes Happenings writes about Geography Songs. She says,

“It’sCH06 about the Sonlight Curriculum’s Geography Songs CD that has my kids learning all the countries of the world.  Places I’d never even heard of before!  Even my almost 3-year old sings “Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica too!” in the appropriate accent.  Precious memories made while learning together!”

  • We’ve also used this Sonlight CD to learn all the countries of the world in our homeschooling, and I smiled and remembered how much fun it was!

At Trixi’s HomeEd Academy, Trixi posts Geography Fun which is packed full of  wonderful links to great geography sites.  She says,

“Due to my 3rd grader’s intense dislike to textbooks & worksheets, I have had to do quite a bit of research into finding material that wouldn’t be met with protest and this post has some of the best I’ve found so far.”

  • I’ve bookmarked her post to come back and go through all her recommendations.  If you are new to Trixi’s blog, pour yourself some tea and make some time to go through her sidebar.  It is a treasure trove of links and ideas.

Linnie posted Learning Geography while having Fun at her blog Back To Ancient Ways. She says,

“Some time ago CJ discovered the online equivalent of the board game RISK –  Conquer club!  Conquer Club currently have One hundred and eighty-seven plus maps to choose from.  These maps includes world maps, continent maps, countries and even neighborhoods. Thus it was no surprise that CJ obtained a wide common knowledge on the geography of the world, while playing Conquer Club. What a fun way to learn geography.”

  • Her post is very detailed and filled with screen shots of the online game and her son’s personal experiences.

Digging through my Geography posts at Practical Pages I found~  Fun with Maps!

“I gave the girls a large 9 page world map which they had to assemble.  Your Child Learns.com gives many print out options – print out sizes so large that it will print on up to 64 pages!”

Then we played “Twister” calling out places with right or left hands and feet!

  • Pop over to to the post to read the rest of our fun map activities and websites.
The best fun we’ve had in Geography has been~  Treasure Hunt and Letterboxing!
“Letterboxing is a recognized international activity where participants use clues which describe directions and landmarks to find a hidden treasure box. (Read more here.) Once the box is found, the participants imprint their own personal rubber stamp in the log book, write in the date with their “trail name” and then use the stamp in the box to stamp a record their “find” in their own personal log book.”

We made our own treasure box with log book, pencil, stamp pad and rubber stamp

“Now the girls played Letterboxing!  They crawled under and over things, turned left and right, counted paces, moved forwards or backwards until they found the treasure box.  They made their stamps in the log books and loved every minute of this lesson!”

  • Pop over to the post to read how we prepared and played this fun Geography activity.
Just recently I discovered this free Geography game download:

Seterra 3.0.

Seterra 3.0 screenshot. Click to enlarge!
“Seterra is a fun geography program with 88 different exercises. Learn about countries, capitals, flags and cities all over the world! Examples of exercises: countries in Europe; American states; American state capitals; French cities; cities in Mexico; countries in Asia, etc, etc… Seterra runs in English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish. Each exercise has a high score list to keep track of your progress. A colorful and addictive way to learn geography!”
  • This is a simple, quick download and the game is always available for quick quizzes – even when the internet is offline!
  • Although the games are simple and without “all the bells and whistles”, it is a very effective learning tool.
  • I enjoyed this program with my 9-year-old.  She and I soon wanted to better our times and scores identifying countries.
  • Afterwards I spent about an hour matching flags to countries … boy, I didn’t realize how many there were and how similar they are!  Challenging, but fun!
I hope you enjoy reading all these fun Geography posts.

Tip:

When there are so many links and sites listed in posts, you could create a Geography folder on your internet bookmarks and save all the links as you come to them.  Then you can visit these later if you don’t have enough time to “follow rabbit trails” right now!
Blessings,

This post is part of the South African Carnival of Homeschool Blogs.  To join the carnival or visit past carnivals visit the SACHS Blogs page.  We hope you enjoy browsing!

Treasure hunt and Letterboxing!

Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic, and sometimes remote places.

It is a recognized international activity where participants use clues which describe directions and landmarks to find a hidden treasure box. (Read more here.) Once the box is found, the participants imprint their own personal rubber stamp in the log book, write in the date with their “trail name” and then use the stamp in the box to stamp a record their “find” in their own personal log book.

We have enjoyed making our own treasure maps for Geography!  Now it was time to try Letterboxing here at home.

To help the children create their Letterbox Clues using very detailed instructions to find the “letterbox”, I created Treasure Hunt clue words which has lists of sentence starters, order words, a few verbs and lists of prepositions.  The 2nd page has sentence starters with colour-coded blanks to insert the right words for their clues.  Using this, the girls quickly wrote down their clues.

This written activity covers several concepts:

  • directions
  • compass work (not used in this lesson)
  • order words

Language skills such as:

  • adverbs for time
  • prepositions
  • verbs or action words
  • objects

To reinforce prepositions, we played some bean bag games.  They took turns using the preposition list to call out some bean bag position. What fun!  [And sneaky ~ they were practicing auditory processes (listening and following oral instructions), directionality (up/down/left/right), spatial awareness (in front, under), body awareness (good for young children – left foot, elbow, ear lobe!)]

Playing preposition games with bean bags

Next, we made our rubber stamps.  Letterboxing Kids gives an easy method of cutting rubber stamps, but I let the girls draw the image on their rubbers and I cut them for them with a super-sharp craft knife.  (The same site has a unique and easy way of making foam stamps!)

Making a rubber stamp

Foam stamps glued back-to-front on a sponge

We needed a Letterbox Log Book for each child and one for the treasure box, and I created these using a “hot dog” mini book template.

“Hot dog” book folded on all lines and cut in middle

“Hot dog” minibook folded lengthways and pressed to form diamond. Squeeze together and fold pages so front cover is in front.

Treasure box with log book, pencil, stamp pad and rubber stamp

Now the girls played Letterboxing!  They crawled under and over things, turned left and right, counted paces, moved forwards or backwards until they found the treasure box.  They made their stamps in the log books and loved every minute of this lesson!

Treasure log book’s entries

Isn’t homeschool fun?