I have been putting together some continent boxes for Ace to begin to understand and learn about geography and then different areas of the world. I am working to have a relatively extensive box for each continent that talks about: plants, animals, foods, and landmarks that are indigenous to those continents. Various things to expose him to the cultural eccentricities of the various places of the world. It's rather ambitious endeavor - one that is currently a significant work in progress. However, in order to understand all that - he needs to get the big picture first and thus we have "The Planet Box"
I began with one of my favorite resources ETC Press and downloaded their free nomenclature cards for: Continents, Oceans, and Cloud types. They can all be found here. I dabbled in sewing a container for them, others I simply used a pencil pouch to hold them in. I then acquired a few books from the Rookie Read About Geography Series (which I love!) They are really simple, but informative and great for my 3.5 year old to help him understand just enough information for now. I got The Seven Continents and The Four Oceans. The third book actually was acquired from Chic Fil A. Also in the planet box is his passport - which I got at a school supply store - it basically is just blank pages awaiting stamps. I ordered a 7 continent set of rubber stamps similar to this, I got mine off eBay. Each of his continent boxes will contain the corresponding stamp - and we'll always have the 'Planet Box' with us when we study each continent so his passport can get stamped each time we study. :) Toss in a $1 blow up globe (a favorite) and the final item to complete the Planet Box is the VTech Spin and Learn Adventure Globe which I got for a steal of a deal around Christmas time. :)
Ace is always excited to do school and to learn things - he is really excited to learn more about Australia. That seems to be the one he is most fixated on - I'm not entirely sure why. Mostly what he's learning is that there are seven continents and a simple fact about each one. He knows we live on North America and thanks to his loyal fans who have sent him post cards from literally around the world, he is able to explore where those postcards have come from as well. The VTech globe is great for telling him about music from other cultures, where places are, and even sports that are often played in those places and if nothing else - he loves to push all the various buttons!
We use the nomeclature cards for matching, putting them in size order, and various other things to help instill the facts about the continents. I am looking forward to introducing him to the North America box soon (figured it was best to start with the one he lives on!) after that it sounds like we'll dive right into Australia - as it's the favored one. :)
I love putting together new fun and exciting 'school' type things for Ace. He really enjoys to play and learn - and says that doing school with me is one of his favorite things - which really makes me smile because it's one of my favorite too!