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About a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon this post on teaching US geography to a toddler. Honestly, I can’t even remember how I found it…was is linked on someone’s blog or maybe I saw it on Pinterest. Either way, I knew right away that I wanted to implement this method with my own kids.
The idea is that you use a US map placemat to help teach your kids the names and locations of the states. Basically, you place some kind of small treat (Cheerio, raisin, nut, etc.) on one state at a time, the child says the state’s name and then they eat the treat. At the beginning, you say the state then they simply repeat the state’s name to get their treat.
We’ve adapted the idea to fit our family with four children involved.
We place two United States Map placemats and a bag of Cheerios (or Cheerio equivalents) on the table after breakfast.
I place two Cheerios on a state on each placemat. For example, I put two Cheerios on California on each placemat. That equals four Cheerios total (or one each for four kids).
Our kids then raise their hand if they know the name of the state. Once the state has been correctly identified all the kids say the state’s name and then claim their Cheerio.
We repeat this process starting first with states we already know and adding in one or two new states at a time. I normally set the kitchen timer for 4 or 5 minutes and clean up once the timer goes off…a short and sweet geography lesson.
Mom Confession: We’ve taken a break from our US Geography “Map Game” since Isabelle was born. I need to stock up on Cheerios and get back into our practice. It’ll be interesting to see how much the kids remember.