Quite literally in this case.
As a result of my son’s newfound reading ability, we stumbled into a fun activity that turned into an interactive, educational foray around the world (while at home). Let me tell you all about it.
(Think: “If You Give a Mouse A Cookie” Storybook by Laura Numeroff)
My son began reading the “made in” labels on the back of his toys— because he could (Cool. Sparks). That lead to reading the labels of his stuffed animals (more sparks), then his clothes (more sparks).
Because most of the labels read “Made in China”, he had questions like “Why is everything made in China?!”, “Why isn’t anything made in the USA? ”
(I smell smoke).
Good questions son.
(Time for mama to fan the flame.)
I answered his questions and made a few suggestions that involved competition and counting. (Remember, I’m the fanner of the flames.)
“Let’s make a chart. How many things can you find that are made in the USA?”
“Let’s locate the places you find on the map.”
He began to expand his search around our home for “made in” labels. (Even his little brother got in on it.) They found places all over the globe. It was eye opening to find things from Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, India, El Salvador, Vietnam, Philippines… from clothes to shampoo bottles we were living internationally without having stepped outside. (By the way, there were only 2-3 “Made in USA” labels found out of 20+ labels in our home.)
Of course that lead us to locate each place on the globe,
then to write down and tally our findings,
which lead to a comparison chart,
which has the potential to lead to probability and percentages.
You may also dive into categorizing the items found by use or materials,
You may look into the manufacturing process: the steps it takes to get into an American store.
You can also learn the languages of each country, a day in the life, their money system, gross national product.
The possibilities for exposure and learning are non stop. It’s what I call a “quicksand learning” opportunity because it has no end.
I wasn’t fully aware of it at the time but from that one activity, we covered reading, geography, math, economy, manufacturing, mass production, social studies, research and statistics.
Not bad for a day’s work. This was a Saturday (our off day) by the way.
There’s still many places to go with this activity for beginner readers to advanced teens interested in global economy.
That’s what a child’s interest or sparks does, it takes them places.
As a homeschool mom, I’m so glad I get to be the tour guide& (fanner of the flame.)
Thanks for reading.
Where has your child’s curiosity taken him or her?
What are some ways you have taught using everyday items or simply based on your child’s interests?