Where will a map lead you?

In my charges’ basement, there are two big maps on the wall- a world map and a US map.  I love those maps, and so do the kiddos, especially the 6yo boy.  Today, as happens often, the maps started a whole discussion. He wondered how many states he’s been to.  Turns out, he’s been to 6.  How many states have I been to? I counted them up- 25.  “Whoa! That’s a lot!” he said.  Then I asked him where he’d like to go, and I told him that I’ve been to California, but I’d really like to go to northern California to see the giant Redwood trees!  And I started talking about how big they are and how people have made tunnels for cars to drive through some of them, which kind of blew his mind.  When he gets home, we plan on looking at pictures of giant Redwoods.  He says he wants to go there with me!  Isn’t it interesting where a simple conversation over a map can go? Now we have a whole exciting new world to discover!

The other thing I did was bring over a free magazine that Columbus Metroparks publishes each season. It has articles and awesome photography. One of the articles was about flying squirrels, which I explained don’t actually fly, but they can glide from tree to tree, like a paper airplane.  “They’re so cute!” said 3yo girl.  Then I showed her a picture of baby flying squirrels.  “They’re not quite as cute when they’re babies, are they?” I asked about the hairless little things.  She said no, and we talked about what animals are cute when they’re babies, and what aren’t.  In the magazine, there was also a picture of a dragonfly larva.  “Not cute!” she said.  I had to agree. But they sure are awesome when they grow up!

You don’t always have to go outside or spend money to get kids interested in nature!

PS- How cool is this? Thanks National Geographic!

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