Although they don't know it, these children are learning the principles of geography. They are seeing how people interact with the Earth, manipulating the environment, learning how climate changes the character of a place, and looking at how places relate to each other through the movement of things from one place to another.
With this book, we hope you, as parents, will get ideas for activities that will use your children's play to help them learn more geography--the study of the Earth. Most of the suggestions in this book are geared to children from 5 to 10 years of age. Keep in mind, however, that youngsters vary widely in their development, and others--younger and older--may find the activities appropriate.
The activities and games are organized around five specific themes* that help focus our thinking:
*These five themes were developed by the Committee on Geographic Information of the National Council for Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers. They are consistent with the standards for teaching geography to students K-12, released in 1994. See References.