Exploring World Landmarks
The arrival of our monthly Little Passports kit is always met with great excitement. I love that it introduces our twins to concepts I might not otherwise think to address. They love everything. They love adding stickers to their suitcases and passports. They love another excuse to check out the huge Little Passports map. This month the theme was World Landmarks and their favorite part was without a doubt the small replicas of several major landmarks.
Landmarks at Group Time
We started our investigation of World Landmarks by the landmarks on the map during Group Time and working in our workbook. The Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa were favorites which reminded me of a current interest in Skyscrapers which keeps popping up in conversation.
Landmarks in the Block Area
I put the Landmark Replicas in our block area with our wooden blocks, Brio trains, legos to see if they would integrate them into their play. It was fascinating to watch. They primarily used the landmarks in their train play. After building a track loop, their trains started visiting the landmarks (the Eiffel Tower station was the most popular destination). After a little while they started "building landmarks" with the legos.
Landmarks + Tinkering
After watching them building landmarks with their legos, I thought they might be interested in extending that idea. I suggested the idea that they could build some landmarks with the Tinker Tray materials during our Snack Table Invitation the following day. They immediately started building and gluing with a collection of wooden spools gifted to me. I shared a peek on Instagram of one of their cities that contained a "landmark."
Books about Landmarks
We read some Books about Landmarks over the following week. If you know of more (or books about skyscrapers) please share in the comments! I couldn't find any about the great wall of China or other non-American or European landmarks. These are the ones that we enjoyed.
A Man that Walked Between Two Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
I fell in love with this book in my children's lit class in college. It is a fascinating and true story about a man who walked on a thin wire between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Stunning images that emphasis the height and daring of this triumph, but also the impressiveness of the twin towers themselves. A completely unique memorial to this piece of American history. 3+
An Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis
"Arlo feels it. The twitch in his left claw. The twitch that only stops when adventure begins…" So begins the story of Arlo, the armadillo who loves adventure. His grandfather has left him journals about his many travels and inspired by the journal of Paris, Arlo takes off on an adventure. Part narration, part journal excerpts, and seen through the eyes of an inquisitive armadillo, this is certainly a unique perspective on Paris. Nonetheless, Kraulis is well versed in the delights of this fair city and her armadillo sees them all. His adventures throughout the city all leading him to his meeting with the "iron lady." After meeting the impressive Eiffel Tower, Arlo is properly amazed and the reader is treated to some extra facts about the famed structure that had been creatively woven into the story. For instance, did you know that the Eiffel Tower is painted every seven years? An informative and inspiring trip through a famous city, sure to ignite your travel twitch.
Taxi : A Book of City Words by Betsy and Giulio Maestro
The book follows a yellow taxi all day through a big city, not named but similar to Manhattan, as it picks up people and drops them off all over the city. Great city vocabulary like skyscraper, tunnel, bridge, avenue and museum are included on each page.
After reading about some tall landmarks, we revisited their towers. At this point we were out of wooden spools, but I added some more art materials to the table with the tinkertray to see what they would do next. What had been "landmarks" and one "tower" started to be called skyscrapers. They used the markers to draw a sidewalk for the people to walk around the city. These are still a work in progress, I am looking forward to sharing more when they are done.
It all began when that Little Passports box arrived in the mail. If you're curious to see how it might effect your child's play or learning, click below to learn more!
Little Passports Subscription
Where will we go from here? Only time will tell. In the back of my mind, here are some ideas I'm pondering:
*Visit the tallest building downtown. In Jackson this isn't overly impressive, but we could revisit the tallest building in Milwaukee when we go on our road trip.
*Work on expanding their block play and continue to explore the theme of skyscrapers and tall buildings.
*Offer different materials to use with their construction.
*Search for pictures or videos online of skyscrapers or their favorite landmarks.
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