My kids LOVE to learn. They are one of the few kids I know that were sad for summer break to come. When our package full of books and activity kits from Smithsonian came they couldn’t wait to sit down and start learning again. I was excited because, even though we live in Canada I grew up in the States and I couldn’t wait to teach them information about when I’m from.
We first looked at two books from the Smithsonian Sticker Creations line– Dinosaurs and Under the Sea. These books contain picture frames with stickers of animals on them(it comes with 175 reusable stickers plus 5 oversized 3-D stickers, and a pull-out framed play scene), they also have activity pages that my kids needed to add stickers to. For us, we cute out the sticker section for each page so they wouldn’t get messed up on which stickers go on which page. My oldest loves everything about the sea and my middle child loves learning about dinosaurs so both books were perfect for our family. The pages are full of great facts and colorful images. We all had fun doing each of the activities and have been doing a few pages each day since our package came.
Smithsonian Young Explorers: 50 States. This is by far my favorite activity we did. This kit comes in a travel case filled with a poster sized map of the US, a fact book about the US and a puzzle. We used the poster sized map as out guide to put together our map. After the puzzle was put together we sat down with the info book and talked about each State, what they are known for. Plus I was able to tell them which States I’ve visited and what I know about them. We really enjoyed laying on the floor, pulling out each puzzle piece and trying to figure out where it went. When we were done it was nice to be able to put the pieces in the carrying case.
Smithsonian Everything You Need to Know Fact Cards series, divided into Grades K-1 and Grades 2-3. My girls are in grade 1 and grade 4. My oldest really loves flash card type learning and loves to try to memorize the info on the cards. Both packs are full of all kind of information, including a lot of US history and facts. I enjoyed remembering my US Presidents and telling my kids about the ones I had growing up. My kids loved learning more about the Earth and animal. The grade recommendations on each pack really fit the learning curve on each of my kids. The Grades K-1 kit has more photos and less words and the Grades 2-3 kit has more facts with smaller photos on them. Each category is labled with a tab that you can see when you open the box, making it easy to keep the info together. These kits are perfect for a rainy day activity or even taking on a road trip.
Smithsonian Discover: Earth. Not only does this book contain information about the Earth, it also talks about our solar system. Inside this book is a craft to create a globe, some flash cards and a map of the world with where anamials live. The pages of this book are full of beautiful and amazing photos of our Earth. We learned about how and why the Earth rotates the way it does, natural wonders of the earth, ocean, weather and volcanoes. The only problem we had was putting together the paper globe. It called for gluing the tabs together but that didn’t stick well, so we taped it. Either way, it was a fun craft.
If you’re looking for a fun way to add learning to your summer activities I would recommend these books from Smithsonian. They are a HUGE hit in our household, my girls asked to look through them everyday. They love doing them together and with me.