If you are adopting internationally you may have noticed that a lot of people out there do not know geography! I had people ask me where Ethiopia was and they were surprised it was in Africa. Many people still think that Africa is a country not a continent! As adoptive families we often find ourselves educating people on adoption facts and geography facts. We also have a responsibility to know about where our kids are from. The following games not only help us learn, but can be used to teach your children as well.
The Out of the Box company has some great games to help people have fun while learning about geography. I bought the 10 Days in Africa for my family when we were getting ready for our trip to Ethiopia. My eight year old fell in love with it and quickly learned how to beat me. It is a simple concept: Travel from country to country in ten days using planes, cars or on foot. It is a Mensa Select award winning game, but don’t be intimidated! I learned to play quite easily and I’m not a member of Mensa!
I soon found 10 Days in the USA, and while it is a little advanced for my newly adopted girls, we play in teams and they have fun learning US geography. (If you haven’t noticed, we love geography in this family!) There is also 10 Days in Asia and 10 Days in Europe.
This Around the World Floor Puzzle would be a great conversation starter for younger children. Its globe and pictures of people from different cultures show what a small world we actually live in.
On the inexpensive side of things, National Geographic has wonderful on-line games to play with your kids. This online Asia jigsaw puzzle is also challenging and fun. License plate bingo is also fun, although it helps to have a map or picture of the US when playing.
There are many fun ways to get to know your child’s birth country and to help them learn about their new country. I encourage all of you to comment on games you love to play with your family. I’m always looking for new ideas!