Our family recently took a road trip to Austin from Dallas and my four-year-old, who feels that one hundred is definitely the biggest number imaginable, said, "Mom, I guess there are probably one hundred places in the whole world." It makes me smile when I stop and realize how small their world is at this age.
If you are traveling soon, planning a staycation, or have a geography buff on your hands, check out the following books to help them keep exploring and learning. I also received some great suggestions for traveling with kids over on Instagram!
If you are staying close to home, one fun gift idea might be to speak their love language through maps by giving them a coupon for a special adventure: "Good For One Date: Let's find a spot within a five mile radius of home," and then spend some time choosing a location together on the map. You might pair these cookies with this book for an "after school" snack and if I were the crafty type I would want to make a message in a bottle after reading the most beautiful new book, The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles.
Atlas of Adventures by Rachel Williams. Full of activities, maps, and facts from all over the world, this book can be revisited and explored over and over again.
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead. The pastel illustrations in this book are moving and create a melancholy tone. The book is the story of a man who lives all alone on a hill and opens ocean bottle messages. He sets out to find the recipient of a message and in-turn receives a delightful surprise.
The Littlest Family's Big Day By Emily Winfield Martin. The perfect story to accompany a family adventure or even a move to a different home. A bear family explores their new neighborhood and creates a magical experience during the excursion.
If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche. Examining different types of homes around the world, this book provides interesting facts about regions and homes. It would make a nice addition to a classroom lesson or could be included in a nonfiction unit.
Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinska. This beautiful title will provide hours of exploring and daydreaming. It also acts as a nice coffee table book for your home.
The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski. This book proves that not all adventures require physical traveling. A little girl discovers how one can get lost in their own mind when they are allowed to create and imagine a story by reading a good book. Perfect for book lovers and big dreamers.
City Atlas: Travel the World with 30 City Maps by Georgia Cherry, Illustrated by Martin Haake. Taking a closer look at particular cities, the atlas examines thirty locations, their landmarks and fun facts about each.
At The Same Moment, Around The World by Clotilde Perrin. A beautifully told story of diversity from the perspective of time, children will think about their own day and their activities while learning about traditions and customs from across the world. "At the same moment in Paris, France, it is seven o'clock in the morning, and Benedict drinks hot chocolate before school."
I am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer, Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. The I Am Ordinary People Change the World series examines extraordinary individuals who accomplished their childhood dreams. This is a good title to start with since the mystery and courage of Amelia Earhart seem to be captivating for both adults and kids.
Wherever You Go by Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler. A sweet alternative to the commonly gifted, "Oh, The Places You Will Go!" This book is the tale of leaving for far-off ventures and returning home when the time is right. It gives parents perspective, knowing the day is coming and reminds us that they are leaving to better themselves and not only to break our hearts.