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Young children are fascinated by the great big world around them and often amazed at the idea that so much of the world out there is different than what they see every day. Introducing the concept of history and geography give an age-appropriate glimpse into life beyond our homes.
History, Geography & Social Studies components in the Timberdoodle Kindergarten Elite Kit (2020-2021):
- Bede’s History of Me (religious kit only)
- This is How We Do It
- Skill Sharpeners Geography K
- Around the World Mazes
- Geopuzzle Boxed Set
A special thanks to Timberdoodle Company for sponsoring this homeschool series of posts by graciously sending us this complimentary curriculum kit to see what we think. All opinions are our own!
Bede’s History of Me
The Timberdoodle K Handbook suggests completing 1 lesson each week, typically 2 pages.
Most young children don’t have a concrete grasp on sequences of events or how long ago things have happened. My five-year-old is always hopping back and forth between things happening “yesterday” and things happening “when she was two or three”. The concept is just not there!
When we opened Bede’s History of Me, I smiled and my daughter giggled. The book reads from the perspective of Bede the yarn ball, making it fun and engaging for kiddos. The first lesson gives a simple introduction to timelines–what they are, and how they can be used. What amazed me was that it didn’t just teach the concept, it had a fun, hands-on activity right away to get the kids moving and experiencing what a timeline is for themselves.
The lessons incorporate drawing, coloring, family history, photograph finding and crafting. The book provides a really great overview of many aspects of history, including origins of holidays, houses, sports, music, weapons, and church history. It is definitely religious as it shares about Christian holiday origins and church history.
You can find Bede’s History of Me here.
This is How We Do It:
One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World
The Timberdoodle K Handbook suggests reading 1 topic (2 page spread) each week.
Last year I checked out This is How We Do It from the library and read it with my daughter. She was absolutely intrigued by the pictures and information as the story follows 7 children from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia and shares how a typical day looks for them. I’m thrilled to have our own copy of this high-quality book now.
I keep our copy on my daughter’s school shelf, which is located in her play area. Sometimes I’ll walk by and notice that she’s chosen this book and is sitting there, intensely looking at the pictures. She can’t read the words yet, but I know that she is gaining an awareness of the diversity of the world as she studies the pictures.
This book is truly unique and very well done. It covers each child’s home, family, clothing, food, school, transportation, play, language, chores, family time, sleep, and a real-life photograph of each family at the end. The conversations we have as we look at each page about the similarities and differences with our lives are ongoing and beneficial for both my daughter and myself.
You can find This is How We Do It here.
Skill Sharpeners Geography K
The Timberdoodle K Handbook suggests completing 2-3 pages each week.
Skill Sharpeners Geography K says that it’s about “connecting school and home” which sounds great, but keep in mind that it’s speaking of the traditional school setting, not homeschooling. My daughter was confused by the pictures of traditional schools, but it was a good conversation to have about the differences between what that looks like and what homeschooling is for us.
The book is split into four sections:
• Map Skills
• Looking at the World
• Landforms and Bodies of Water
• Weather in Our World
Within those sections, the concepts of globe recognition, directions, map symbols, animals, and seasons are covered in fun activities that are brightly colored and simply laid out. There is a lot of tracing, cut and paste, matching, and letter practice, all perfect for kindergarteners. Doing a few pages at a time keeps up the excitement for my daughter and it’s been great practice for her to work on important concepts like tracing and directions.
This book reminded us of the Pre-K Smart Start STEM workbook which my daughter enjoyed last year.
You can find Skill Sharpeners Geography K here.
Usborne Around the World Mazes
The Timberdoodle K Handbook suggests doing 1 or 2 mazes each week.
My daughter loves mazes. I could never get her to do just 1 or 2 each week, rather she likes to binge on 4-5 in a sitting. But, the great thing about this book is that high-quality and durable, and by doing finger-tracing instead of using pencil, the mazes can be done again and again, and with multiple children.
In traditional Usborne fashion, this book is large and beautifully illustrated. There are 31 one-page mazes and 14 two-page spread mazes. The mazes at the beginning of the book are easier, and they get more challenging as they progress. Solutions for each puzzle are found in the back of the book.
I let my daughter pick whatever page she wants to do, then I read the introduction and instructions and we talk about the place in the world or culture that is featured. Some places in the mazes include St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Stanley Park in Canada, a Thai floating market, Old Town in Dubrovnik, Norwegian Fjords, Central Park in New York, and the Australian coral reefs, among many other places!
There is a note in the handbook that conservative families may want to white-out a few images as some cultures have different standards of modesty. From flipping through the pages, what I saw was that the Samba and Surfing mazes feature some women in bikinis, but those could easily be skipped or covered up.
You can find Usborne Around the World Mazes here.
Geopuzzle Boxed Set
The Timberdoodle K Handbook suggests completing 1 puzzle each week.
Learning about the world is a concept that littles have a difficult time grasping. The more visual and hands-on the learning can be, the more they tend to understand. Geopuzzles fits this need with their huge six puzzle boxed set.
The six puzzles cover: the world, USA/Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. They are recommended for ages 4-12, but younger children will need adult assistance. Some pieces are traditional and large, but the states/countries are uniquely shaped by their boundaries, making some large and some very tiny.
Because they are cut to the shape of the state/province/country, they don’t fit together like a traditional puzzle, which poses another challenge for small children. My daughter is 5 and though she likes doing the puzzles with me, she is mostly sitting next to me while I put it together. As she grows older, I can see her enjoying these more.
Some children may be more adept at looking at the picture and matching the pieces, but don’t be surprised if your little needs a bit more help from you! Geopuzzles feature printed names of countries and states, in addition to capital names.
You can find Geopuzzles boxed set here.
Final Thoughts on History & Social Studies for Kindergarten
Teaching our littles about the great big world includes the past and present, other cultures and our local communities, and spacial recognition. Using multiple tangible tools keeps the learning light and interesting for young children while they gain understanding about history, geography and social studies. Timberdoodle has done an excellent job piecing together an engaging selection of hands-on and workbook materials for Kindergarten kiddos!
You can view the entire Timberdoodle Kindergarten Curriculum kit here.
Related Homeschooling content:
- STEAM for Kindergarten || Timberdoodle Elite Kit Review
- Emotional Intelligence for Kindergarten || Timberdoodle Elite Kit Review
- Thinking Skills for Kindergarten || Timberdoodle Elite Kit Review