Should you really start a geography activity during the holidays? Yes! If you plan on traveling or getting together with out-of-state family and friends this holiday season, then consider sending a GeoBear on an adventure and you’ll set your child up for an unforgettable world geography adventure.
What is the GeoBear Project?
Your kids will travel the world vicariously as they follow the journeys of stuffed animals helped along by human traveling companions, most of them strangers. You send a stuffed animal out with a friend or relative for the first leg of the trip. Then, that traveler will pass the GeoBear along to a new person, and so on.
GeoBears lead students along paths to fascinating places, paths which are spontaneously chosen as GeoBears are handed from one traveler to another.
Travelers are encouraged to keep contact with the GeoBear’s family through postcards (use a P.O. Box for this) or email (you can set up a new email just for this purpose). At the very least, with the instructions included with the GeoBear, the hope is that your stuffed animal will make it back home safely within a few months, full of information, souvenirs, and adventure stories!
Students can keep a map, marking their GeoBear’s travels. As their GeoBear travels, your kids can learn about the countries their stuffed animal is touring. You can hit a lot of geography themes by studying the route traveled and the countries visited by your GeoBear.
How to Prep for the Project Now
Prep a small stuffed animal – but make sure your child is okay if the GeoBear is having too much fun to come home!
It doesn’t have to be a bear. We sent Lizzy GeoCat out this year and she returned happy and full of stories. She traveled from Pennsylvania to Tennessee, then out west and back! She saw Nashville to Mount Rushmore, and dozens of places in between!
You’ll want to include instructions with your GeoBear (what is this project all about) along with contact information or how to return the stuffed animal home by a certain date.
Most adults who encounter a GeoBear have a ton of fun with it! They enjoy helping kids learn about faraway places. (In fact, they might like it more than the kids!) And the souvenirs and postcards that come from these states or countries are fabulous.
So when you’re with extended family and friends this holiday season, consider sending a GeoBear or two out on a world geography adventure. Your kids will love it!
Find Out More
If you’d like to download a free sample of instructions for the GeoBear project, you can find it at 4onemore.com. You can purchase the entire GeoBear Project Bundle, which will also give you geography activities to use with your GeoBear’s travels.
The GeoBear Project was hands-down my students’ favorite activity in our World Geography class when I was a middle school teacher. We had some travel across the United States, with at least one reaching Hawaii. One even traveled overseas with a member of the military and enjoyed being a mascot of the unit for a while. You just never know where your GeoBear will end up – and the mystery is part of the fun!
This project is ideal for kids in elementary up to middle school. And it would make a great co-op activity as well.
So before you get together with friends & family this holiday season, consider prepping a family GeoBear for a world travel adventure. Your kids will thank you for it!
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.