Learning about Geography through Post Card Swaps

Our kids are just beginning to grasp the concept of different states.   A few months ago we ran a post card swap here at Quirky Momma, inspired by Liz over at A Belle, a Bean, and a Chicago Dog.   There were nearly 30 kids who sent post cards to each other.   I also begged and pleaded for some cards from family and friends and we amassed 22 cards from 14 different states and 4 different countries.     If you would like some cards from Texas, we’d love to swap with you and learn about your area!   Since doing our postcard swap, I discovered that another blogger, Natalie, over at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, also has post card swaps.   Much of our post card geography lessons were borrowed from her site.   Thanks Natalie for inspiring us!

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This activity took several weeks.   After we got our list of addresses to mail cards to the Quirky kids printed labels of themselves and glued their “signature” of sorts to the back of the cards.   They love glue sticks so I hope, if you were a recipient, that the cards weren’t too sticky!   I addressed them and then we tried to wait patiently for the mail to arrive.
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As we got a card we talked about the state it came from and the children who sent it to us.   We then put the cards in a box.   I wanted to wait till we had a bunch so we could review the states and our country as a whole.   After going on a cross-country road trip (and cheering when we went under those State Banners) we came home ready to talk about the fun we had in North Carolina, the states we drove through to get there and back   and then we went through our post cards and put stickers on our map of all the different states we’ve received cards from.   I think the kids understand the concept of states, that people live in different places away from where they are, and that different areas have different geographic markers or identifiers.   We have bluebonnets and longhorn cows, other areas have igloos and big tanks (thanks to whoever sent us the army base picture!   My son loved the tanks!).
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To help reinforce our lesson we referred to a book we got from IKEA, A Great Atlas for Children.   I like how it shows the readers the resources in each geographical area.   We compared the resources of the area to the cards we received and then looked for other areas which had similar resources or landmarks.   We printed the outline map of the United States from this site and put stickers on the states that we received cards from, and we’d love to get more – let us know if you’d like to swap post cards with us!

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I was thrilled to have received a number of cards from different countries.   Unfortunately, we haven’t quite begun countries yet.     We discussed the post cards as they came in, but I’m saving the global lesson for another week/month.

14 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for hosting the Post Card Swap! The kids had a ball. Unfortunately, it took me FOREVER to find post cards. Who would’ve thought they discontinued such things from Walmart, Gas Stations, Cracker Barrel and Truck Stops?!?!?! Anyway, we finally found ours at the Visitor’s Bureau and Convention Center.

    Enjoyed it!
    .-= Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD!´s last blog ..Friday Night Pizza: Santa Fe Pizza =-.

  2. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    I used to do this with my second graders. It was so much fun.

  3. We’re loving the postcard exchange.
    Actually it started over at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn for the postcard exchange, and we’ve been doing it too,it’s so much fun.
    I’d offer to switch with you, but we’re in Texas also.

  4. did you get a card from Nc, I would love to send you one if not.
    .-= pam´s last blog ..5 Question Friday =-.

  5. Silly me, I thought I was following you on twitter. I am now 🙂

    I love this idea. I’m so glad I stopped by from Mom Loop on Blog Frog!

  6. My kids loved this! We have ours taped to the wall, and they get SO excited when we get another card. Please let us know if you do it again, because we’d love join!
    .-= keeslermom´s last blog ..Timely =-.

  7. I just jumped over and saw your terrific ideas. Nice blog! Your idea for postcards looks like it was a hit with the moms too. I’ll check out your community on blog frog. Nice to have met you 🙂

    I’d like to offer up, for free, some coloring pages your child(ren) might like. Just connect with my blog http://www.donnaperugini.blogspot.com to download. Happy coloring!
    .-= Donna Perugini´s last blog ..Get Hand prints Here! =-.

  8. I think my boys would LOVE to send you post cards in Texas — from Indiana. Because I know they would love to get some mail from ANYWHERE! 🙂 Please email me at crunchypenguin (at) g m a i l [dot] com.

  9. Love it! I’ve thought of doing similar projects with my kids several times and I think this is what to do. BTW we sent postcards from our area to the children we sponsor through Compassion. They loved them and it gave them a little insight to where we live.
    Blessings,
    Carol
    .-= Carol J. Alexander´s last blog ..Tea/Caffeine Correction =-.

  10. I look forward to the day when my little boy can participate in stuff like this.

    A few years ago I started sending post cards with Postcrossing. I only did it for a short time, but I am going to start up again this summer. It was really fun getting postcards from all over the world.
    .-= Lady in a Smalltown´s last blog ..Do you owe an apology to anyone? Why? =-.

  11. This is a great idea…I did something similar with my second graders. We’d write a letter with a questionnaire and send to other schools. Each child wrote to two states. We’d receive back newspaper clippings, once a cactus from Texas, post cards, and other interesting things. I’d love to do this with my girls using postcards. They are getting very interested in learning about the different states. 🙂

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