Saturday 5 December 2015

Help kids discover the world with Little Passports (review)

When an email popped into my inbox telling me all about a kids' subscription scheme called Little Passports, I got excited as a parent, I got excited as a teacher and I got excited as a little kid who hasn't quite grown up and still loves receiving fun stuff in the mail ! The concept instantly appealed to me, and I was delighted to see that the Madhouse kids were just as enthusiastic. It is a monthly subscription plan designed to inspire kids aged 3-12 to learn about the world through fun and engaging activities, focusing on geography, history, culture and language. Each month, a package with age-appropriate games, stickers, souvenirs, maps and even a passport arrives at their door - how cool is that ?!

The Early Explorers kit encourages children aged 3-5 to explore ongoing themes such as animals, music and more!

The World Edition kit enables kids aged 6-10 to discover a new country every month.

The USA Edition kit teaches young people aged 7-12 about all 50 states. This was the one that I chose to review.

I was pleased to discover that the two states we'd be learning about were North Dakota, a state I knew absolutely nothing about whatsoever, and California, which we already had some basic notions about.

The introductory letter presents Sofia and Sam, who will be travelling around the USA with you (on a seemingly magical red scooter !). They set out the programme, giving you a teaser of a few of the other states and monuments that they want to visit, as well as presenting the contents of your welcome pack.

The welcome gifts are brilliant fun and the kids were suitably wowed - a United States field journal (with places for stickers and room for taking notes about what you discover about each state), a USA Scratch Book and a disposable camera to get to know your own hometown with a photo scavenger hunt. The Madhouse kids have only ever known digital cameras so they found this absolutely fascinating !

You also get a map of the United States to put on your wall for you to plot your journey month by month.

Time to head to North Dakota.

I was as fascinated as the kids, which made this extra special because we were learning together, rather than me already knowing all the answers. There's lots of reading on the first page so Juliette took on the task of reading aloud the texts (with Pierre joining in in places).

Most of the other pages are less text-heavy, encouraging your little explorers to get hands on and make discoveries about the state, filling in their finding as they go.

As well as tasks focusing on history and geography, you can discover the culinary delights of the state in question (I'll have to try this and add it to my globe-cooking section !) and have fun with activities such as wordsearches and anagrams.

The activity book encourages you to continue your adventure online, which I thought was a great idea.

The kids wanted to move straight on to California - just as well we have a magical GPS to help us out !

The Madhouse kids were reassured to find the same basic structure in each activity book, starting off with a presentation of the state and a message from Sofia and Sam.

I think it has the perfect balance between fun activities and more serious, text-heavy learning pages.

The bright colours and cute illustrations really appealed to the Madhouse kids.

As did all the hands-on activities such as stickers and things to cut out and construct.

We loved the first installment so I went to look at prices and, as far as I can tell, the USA Edition isn't actually available in the UK, so you'll have to pick between the World Edition or the Early Explorers edition. My dual nationality family situation means that I can receive it in France though, so I'll definitely be investigating.

Prices depend on the length of your subsription : £12 per month, £60 for 6 months, £108 for 12 months for Early Explorers;  £10 per month, £50 for 6 months, £90 for 12 months for World Edition.

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.

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