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Tips on How to Introduce Kids to Geography

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Most families don’t have the funds to fly the whole brood across the globe, let alone the whole country. But that doesn’t mean your children shouldn’t learn about who and what’s out there.

Thanks to Amy Norman and Stella Ma, there’s now a fun and easy way (Jennifer Garner is a fan!) to teach your little ones about other countries and states.

To help get kids excited about geography, the two moms created Little Passports, a kids subscription service that sends monthly packages full of cool activities about different cultures, major landmarks, historic events and more.

Ready to explore the world with your tots? Norman and Ma share some helpful tips that you can follow without ever leaving your hometown. Check them out below:

Pull out a map. Take turns closing your eyes and picking a spot on the map. Then open your eyes and read the country’s name and capitol, and then discuss where that country is in the world e.g. how close is it to the U.S.A., to the equator, or to the North or South Pole.

Try a new recipe. Cooking can also be an excellent learning experience. If you plan on visiting a state you’ve never been before, find a recipe that is traditional to that area and make it with your family. For example, N.Y.C. and Chicago are famous for their pizza and California is known for their authentic corn tortillas.

Share old travel photos. Did you visit somewhere special in your teens or even as an adult without the kids? Whether it was a ski trip in the Rockies or a visit to the Eiffel Tower, pull out those old photographs and share your stories with your children. You can take it a little further by pulling out a map or globe and showing your child the location in relation to where you live.

Explore music from other cultures. It’s easy to forget that a lot of American music was influenced by all the many people who came here from other countries. Give your child a lesson on a specific genre – jazz is a good one because it has a rich culture and history – by borrowing books and CDs from the library. You can also attend a local concert so they can see and hear the music performed live.

Little Passports Amy Norman Stella Ma

Courtesy Little Passports

Take a virtual trip. If your budget doesn’t allow for a journey that involves a flight and a passport, traveling the Internet can be just as educational and rewarding. For example if you have Irish ancestry, search the Web for cool facts (history, traditions, foods and more!) and photos of Ireland. The Little Passports Pinterest page can also help you visually explore a specific country.

Watch foreign films. Movies are a very powerful way to introduce your kids to other countries. Do a quick Web search on the best family-friendly foreign films and then set a date to watch at home. Once the movie is over, spend some time discussing not only the plot, but the cultural differences you noticed. Also keep an eye out for local kids film festivals. They often include foreign movies that are worth seeing.

Attend a cultural festival. Many cities hold events that celebrate different cultures and they’re often rich with experiences that feel just as authentic as being at the real thing. For example, Seattle holds an annual Bastille Day Festival to celebrate France’s Independence Day. And every July, Denver and Boston host the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. On Labor Day, the West Indian Day parade makes its way through Brooklyn complete with beautiful floats from every island.

Little Passports Kids Subscription Company

Courtesy Little Passports

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GILT Baby & Kids

Courtesy Gilt Groupe

Next week, GILT Baby & Kids is hosting a few fab sales worth checking out. You’ll find loads of chic toys, accessories, shoes and clothing from LeapFrog (2/24), Brooks Brothers Kids (2/25), Cuddly Easter Toys (2/26), Easter Dresses (2/26), Joyfolie Shoes (2/27), and more!

Our picks: The Peter Rabbit Jack in the Box (now $25) and the Joyfolie Ellie Mary Jane (now $66), above.

Not a member of Gilt? Use our exclusive link to sign up.

Babyhome

Courtesy Babyhome

Babyhome The company’s Dream cot, is well, a dream! Enter for your chance to win one in Babyhome’s My Dream Nursery contest. Go to their Facebook page to find out all the details.

Klever Kids

Courtesy Klever Kids

Klever Kids Love stylish kiddie duds? Then you’ll love the offerings from this chic children’s brand. And right now, they’re offering 40 percent off when you enter code: PMB at checkout.

Rue La La

Courtesy Rue La La

Little Rue for Rue La La Next week, this exclusive online sales site is offering great sales on covetable kiddie goods including Little Pim (2/24), Absorba (2/25), Columbia Kids (2/26) and Kidkraft (2/27).

Not a member of Rue La La? Use our exclusive link to sign up.

Old Navy

Courtesy Old Navy

Old Navy It’s time to stock up! Through Sunday, all of their adorable kids styles are up to 40 percent off online and in stores.

Patemm

Courtesy Patemm

Patemm We’re big fans of their stylish (and handy!) changing mats, so we were happy to hear they’ve launched a new collection for parents including an iPad Soft cover ($40), perfect pouch ($24), pitaka purse ($18) and multi-purpose pouch ($22).

Pipopipo Clothing

Courtesy Pipopipo Clothing

Pipopipo Clothing Not only are the company’s socks super cute, but they’re made with eco-friendly materials and feature a non-slip bottom.

Want to try them out? Until March 1, they’re offering Moms & Babies readers an exclusive discount. Just enter code: People for 15 percent off.

Rayil Kids

Courtesy Rayil Kids

Rayil Kids We can’t get over how adorable this Indian-inspired kids collection is. The lightweight pieces are perfect for kids on the go. Right now, they’re offering 20 percent off on all pre-orders with the code: RAYILFAB20.

Schwinn

Courtesy Schwinn

Schwinn Love to bike with your better half? The company is giving you a chance to win a bike for you and him through their new Perfect Rendezvous sweepstakes. Get all the details here.

Thyme Maternity

Courtesy Thyme Maternity

Thyme Maternity Stock up on maternity basics that won’t break your budget from this stylish mom-to-be brand. Right now, you can find tops and bottoms at 50 percent off.

Our pick: The chic Maternity Cowl-Neck Sweater (now $20, originally $40), which is available in light blue, pink and tan.

Zarbees

Courtesy Zarbee’s

Zarbee’s Unfortunately, it’s flu season. Luckily, there’s a natural way to help your little one feel better — this safe and effective cough syrup (Kristin Davis is a fan!) created by a pediatrician and dad of four. Right now, they’re offering $1.50 off your order when you enter code: zarbees11 at checkout.

Zulily

Courtesy Zulily

Zulily With over 10 million members, this daily deals site continues to feature the most coveted brands for moms, babies and kids.

Here’s what’s coming up this week: 2/23 – Fresh Picked Girls Dresses and 2/26 – phil&teds

Also, check out the brand’s new, adorable commercial here.

GILT Baby & Kids

Courtesy Gilt Groupe

Next week, GILT Baby & Kids is hosting a few fab sales worth checking out. You’ll find loads of chic toys, accessories, shoes and clothing from Jacadi (2/17), Darcy Brown (2/17), A Pea in a Pod Maternity (2/18), Guidecraft (2/19), Alex Toys (2/19), Pink Chicken Girls (2/20), Neige Kids (2/20) and more!

Our picks: The A Pea in a Pod Ribbed Cardigan (now $45, originally $100) and the Jacadi Rubber Boots (now $22, originally $66), above.

Not a member of Gilt? Use our exclusive link to sign up.

Babyhome

Courtesy Babyhome

Babyhome The company’s Dream cot, is well, a dream! Enter for your chance to win one in Babyhome’s My Dream Nursery contest. Go to their Facebook page to find out all the details.

Klever Kids

Courtesy Klever Kids

Klever Kids Love stylish kiddie duds? Then you’ll love the offerings from this chic children’s brand. And right now, they’re offering 40 percent off when you enter code: PMB at checkout.

Lazoo

Courtesy Lazoo

Lazoo Until Feb. 17, they’re showing some love and holding a pre-sale on all their spring stock, including this adorable top (left). Just enter code: VALENTINE at checkout for 40 percent off.

Rue La La

Courtesy Rue La La

Little Rue for Rue La La Next week, this exclusive online sales site is offering great sales on covetable kiddie goods including Ravensburger Toys (2/16), Kidorable Kids D cor (2/16), FAO Schwartz Toys (2/19) and Mia Belle Kids Clothing (2/20).

Not a member of Rue La La? Use our exclusive link to sign up.

Nomie Baby

Courtesy Nomie Baby

Nomie Baby Now that the seasons are changing, nomie baby’s toddler and infant stroller blankets are ideal for warm cozy strolls. For 15 percent off your entire order, enter promo code: fallnb15 at checkout.

Patemm

Courtesy Patemm

Patemm We’re big fans of their stylish (and handy!) changing mats, so we were happy to hear they’ve launched a new collection for parents including an iPad Soft cover ($40), perfect pouch ($24), pitaka purse ($18) and multi-purpose pouch ($22).

Pipopipo Clothing

Courtesy Pipopipo Clothing

Pipopipo Clothing Not only are the company’s socks super cute, but they’re made with eco-friendly materials and feature a non-slip bottom.

Want to try them out? Until March 1, they’re offering Moms & Babies readers an exclusive discount. Just enter code: People for 15 percent off.

Rayil Kids

Courtesy Rayil Kids

Rayil Kids We can’t get over how adorable this Indian-inspired kids collection is. The lightweight pieces are perfect for kids on the go. Right now, they’re offering 20 percent off on all pre-orders with the code: RAYILFAB20.

Thyme Maternity

Courtesy Thyme Maternity

Thyme Maternity Stock up on maternity basics that won’t break your budget from this stylish mom-to-be brand. Right now, you can find tops and bottoms at 50 percent off.

Our pick: The chic Maternity Cowl-Neck Sweater (now $20, originally $40), which is available in light blue, pink and tan.

Tiny Revolutionary

Courtesy Tiny Revolutionary

Tiny Revolutionary Show your little one love with these cute message tees that are now 30 percent off for Valentine’s Day. Just enter code: LOVE13 at checkout. Our pick: The adorable Recycle Love One Piece (now $17.50).

Zarbees

Courtesy Zarbee’s

Zarbee’s Unfortunately, it’s flu season. Luckily, there’s a natural way to help your little one feel better — this safe and effective cough syrup (Kristin Davis is a fan!) created by a pediatrician and dad of four. Right now, they’re offering $1.50 off your order when you enter code: zarbees11 at checkout.

Zulily

Courtesy Zulily

Zulily With over 10 million members, this daily deals site continues to feature the most coveted brands for moms, babies and kids.

Here’s what’s coming up this week: 2/17 – Kids’ Furniture & D cor, 2/19 – Coney Island Kids Clothing (left)

Valentine's Day Gifts for Kids

Courtesy Museum of Modern Art

Looking for fun ways to celebrate the mini loves in your life?

From wooden blocks and yummy cupcakes to heart-print tights, we’ve found loads of goodies that are sure to earn you lots of kisses from your tot. Check them out below.

VIEW THE GALLERY: 23 Kid-Friendly Valentine’s Day Treats

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