The World at Your Kitchen Table
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The World at Your Kitchen Table

One of our missions at Pack-n-Go Girls is to open up our children’s eyes to the world around them. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of school, homework, sports, arts, or simply putting food on the table that we can go weeks, months, years without stepping outside our own personal bubbles. How are you helping your kids learn about the world around them?

The editor of National Geographic Traveler recently shared a great geography game we can all play at our kitchen tables. Each person names a place starting with the letter of the last letter of the place last said. For example: If I start with PariS, my son, Will, might say SpaiN, and my daughter, Sarah, might say New Mexico.

While maybe more well suited for the couch or car, two other great games to help your kids learn more about our country and our world are Stack the States and Stack the Countries. You can learn state and country capitals, landmarks, flags, relative size, geographic locations, and more. And the best part is stacking them. If you aren’t careful, your states/countries will fall off the stack!

Games are good, but so are conversations. Talking with your kids about the world can help them discover old and new civilizations, understand the impacts of ecological and economic systems, learn how cultures are born and shaped (including how we came to be who we are), explore ways we can contribute to our interconnected world, and appreciate the diversity that each person brings.

Luckily, my kids have a grandmother who is a World History teacher, so we have had quite a few conversations about the Greek and Roman Empires at the kitchen table. Of course, she is not here all the time to share. So, at our house, we sometimes simply discuss Starbucks coffee mugs. Yup, you heard me. I am lucky enough to get a few national and international trips in for business here and there. When I do, I try to visit local coffee shops wherever I am, as well as, dare I say, a “local” Starbucks to purchase a souvenir mug. My son often inquires via Skype whether or not I’ve been able to scope out said Starbucks and acquire said coffee mug so he knows whether or not to “make room” for one more on the shelf. Each mug has a unique picture and makes for an interesting discussion with my kids about a different state or country. And each morning at home, we ask, “Where are we are going today?” This morning I had cappuccino “in” Copenhagen and went to Denmark. At the kitchen table, we discussed how Maersk is based in Denmark, and my son informed me that they just launched the largest container ship in the world, the Maersk Triple E, and oh by the way, that Lego has released its namesake as well.

What conversations about the world are you having at the kitchen table?