Geography in Early Childhood

Geography in Early Childhood

Imagine going on a walk with your child. You are walking down a street that you both regularly take strolls on. There are trees with white blossoms, tiny birds chirping around, and you pass by a bookstore that your child visits often. After that long walking trail, your child has seen, felt, and experienced the surroundings. You may not realize it; your child is learning geography acquiring geographical sense.

It is essential as humans to understand Geography and acquire a sense of it. It plays a crucial role in developing a child's awareness about people, places, and the environment.

Understanding geography is important for all people. When you take your child for a walk or travel to near and far places, the child starts identifying their hometown, community, and how they fit in it. Not just that, they will begin to recognize trees, plants, and flowers. And will be able to watch flowers bloom and leaves fall. These experiences help children get accustomed to changes. When the child experiences a place repeatedly, they will start assigning memories and meanings to the place.

A child starts getting a sense of the place at a very young age- in early childhood. When that happens, their curiosity grows, their five senses yearn for more, and the child wants to explore and manipulate all the materials around to see what they can do, to understand the world around them. A child is usually born ready to know more, to learn more. In preschools and primary educational spaces, geography is taught as a subject by focusing on map-making activities. There, a child acquires theoretical knowledge, which is excellent but inadequate. Human geography is the relationship between humans and their natural environment. This lets children know that a physical world around them surrounds them. And that they share social and cultural values with others. This plays a significant role in developing self-identities. Sense of place becomes part of what adults need to be considered geo-literate—having the tools to protect cultural and natural resources, reduce conflicts, and improve the quality of life globally. Through interactions with the environment and others, children develop geo-literacy skills, become empowered, and see themselves as capable social beings.

With digital screens all around, children don't have the same experiences with the environment as their older generations. Playing or roaming around the neighborhood is rare among children now. Decision-makers around them need to take active steps to get the child out for a walk, maybe to a park. While you are at the park, and if you have ROYBI with you, the child can be in nature and listen to ROYBI speak about plants and butterflies.

To get children more connected to geography, ROYBI has facts and trivia that can engage the child in learning about a place before visiting that place. Spatial thinking is one of the best ways to think a child can develop as they grow. To greater or lesser extents, all individuals use this thinking to interact with the world around them. It's a unique way of thinking about the world and interacting. A student who has acquired strong spatial-thinking skills and language is at a distinct advantage in our increasingly global and technologically interconnected society.

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