As part of our Around the World theme in preschool, I put together a collection of souvenirs and trinkets from various countries that we would be “visiting” during our trip. Placing them all in a suitcase made it feel like we were bringing those souvenirs home, but it also it was a great way to build anticipation for our thematic travels.
The suitcase contained many trinkets I’d collected from a trip to Europe, but also some gifts I’d received from foreign friends and family who had also traveled abroad. Before we dove too deep into our Around the World theme, I wanted to share with the children some unusual and fun items from various countries. The following are some things I included:
- two silk scarves
- two coin purses, once from Greece and one from Mexico
- a molcajete my husband brought home from Mexico
- a Spanish fan
- a hand carved wooden bird from Holland
- a strand of natural pearls from a friend in Denmark
- a jade bracelet my grandfather gave my grandmother from while he was stationed in Japan
- two hand woven bags from Mexico
- a trinket of the Eiffel Tower from France
- a trinket of Socrates from Greece
- a trinket of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from Italy
Introducing the Around the World Suitcase
I began by just allowing the preschoolers to look at the contents of the suitcase. They were curious and wanted to hold the contents, but that would come soon. I shared with the preschoolers that the trinkets were from all around the world, and part of the fun of traveling is finding things that are new and different to us. I told them we were going to explore world and pick up some of these trinkets along the way.
At the mention of exploring the world, I showed the children a world map. Then, I invited each student to select an item from the suitcase for me to tell the class about. One by one, I shared the items with the preschoolers, giving the name and use, and then showed them where it came from on the map. We gently placed it on (or sometimes near) the country of origin.
We were now ready for our travels. My preschoolers had built up so much excitement for our Around the World unit study.
Books we read
The following are some books we read as part of our Around the World theme.
I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction