Are you homeschooling? Do you have a child between the ages of three and twelve? Does your child enjoy receiving mail? Are you looking for a fun way to teach geography? You should consider a Little Passports subscription! Early Explorers helps preschoolers (3-5) explore all seven continents and corresponding landmarks, music, animals and more. The World Edition uses letters, souvenirs, and activities from Sam and Sofia to show children ages 5-10 countries around the world. Designed for 7-12 year-olds, the U.S. Edition provides logs and activity journals for learning about all 50 states.
I’ve been eyeing Little Passports for a while, ready to subscribe as soon as Samuel seemed ready to tackle the world edition. Little Passport’s set up seemed perfect for his learning style. I’m sure you can imagine my delight when Little Passports launched their newest program, Early Explorers, and Samuel was smack dab in the middle of the suggested age range (3-5)! How perfect!
The first month, Samuel was super excited to get his bright orange suitcase in the mail. We immediately hung up the big, colorful wall map and explored the continents, singing the contents song. Samuel stuck his stickers on his suitcase and eagerly filled out the passport in one go. We were excited for the next month’s package!
The first “regular” (meaning non-introductory) month came a week or two ago. It included another passport/workbook, a couple stickers, a totally awesome flashlight adventure, and five little figures of famous world landmarks. Samuel, again, was excited about the passport, figures, and the flashlight adventure . . . SO cool! However, my knowledge thirsty little boy was left dry and I was left feeling inadequate. There was no information about any of the landmarks. My own lack of world knowledge was highlighted as I simply had very little to say about Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China. I could recognize the Sphinx, the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but I knew very little about them, and I felt like an explorer without a compass (or GPS if I want to be all modern ;) ).
My understanding is that the World and US editions have additional online content to expand the adventures for inquiring minds. I wonder if there are plans to roll out some of these things for Early Explorers in the future. I hope that I just happen to be jumping in at the brand-new, baby stages and Little Passports hasn’t had a chance to show us everything it’s got. Max, Mia and Toby are the characters we see every month but they are fairly abstracted from the rest of the program. They send a picture to match the theme, but with no explanation, just the photo. The absence of a story or letter was the biggest disappointment. The map has landmarks that aren’t named anywhere. Despite these shortcomings, I think the program is a great way to spark interest. I find that, with my little one, imagination and curiosity needs a little spark, and learning takes flight. For me, it’s a matter of knowing I’m going to have to do some footwork on my own.
Bottom Line: Early Explorers is not a complete curriculum, but it’s a fantastic base to bring out the little world traveler in your preschooler. Because this is a monthly subscription, the monetary risk isn’t as high as other homeschool curriculums. You can pay up front, but you can also go month-by-month, taking things at your own pace or stopping altogether if the program simply isn’t a fit. It’s great.
If you like the program, but don’t want to spend time searching for additional materials, feel free to use some of the resources below that we have enjoyed. I will be adding as I go along. Please share any great activities or resources you enjoy and we can add them to the list for other explorers.
Month 1: Introduction
The Continents Song
Month 2: Landmarks
Any of the landmarks can be constructed out of play dough, toothpicks, cardboard, popsicle sticks or any other materials you may have around.
Isabella: Girl on the Go
Month 3: Music
Daria – World Music for Children
*All opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any way for this review, nor was I asked to write it. There are no affiliate links*