Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for Little Passports and, as an ambassador, I received a year’s subscription to the World Edition of Little Passports. Once a month, I’m sharing some Montessori-inspired activities featuring Little Passports. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Of course, all opinions are my own.
I previously wrote about the first package in my “Montessori-Inspired Little Passports Global Adventure” post. The first package contained the Little Passports suitcase, passport, and world map used each month (along with a letter from Sam and Sofia, activity sheet, stickers, and a boarding pass with access to online games and activities). The second package and my second post focused on the country of Brazil.
Today, I’m writing about the third package, which focuses on the country of Japan. I’m sharing some ideas for using it in a Montessori-inspired curriculum. The Little Passports materials could work especially well for summer learning, afterschooling, or in a Montessori homeschool with children of multiple ages. The World Edition is a monthly subscription recommended for ages 5-10. A total of 24 different adventures are available in the series. I’m sharing activities that would allow preschoolers to join in the adventures as well.
Contents of the Little Passports Japan Package:
- A letter from Sam and Sophia, your child’s travel companions. This adds interest to a world study for a wide range of ages.
- Souvenirs themed around the chosen country. This month’s souvenir is origami paper and instructions.
- An activity sheet for the country. This will generally be best for 5-10 year olds.
- A picture from the country. This month’s picture is of Sam and Sophia in Japan.
Picture of a Uakari MonkeyPicture of a Uakari MonkeyPicture of a Uakari Monkey
- A passport stamp.
- A map marker.
- A sticker for the suitcase.
- A “boarding pass” for access to online content about the country. This month’s boarding pass has an activity to create and print out an ema wish tablet, an activity to create a customized Japanese menu by answering questions, and a map activity with a tour of Japan (which includes a printable photo album). The online activities are recommended for ages 5-10, although younger child could easily be included in the Japan activities. I especially appreciate the country tour and photo pages each month. I would definitely print out the pages for each Little Passports country as a way to reinforce what’s learned about each country.
This month’s boarding pass to Brazil had fun trivia questions about Brazil as well as an interactive soccer game. – See more at: http://www.peaceloveorganicmom.com/2013/05/traveling-to-brazil-with-little.html#sthash.NohmOxUG.dpuf
Following are some suggestions on how you can make Little Passports Montessori-inspired and have it work for multiple ages at home.
If you sign up for a subscription, you could do activities related to the month’s package and then focus on the continent box for the continent of the next package’s country. I recommend focusing on the continent for the next country you’ll be receiving when your children are finished with the focus of their present package (maybe two weeks with the package’s country and then start focusing on the continent for the next country.)
The first package had a global focus, so you could have done any sort of continent map work in connection with the first package. After that, it’s best if your children have a chance to work with continent box materials before the country package arrives (possibly for the two weeks preceding your work with the specific country). I have a post with Montessori-Inspired Continent Activities with Animal Figures and Landmarks – Asia that would work well with Asia continent box activities during the two weeks before and after the study of Japan.
Map Unfolding and Folding and Country Matching Activity
I would include this activity for each country. Map unfolding and folding makes a great Montessori-inspired practical life activity. I’d recommend showing your child how to carefully unfold and fold the world map that comes with the first package. If you feel that would be too difficult for your child, you could always laminate the map and put it up on the wall.
For the Japan package, I traced Japan on the map and cut out the country piece from a foam sheet. I just cut out the basic shape, although you could cut out each island. Your child could place the matching foam piece on the world map, maybe using Velcro if your map is laminated and hung up. I included Brazil on the tray to reinforce the work done last month with the Brazil package.
Sushi Eraser Practical Life Transfer Activity
You could prepare a simple practical life activity using the sushi eraser and quick sticks from Montessori Services, chopsticks (for older children), or both (for multiple levels). The eraser comes in two parts, so your child could move each part from left to a place to the right using the quick sticks or chopsticks and then reattach the eraser the same way.
Origami for Multiple Ages
The Japan Pack has a package of origami paper with directions for making origami designs. You’ll find origami designs for a variety of levels in the package. I prepared an origami tray for multiple levels. I added a simple origami pattern using a free printable for preschoolers. You could add different diagrams and papers according to your children’s levels and interests.
You’ll find the tulip diagram and many others at Easy Origami (Origami Club). Origami Club is a free site with printable origami designs for 5 levels from very easy (1 star) to very difficult (5 stars). I just used colored typing paper cut into a square for a larger origami activity for a preschooler. For a preschooler, you might want to pre-crease the paper and/or do each step with another paper while your child follows the directions on the diagram and your step-by-step demonstration.
Other Japan Activities
I just photographed activities that used a material from the Little Passports Japan package, but I would definitely include some rice activities for preschoolers. It would be very simple to create a rice pouring activity or rice transfer using quick sticks or chopsticks. For preschoolers, I would also recommend a simple excavation sensory tub with letters, words, numerals, colors, shapes, or whatever you’d like to hide (according to whichever concept your child is working on) in a small (maybe shoebox size) tub of rice.
You can make your study of Japan as simple or as elaborate as you wish. I especially think a variation of the Japanese tea ceremony would be wonderful for a number of ages.
More about Little Passports
You can sign up for 3 months ($13.95/month with a one-time payment of $41.85), 6 months ($13.95/month with a one-time payment of $83.70), 12 months ($10.95/month with a one-time payment of $131.40), or monthly ($11.95/month, billed monthly and can be cancelled any time).
The USA Edition for 7-12 year olds has the same payment plans and prices as the World Edition. For the first month, the USA Edition subscription starts with the Discovery Kit which comes in a custom Sam and Sofia USA Portfolio and includes:
- An introductory letter from Sam and Sofia
- USA Field Guide
- USA Scratch Book
- USA Wall Map
- Disposable Camera and Photo Scavenger Hunt
Every month after the first month, your child will visit 2 new states and receive:
- A 32-page activity-packed journal covering 2 states
- Pop-out Models
- Access to more information and activities online
You can find out more and subscribe at Little Passports.
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