When I tried out the Tiny Love Discover the World Mat to review, I loved getting to share my knowledge of history and geography content with my kids. As a teacher, I always enjoy sharing what I know with kids. Years ago, I earned my undergraduate degree in history at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. When I was a child, I grew up in a family bitten by the travel bug, so world cultures and geography have always interested me. Giving my children some exposure to a world map brought back vivid memories of when I was a little kid, playing geography board games with my family when I was a homeschooling preschooler. Now, as I homeschool my preschooler and my toddler, I used the product for educational purposes in my home.
Review of the World Mat
My Discover the World Mat was long and wide enough to fit both of my kids and me. We all stretched out and discussed what we saw on the product. Because of my background as a teacher, I really saw the value in the textures that the product had. Research has shown that kids learn best when they can engage as many of their five senses as possible. Giving my daughter the encouragement to touch the furry bear and other hands-on items on the mat helped her make a connection that she remembered later.
While the world mat had excellent opportunities for learning, I noticed that it had great visuals to help older kids learn about the different continents. My four year old daughter practiced saying the word “Antarctica” as she taught her younger sister about the Polar Bear. Picking up the plastic leaf, I told my daughters about how we live in North America. We discussed how the leaves in our backyard looked similar to the leaf on the mat. As my baby pulled up the elephant’s ear, I explained how when I lived in Asia as a child, I saw elephants. We contemplated how elephants lived in our local zoo, and we reflected about how our mat had taught us where some elephants were from originally.
Even though a lot of baby products I’ve tried in the past were easy for babies to outgrow quickly, the Discover the World mat had several characteristics that made it easily adaptable to multiple ages so it could grow with my baby. I liked the size of the product because it could fit kids as old as five years and I appreciated how it had content that could appeal to preschoolers. As a teacher, I noticed that the product could be used in different ways to teach children of different ages. To my baby, I talked about the textures and animals. My older daughter enjoyed learning about maps and continents. The content was easy to differentiate for different ages. I planned to continue to use the mat in the next few years as an activity center for my kids.
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