Miss O has a new obsession. Remember a few months ago when I write about the 6 Adorable School Holiday Activities, I have gotten Miss O a three-month subscription on Little Passports's World Edition. Since then she has always looked forward to receiving its packages in the mail. As for me, I use Little Passports as a tool to teach Miss O a few things about other cultures and the world. For one who is not a natural at creating activities for children, Little Passports is really handy to have around. We have great experience with Little Passports, so today I decided to blog about it and share my perspective on the product. However, I have to say that while I love Little Passports, I am also aware that not everyone shares the same views. So yeah, all opinions are mine and mine alone.
So What is Little Passports?
For those who don't know what Little Passports is all about, it is a monthly subscription of global adventure activity packs where little ones can learn about different histories, geographies, cultures and languages around the world.
Every month Little Passports will send a package especially addressed to the child-recipient, and that's a great thing because kids these days rarely receive something in the mail, so it is really something to look forward to. It really got Miss O excited about the mails and the mailbox. I got O the World Edition, and there is plenty to explore despite my initial impression. Anyway, you could find out more about Little Passports here.
Little Passports uses a bit of storytelling to introduce children into the program. So basically the story started with two friends - Sam and Sofia - discovering a scooter with a teleporting GPS, and the two buddies used the scooter to travel around the world.
It All Started with the Little Blue Suitcase...
The first item that O received in the mail was the Little Passports' signature World Edition blue suitcase. It looks as good as the picture and it sparked O's imagination right away. She even uses it for her pretend travelling game along with her soft toys. It's great to see the suitcase has other use.
Along with the suitcase, O also received:
- a giant map of the world - O went straight for this one. And part of the activities are based on reading the map.
- an introduction letter from Sam and Sofia - your virtual tour guides. The characters introduce the activities to your child, and they will also introduce each of the country through the letters that come with each package.
- a passport book - at the beginning of the program, the passport book contains questions about travelling experience, the countries they might like to visit and so on, and as the program continues, it serves as a way to track down which countries the child has 'visited'.
- Sam and Sofia stickers, and later on, country and flag stickers - the stickers are for their little passports suitcase and passport. I love this concept! It's kind of like in the old days when they still use stickers to mark luggage as people travel to different countries.
- a photo postcard of Sam and Sofia riding their scooter (with the magic GPS) in the garage
- activity sheet - the first one contains hints on the first country in the series
- luggage tag with the access password to the online activities
After the first package, we continue to receive monthly packages containing activities for different countries. The first one we received was that of Brazil, and the next one in the subscription was Japan. Miss O was also thrilled to receive souvenirs along with the activity sheets, and she treated these like treasures. For me, an adult, the trinkets don't really mean anything, but for her it really sparked her imagination on visiting other countries. So far she has received a piece of amethyst from Brazil and a sushi eraser from Japan.
As for the activities, they are not designed to be completed independently. Rather, the children need the help of an adult to go through them. O is six years old and she is a proficient reader for her age, but even if she could read the activity sheet and the online quiz by herself, she is not yet equipped with the skill she needs to find out the answer to the questions. I have to guide her through the whole process of checking out the map and sometimes searching for the answers in Google or Wikipedia. From my perspective it is a great way for parents to interact with their children at home, doing interesting and educational activities. I think the creator of the program has done a great job in designing the whole learning process for the children. O loves finding out the answers together with me and she actually revisit the online games by herself after we finish with them. She surprised us with how much information she retained - she came to my unsuspecting husband with facts about Brazil and actually prompted a conversation about the said country.
Quiz is not the only activities available from Little Passports. Some of the most interesting activities come in the form of recipes or craft instructions. The package from Brazil included a recipe of brigadeiro - a popular traditional chocolate treat from Brazil, and the package from Japan included origami instruction along with Japanese origami paper and instruction on how to make koinobori (carp kite) for children's day in Japan along with explanation on its significance. These are a great way to spend relaxing afternoon with your children while learning about different countries at the same time.
O herself has pretended she is on a trip or a journey more often now ever since she receives her blue suitcase, and it's great to see how Little Passports has helped to develop her interest towards travelling and toward knowing more about other countries. And when she's busy with the imaginary travelling (along with Little E, of course), I just make myself a cup of tea and have a well-deserved time with myself.
My Final Thoughts?
Little Passports is a great educational program that is well suited to parents who need a little help in coming up with ideas for their children's activities. It costs A$12.95 + shipping monthly, and if you have the money, it is great for the exciting experience that it has to offer for your children. The learning occurs when the child has to read maps, getting himself/herself familiar with geography and finding out about other cultures, and receiving a package in the mail every month definitely is very exciting for the child recipient.
One thing that I observed: Little Passports may not be for parents who are unable to spare the time to guide their children through the activities or for parents who expect to receive fancy trinkets or merchandise in the mail. The value of Little Passports is in the presentation of the educational content - it's so simple and engaging that kids can actually remember what they have learnt.
Miss O looks forward to every package, and in between the package, she revisits the previous countries again and again. As for the online quiz and games, your child needs to be somewhat proficient in elementary-level reading, but I don't see this as a problem for me, because I enjoyed spending the time with her. All in all, the enjoyment really comes from finding out new interesting facts about other countries and doing different cultural activities.
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*I share my posts at these link parties. Check them out for more inspirations!// NOTE // This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click one of the links to Little Passports website and make a purchase I will get a small amount of commission at no additional cost on your side. Tickled Pink Confetti does not own Little Passports or its intellectual properties. However, all opinions regarding Little Passports are totally my own. Thank you so much for your support!