This post is sponsored by National Geographic Kids.
Sometimes, I get a little frustrated by my kids’ obsessions. Because, well, who really wants to hear about Minecraft or Rainbow Loom 24/7, right?
My daughter loves animals. Her walls are covered with posters of cute, fluffy kittens, big-eyed dogs, majestic horses, cuddly bunnies, you name it.
My son…sigh. He loves video games. He regales me with tales of what he’s created or the enemies he fought or the different achievements he’s acquired.
But what would happen if you could take that obsession and turn it into a learning opportunity? Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Well you can. And it’s easy as finding the right nonfiction material for your kids.
Your kid’s probably read a book (say, Harry Potter) and then gotten totally fascinated with wizardry. Well, this works in reverse, too. Start with the fascination and help it grow.
If you can find great nonfiction material that dovetails with your kids’ obsession, they’ll gobble it up AND have fun while doing it!
National Geographic Kids has a great series of nonfiction books that can turn lots of different kid obsessions into learning opportunities.
For girls and boys who are crazy about animals…
National Geographic is THE perfect place to find great educational materials about animals. They have over 100 titles devoted specifically to the animal kingdom, and range from encyclopedias to targeted books on very specific topics.
My daughter is currently devouring a new title called How To Speak Dog.
How To Speak Dog teaches kids all about why dogs behave the way they do. What does it mean when their lips are curled over their teeth? What if they roll on their back expose their belly to you? Why does my dog squirm and try to get away from me when Iholdandsqueezeandhughimohsotight? (I KNOW your kids do this, too!)
How To Speak Dog teaches kids how to read the signs that dogs send us in National Geographic’s signature way: with engaging text that gets kids talking, fun sidebar facts, and great captioned images that both teach and make kids laugh.
For kids who love the ocean…
Check out Alien Deep, which is all about ocean exploration.
For kids who are crazy about puzzles…
A book like Xtreme Illusions will keep them fascinated by the ever-changing patterns and shapes.
Maybe your child loves the extremes in things: gory facts, wild bits of trivia, learning the weirdest possible things about the world around him.
Try Ultimate Weird But True (my kids love these)
If your child loves to travel…
a World Atlas is a perfect companion to road trips.
If she loves finding gems and rocks…
Rocks and Minerals will help her identify what she’s seeing and collecting.
Kids who like to get their hands dirty?
Check out That’s Gross.
And boys like Boy Wonder, who simply love their video games? Well, there’s nonfiction for them, too.
The Angry Birds book series gives kids the science behind the video game, delving into things like astronomy, physics, animal behavior and space exploration. It marries the fun and excitement of the fictional Angry Birds characters (and their various worlds, like Star Wars) with real-life science.
For example, Angry Birds Star Wars explains robot characters, then teaches kids about real-life data gathering robots. Or takes an indepth look at the armor used on PigTroopers and Stormtroopers, and gives kids a look into the armor used by modern day soliders: once again, all with great images, great graphics, and engaging text.
So the next time you roll your eyes at your kids’ obsessions du jour, think about whether there’s a way for them to actually learn something from what they’re currently loving so much! If you’re in a Common Core state, it’s a perfect time to be thinking about this as we move toward a greater emphasis on nonfiction.
And to get you started, I’m giving away a set of the Angry Birds books by National Geographic Kids. One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive National Geographic Angry Birds Star Wars, National Geographic Angry Birds, and National Geographic Angry Birds Furious Forces! (retail value $40)
Rules of Giveaway:
The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. It will begin at midnight on October 28, 2013 and will end at midnight on November 3, 2013. Your mandatory entry is to leave a comment here: what are your kids obsessed with right now? (make sure your entry is recorded in the Rafflecopter widget). Additional optional entries are available. Additional rules of the giveaway appear in the Rafflecopter below.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by National Geographic Kids. I did not receive compensation, but do get access to free books and other products.