Follow the brown signs
I was very excited to be tweeted at the other day by a cool bunch of geographers (they exist, I promise you) called The Geography Collective who launched a great website last year called Mission: Explore. They have an affiliated iPhone app and now 2 books that are packed full of missions for kids to do. They aim to get children noticing the world around them and engaging with their surroundings by completing lots of fun and diverse exercises. They’re designed to get kids actually doing and thinking for themselves, and (thank God) encourages them to move away from their computer and TV screens and playing in the outside world. There are hundreds to do and the variety is huge so every mission makes you think in new and interesting ways. Some missions are location specific so if you are using the iPhone app it recognises your location and lists missions near you (oh iPhone I say I don’t want you, but I really do) and many can be completed anywhere.
Here’s an example of one of my favourites:
Design a game
Think carefully about the objects, patterns and other things you can use to help you make up your game.
Mission number: ME1154
Try to design a game that doesn’t involve a lot of shouty stuff or throwing spiky objects.
Cool huh? Clearly I am a big fan of getting kids noticing and doing and engaging so when cool geographer Dan from The Geography Collective tweeted that my brown signs idea would make a good mission for Mission: Explore I jumped at the chance to write one for them, and they liked it!
It has just been added to the site and is here if you would like to have a look… Go Brown Sign Collecting! and even better accept the mission and do it yourself or with your kids, and be sure to tell me how you’re getting on!