Yesterday morning I was reading about the possible discovery of another planet, Tyche. It’s at the ends of our solar system, which is partially why we had yet to see it. While the jury is still out on its final classification, learning that we do have 9 planets (sorry Pluto) would certainly be an exciting moment. Imagine my surprise when my Hugg-A-Planets arrived on the same day. Talk about a coincidence! Hugg-A-Planets are products from Peace Toys that are soft pillow-like globes. They are fantastic educational tools that I could not pass up. My daughter’s little brain is currently trying to wrap around the complex idea that we live on a round planet, surrounded by other planets and stars (among other outerspace inhabitants). We have been practicing planet orders (from the sun) which has become one of her favorite daily lessons. When a child shows interest in anything, RUN WITH IT! My daughter has a seemingly short attention span, so when she is excited to learn I kick into overdrive.
Grasping the scale of our galaxy may be difficult for an adult, let alone a child, so for now we’re working on a smaller scale. I find it extremely important to teach my daughter not only countries, states, and capitals, but also the grand idea that she is not the only person on Earth. I think global awareness is crucial to learn as a young child. It makes it easier to teach them about current events (natural disasters, political turmoil, poverty, etc) fueling a passion to help others around the world. It tugs at my heart strings to watch my daughter show compassion at the knowledge of other people’s misfortunes (especially when she can find the country on the map). The Hugg-A-Planet Earth is super detailed with brightly colored countries, making it a useful educational tool. We keep it around when watching CNN so we can point out where the stories are taking place. I love that my four year old somewhat understands what is happening in Egypt, and definitely knows where it is on the globe! My daughter has been in love with the night sky for years now, so the Hugg-a-Moon was also a super exciting addition for her. She is mesmerized by the different stages of the moon, and now we can discuss historical moon landmarks as well. Over a 100 landmarks are printed on the moon, and it’s in exact proportion to the Earth.
Hugg-A-Star is Peace Toys’ celestial globe. It features all 88 constellations, all in their proper position within the Milky Way. What a fantastic learning tool for your mini stargazer or aspiring astronomer! The bright colors help set the star constellations apart from each other. My daughter loves to run her finger over them, tracing, connecting the “dots”. Keeping with my daughter’s night sky obsessions, this helpful globe makes it easier for my daughter to pick out constellations. Bringing it close to home, Hugg America is a detailed soft map of The Unites States. States, capitals, and other major cities are all noted on the flat pillow. Even Alaska and Hawaii are included to scale on the back. This one is especially fun for my daughter because she can find her “house” on the map, and then trace routes to grandma’s house across the country, and to other friends and family members in other states. When she gets to a new state, she asks me “who lives here?” When we don’t know anyone in that particular state, she says, “okay, we need to meet friends there.” I think she’s making a mental checklist… These cushy guys will for sure be staples in our at-home learning lessons for years to come.
Special thanks to Peace Toys for providing samples for review purposes.