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Monday 17 October 2016

P is for Places: An ABC of Travel

It's no secret that we are a family of travelers. There's nothing I love more than packing our bags, hopping on a plane and finding ourselves in a new location, with new and exciting things for the kids to discover. Sure, travelling with kids can be stressful at times, but what we gain from the experience makes it all worth it.

Travel really is such a great way to educate kids about the world. It gives them the chance to learn about different cultures, different environments, different foods... But that education doesn't have to begin and end with the travel itself. My kids love to learn about places that we'll be visiting before our trip even begins. We read books, watch documentaries, and search the internet to learn about where we'll be going. Not only do the kids learn something new, but so to do I.

Once we're back home from a trip, the learning doesn't stop. We still read about the places we've visited, we look through our photos, and we talk about what we've seen and experienced. I often make photo books of our vacations and it got me thinking about how else we can use our travel experiences for education. Then it occurred to me... An ABC book of all the places we've been! 

I've always loved the idea of making an ABC book featuring my own photos of items/people/places that the girls are familiar with. Considering that we love travel so much, an ABC book of places was the perfect fit. 

So the girls and I got to work making a big list of all the places we've been starting with each letter of the alphabet. We chose countries, states, cities, theme parks and museums. Some letters were easy: A for Adelaide (our home city in Australia), D for Disneyland, I for Italy and India, N for New York, S for San Francisco and V for Vancouver. Some letters we had so many places on our list that we had to cut it down - it's amazing how many places start with the letter S! Other letters were much harder and we had to go through our travel photos for inspiration - which we didn't mind as we love looking back at places we've visited. Surprisingly X, Y and Z weren't too tricky, but E had us stumped for quite some time!

Once we had our list, we chose a photo or two from each location to include in our book. Seriously, this was the hardest part of the project as I take a gazillion photos everywhere we go and there were so many great ones to choose from! Plus the girls wanted to make sure that they each appeared in a fairly even number of photos. Got to love sibling rivalry!

I made our book with Shutterfly and the process was pretty simple, if a little time consuming. I'm not a fan of scrapbook style photo books, so I stuck to a simple studio style with plain black and white backgrounds. I like my photos to be the star of the book, so I avoid adding clip art or captions, but that's just my personal choice. Rather than using the text tool in Shutterfly's book making app, I made the text pages separately in Photoshop and added them to my book the same way as the photos.

Here's a look at a few of the pages...

I tried my best to keep the photos in the same alphabetical order as the list of places, but you'll notice there are a few that are out of order due to layout constraints.

We are still waiting for our new ABC photo book to arrive in the mail, but as soon as it arrives I'll be sure to update this post with photos of the finished product. The girls are excited to read their new book!

Have you ever made your own ABC book? I think it's such a fun idea and I love that my girls can learn from looking at photos of themselves and their own experiences. I hope to make more books like this with different themes down the track.

I am thrilled that this post is part of the 31 Days of ABC curated by All Done Monkey. Find out more below…

31 Days of ABC - October 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com 

 After taking a break last year, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet. I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win! So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October! Don't forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!

31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs - October 1

All Done Monkey: Creating a Preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum

A - October 2

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Apple Scented Glitter Glue and Apple Craft

B - October 3

Witty Hoots: How to Make Fabulous Button Bookmarks

C - October 4

Preschool Powol Packets: Construction Truck Preschool Action Rhyme

D - October 5

ArtsyCraftsyMom: Printable Dinosaur Alphabet Sequencing Puzzle

E - October 6

Preschool Powol Packets: Elephant Art Project and Thailand Lesson

F - October 7

Spanglish Monkey: Spanish-English ABC Flashcards

G - October 8

Royal Baloo: Simple Ghost Painting Project

H - October 9

Peakle Pie: Hide and Seek

I - October 10

Look! We're Learning!: Insect Activities for Kids

J - October 11

All Done Monkey: Olmec Jaguar Craft

K - October 12

Preschool Powol Packets: I Am a Kite Action Rhyme for Preschool

L - October 13

Raising a Trilingual Child: Letter Learning with a Multilingual Twist

M - October 14

Creative World of Varya

N - October 15

Peakle Pie: Narwhal Fingerprint Pictures

O - October 16

For the Love of Spanish: O es de Oso

P - October 17

Little Hiccups

Q - October 18

All Done Monkey

R - October 19

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

S - October 20

Crafty Mama in ME

T - October 21

Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes

U - October 22

Witty Hoots

V - October 23

Creative World of Varya

W - October 24

Creative World of Varya

X - October 25

All Done Monkey

Y - October 26

Our Daily Craft

Z - October 27

Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes

123's - October 28

Hispanic Mama

Prewriting - October 29

Sugar Aunts

Books, Songs, & Apps - October 30

The Jenny Evolution

Alphabet Clip Cards - October 31

The Kindergarten Connection

Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!


Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle: 31 Days of ABC Giveaway

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally!

3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!    

The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)

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