Geography Gifts–On a Budget

Looking for ideas to bring geography fun to your holiday celebrations, but feeling a little strapped for cash this year?

In Decembers past My Wonderful World has offered suggestions on a wide range of geography-related gifts, including some of the latest technological innovations in GIS, GPS, and travel.

Following in our tradition of providing geographic information you can use, this season we’re dishing out three ideas for gifts and activities—on a budget. Because, as MWW intern Bethany pointed out, geographic learning can be cheap!

Suggestion #1: Use your 20% discount at the National Geographic Store.

Are you a member of the My Wonderful World Campaign? If so, you’ll receive a 20% discount to the National Geographic store in this month’s e-newsletter.

If you’re not yet a member, join the campaign today to get your discount. Then, forward the newsletter to a friend and pass along the savings!

The next two holiday ideas from come from My Wonderful World Public Engagement Coordinator (PEC) Marilyn Weiser of North Dakota. When we asked PECs to share stories about local Geography Awareness Week events, Marilyn described the efforts of teachers in her elementary school:

“We did some fun activities!  All the elementary students wore shirts with places named.  Then, we went to the huge hall map that we have in our wing and found where the places were.  (By the way, that map is awesome – about 10 feet by 15 feet.  The kids love it!)

 My 3rd graders also baked USA-shaped cookies and wrote trivia questions. Then we took the cookies and the questions, went to each room and asked our questions while serving cookies. It was a great hit!”

Suggestion #2:  Bake state-shaped cookies.

Who doesn’t love a classic baked good? And the great news about baked goods is that you don’t have to spend a lot of “dough” to make tasty treats. This year, put a spin on the tried-and-true staple with geographic cookie cutters. I first saw state-shaped cookie cutters at my friend’s kitchen store, “Hill’s Kitchen”, here in Capitol Hill, D.C. But you can also find them online. Bake your own batch, or buy a bunch for your favorite chef. Then, follow Marilyn’s lead and try to stump your family with state-specific questions.

Suggestion #3:  Buy inexpensive souvenirs for friends and family.

While travel budgets are likely tight this year, perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to take a trip or two. Why not share your experience with someone who didn’t get to visit your vacation destination? Postcards, t-shirts, and other small souvenirs are a nice way to show friends and family that you’re thinking of them even when far from home. They also last a lot longer than a trip, and can be great learning tools!

Have more ideas to celebrate the Holidays geography style?
Share them here on the blog!

Sarah for My Wonderful World

3 thoughts on “Geography Gifts–On a Budget

  1. Home made gifts are the best! I love those State cookies idea and will have to try that on mine who loves Geography games!
    We make homemade calendars and books about our travels for family and friends at home. We are traveling around the world on 25K a year, so our pictures are definitely geography oriented, but one could do that with any type of geography topic.

  2. Do you remember when you were a little kid and you would go to school and come home with a card or a picture for your parents? That’s my suggestion, to make a homemade gift. It is easy to do and very affordable. All have to do is check out your local store and buy a decorative item and paint it, or you could even cut a piece of paper and make your own creation. I know everyone likes a good homemade gift, whether it’s for a birthday or for Valentines Day.
    P.S. Do you think the suggestion is a nice, affordable gift for just about any occasion?

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