Max has recently become so curious – about anything and everything. He asks endless questions all day, often requiring me to Google as I don’t know the answers to things such as ‘how do pistons make an engine work?’ His favourite book at school at the moment is ‘All about electricity’, and he is just fascinated with how things work.
We were recently offered the chance to check out the Geo Safari talking globe from Learning Resources UK, and I knew it would be right up Max’s street, giving him the chance to learn about the world.
The Geo Safari talking globe is very easy to set up – you just need to add batteries to the Talking Pen and off you go. There are several modes of play:
- Explore – gives extra information about a location on the globe
- Quiz – tests knowledge about a location on the globe
- Measure – Gives the distance between two locations on the globe
Using the Talking Pen, you touch the mode of play you want, and then listen to the instructions. You will be prompted to choose 2 places on the map in measure mode, and the distance will be revealed in miles, along with a fun fact about how long it would take to travel there, or how many blue whales you would need to cover that distance. Explore mode gives you extra information about any place you choose. Max’s favourite is ‘Find it’. This prompts you to find something on the globe, and gives you hints about how to locate it. For example, you are asked to touch Brazil on the map, and the hint is ‘where the tarantula is’. Brazil has a picture of a tarantula on, so it is easy for Max to find, and he soon learnt to find some of the areas and countries without needing the extra hints.
The recommended age for the globe is 4-7 years, but I would definitely say that it can be enjoyed by older children too. The explore and find functions have different sections, each one progressively harder. Max is able to manage the continents, nature and countries himself, but can’t yet find cities or US states. This has been a great challenge for Jacob, who has really enjoyed locating these, and learning more about certain areas. These sections also include slightly harder tips such as asking you to locate something to the east of an area, extending learning even further.
It is a great learning toy for independent or shared play, and there is so much scope for learning everything from natural habitats to capital cities. It’s a great size too, perfect for more than one child to use, and it makes a fantastic display piece in the boys bedroom when not in use. It has the bonus of being able to be used as a ‘standard’ globe as well as the play functions, so is great for just quickly looking up a country or a fact for homework. I can see this being used for many years to come, and would highly recommend it.