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I've spent the past couple of weeks gearing up for a new school year. I cleared last year's books off the shelves and replaced them with new ones. I moved furniture around and asked the children to organize the jumbled mess that was our art supply drawer. I opened the Illuminations Scheduler and checked to make sure that I have everything I will need. And I do…. except I realized I was missing one thing that every school I've ever seen has: a globe.
I had a globe when I was a little girl and while I don't remember doing too much with it for school, I do remember that I liked it… a lot! It had bumps to show mountain rangers and I liked to spin it around and look at all the countries. Maybe it's not a coincidence that I grew up to live in 3 different countries before I turned 30. But – as old as it makes me feel to admit this – my childhood globe is way, waaayyy outdated. Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia are gone, the Berlin wall is no longer a thing, Burma changed its name to Myanmar and you can't find the letters “U.S.S.R.” on any map or globe printed in the last 20 years. In fact, there are 33 countries in existence today that weren't countries when I was a little girl! So it's way past time for me to get a new globe.
It turns out, globes are a bit hard to come by. I did what I usually do when I need something new: I looked on Craigslist, checked out the local garage sale sites and then started shopping the local stores. The only globe I found was an old, outdated rusty globe that the owner wanted way too much money for. I started researching online and quickly discovered the GeoSafari Talking Globe. Yes, they're a bit pricey… but I've learned that it's worth paying for good tools, and when you homeschool, a good globe is a great investment! I reached out to Educational Insights (my favorite educational toy company… they're also the folks who sell Eggspert!) and asked to do a review.
The GeoSafari Talking Globe is not an ordinary globe. It's also a versatile Geography Quiz game all in one! You turn it on and you can choose which of 3 groups of questions you want. You choose how many players there will be (The globe can accommodate 1-4 players or teams) and you can choose how many seconds each player has to answer the question: 20, 40, 60 or 120 seconds. I love this feature because I set the globe to give my bigger children only 20 seconds, while it gives my younger children a full 120 seconds to answer. Then you simply press “Go!” and the globe begins asking questions! With 10,000 questions that are randomly selected… this globe has kept my children busy for hours!
Here's a quick video I made to show you how user-friendly the GeoSafari Talking Globe is!
In the video, I set the globe to ask Level 1 questions. I should have used the word “category” instead of level, since all the questions are equally difficult. Here are some sample questions from all 3 categories:
Category 1 Sample Questions – The World, USA & Canada
- Bolivia is larger in area than Thailand. True or False.
- How many countries border the Republic of Ireland 13 or 1?
- USA question – which body of water borders Indiana? The Pacific Ocean or Lake Michigan?
Category 2 Sample Questions – The World (No USA or Canada Questions)
- Haiti and New Zealand share a border. True or False?
- Which city is located at 51 degrees north latitude? Port Au Prince or Edmonton?
- Which country is not in South America? Bolivia, Russia or Peru?
Category 3 Sample Questions – Questions Only About USA & Canada
- British Columbia and Quebec share a border. True or False?
- Where is Mount Whitney? California or Texas?
- Bridgewater is in New Brunswick. True or False?
The Help Button
Once in a while (but not always!) the “help button” will light up. That will let you know that if you're stuck, you can click on that button and get a hint. For example, I clicked “help” when the globe asked, “Which mountain is not in Switzerland? Mount Kilimanjaro or The Matterhorn?” Of course, having a globe right there to look up the answer is helpful, but in case the player is really stuck, the globe offers this hint: “Look in Europe!” As students progress through the game it also offers words of encouragement: “3 in a row! Keep it up!” or “Great job!”
So much fun!
As I mentioned, the GeoSafari Talking Globe is produced by Educational Insights, which is my favorite educational toy company! They also produce other fabulous educational tool-toys like Eggspert that truly makes learning fun. They're having a sale today and tomorrow on games so be sure to click here or on the image below to see what's available: