Little Passports has managed to create a unique and exciting learning experience for kids that will keep them asking "Did I get mail?" all month long. From the moment you open the box and see a miniature suitcase just begging to be opened the learning begins.
For my kid testers, the first lesson came in the form of a teachable moment. Upon opening the box, I exclaimed, “That looks just like the valise my grandfather used to use,” which, of course, prompted me to define the word "valise." From there followed a discussion about why suitcases don’t look like the old-fashioned ones anymore, and we hadn’t even opened the case yet!
That, in my mind, is the sign of a good educational product--one that prompts discussion and learning without even trying.
What’s in the Little Passports Suitcase?
My kid testers and I took a look at the World Edition beginning exploration kit. It contained everything we needed to get started on our virtual trip around the world including, of course, the aforementioned colorful travel suitcase in which to hold all the souvenirs from our travel and travel to come. Also included were:
- An introductory letter from Sam and Sofia, your tour guides, explaining about the program, how they got started on this kooky adventure and what can be found in the suitcase.
- A large map of the world, complete with a compass rose (and Sam and Sofia) printed on it.
- A picture of Sam and Sofia on their GPS-enabled scooter.
- A world passport to which your child can add a picture and details about himself and keep track of where he’s "visited" each month. (Subsequent month’s boxes include passport stickers.)
- A "Hello Around the World" worksheet that uses a cipher to help your child figure out how to greet people in 5 different languages, an activity explaining and practicing how to find the country capitals on the map and an introduction to flags of different countries.
- A Boarding Pass. This is a key component of the Little Passports kit, as it provides the login information to access the Boarding Zone, an area on the Little Passports website that has interactive trivia, maps and puzzles. My kid testers and were I able to play games about the world, but as each month’s Exploration Kit arrives, the Boarding Zone has games specific to the country or state you are visiting.
What’s the Target Age for Little Passports?
Little Passports markets their subscriptions for ages 5 to 12 years old, which at first sounds like a very wide age range, but when you look at the subscriptions they have to offer it makes sense. Little Passports offers two different types of subscriptions: The World Edition and The USA Edition.
While both subscriptions explore a country and/or state each month, the materials for the World Edition are more suited for the younger age group and the USA Edition provides more in-depth activities better suited to older children.
How Are Learning Needs Met By This Product?
The Little Passports monthly adventure kits meet learning needs I have yet to see met by any other monthly subscription box for kids. While it addresses the learning needs of basic math and reading skills, the unique approach of taking kids on virtual travel also allows them to explore Social Studies skills, including:
- reading maps
- geographical awareness
- learning about other cultures
- connecting with the global community using technology
What the Kid Testers Have to Say:
My kid testers love this product. The preschool age tester was enchanted by the travel suitcase and wanted to carry it everywhere. The 10-year-old kid tester was very taken with the map of the world. He wanted to hang it up immediately, find every country he’d heard of and then research information about countries that were new to him.
Little Passports has truly hit upon something special with their global adventure kits. Geography and culture isn't always easy to make fun, but Little Passports has done it and done it well.
With a number of different subscription options and pricing available, they also provide parents the opportunity not only to see which edition will better suit their child’s needs, but also which subscription will fit their budget.