In my pre-school we teach the children about the different countries in the world by using “Freddy the Vacation Teddy”. Freddy is a small teddy bear and whenever one of the children go on vacation they can take Freddy with them. The only thing we ask is that they have a photograph taken of them with Freddy. When they return we go to our world map and mark where Freddy and the child has been and put up the photo. This works especially well as I work in Europe, but think how it would help children in the U.S. learn about the different states.
Make an ocean in a bottle!
Rinse a plastic soda bottle out and let it dry. Put some sand (any will do) in the bottom, about 1/4 full. Then add some small shells that can fit through the bottle top and fill it with water and blue food coloring. Add just a few drops of liquid soap and glue the lid on. When you shake it the soap foams and the sand stirs, but watch a while and the sand will settle back down on the bottom. This is good for all ages.