As homeschoolers, we are always looking for creative and engaging ways to learn new things, especially when it comes to studying world geography. One way we have found to make learning about different countries more fun is by incorporating our Universal Yums subscription into a monthly activity we call Geography Tea Time.
Looking for more resources for your homeschool? Be sure to check out How Night Zookeeper Helped My Son Become a Better Writer and Post from the Past: An Awesome Subscription to Supplement Your Homeschool History Curriculum.
Getting started with Geography Tea Time & Universal Yums
If you’re unfamiliar with Universal Yums, it’s a monthly subscription box that delivers snacks from around the world to your doorstep.
Each box features a different country and includes a variety of sweet and savory treats and a colorful booklet that provides information about the snacks and the country they come from.
At the beginning of each month, we receive our Universal Yums box and eagerly dive into the contents.
We sample a few of the snacks, discuss the flavors and textures, and skim through the booklet to learn more about the country and its culture.
Then, we save the booklet and remaining snacks for our Geography Tea Time activity later in the month.
Of course, you can host Geography Tea Time without a subscription to Universal Yums and instead bake your own traditional treats from the country you are studying or visit your local international market to find snacks.
Find books related to the country of study
In between receiving our Universal Yums box and enjoying our Geography Tea Time, I like to find books related to the country the box is from.
For example, if I receive a box filled with snacks from Italy, I will look for children’s books focusing on Italian culture and cuisine. I would search online for books that feature Italian characters and stories or look in our local library or bookstore for books set in Italy.
Additionally, if I’m looking for something specific such as a book about pizza-making, I know there are plenty of titles specifically geared toward kids that focus on international cuisine and cultures.
And I also make sure to grab an atlas or map of the country for our Geography Tea Time.
Even if we don’t plan on doing a unit study of the country, learning about it and seeing its location relative to other places help my child build a mental map of the world.
Plus, looking at Italy’s flag and coat of arms is sure to inspire some interesting conversations.
Hosting our Geography Tea Time
On a designated day, we set aside time for Geography Tea Time. We brew a pot of tea, set the table, and gather around with snacks, the booklet from our Universal Yums box, and the books I’ve selected earlier.
We take turns choosing a snack from the box and reading about the item found in the Universal Yums booklet. Once we’ve tried all the snacks and rated them, we read through the rest of the booklet together, learning about the country’s history, geography, language, and customs.
As we read and learn, we look up the country in an atlas, mark the country on our world map, and add any interesting facts to a notebook we keep for our Geography Tea Time activity.
We discuss the differences and similarities between the country we are learning about and our own, and we brainstorm questions we have about the country or its culture to look up later.
If my kids are interested, we’ll read a couple of the books I have chosen about the country, or I’ll set them aside in our book basket for my kids to peruse at a later time.
I also use this as an opportunity to teach my kids (and myself!) some basic phrases in the language of the country featured that month. For example, if this month’s country is France, I would teach everyone how to say “Hello,” “Thank you,” and “I’m full, thank you” in French.
If we know family or friends will be visiting, we make sure to schedule our Geography Tea Times with their visits since it’s a fan favorite in our circle.
Our Geography Tea Time activity has become a mainstay in our homeschool, and we look forward to it each month. It provides a fun and engaging way to learn about different countries and allows us to sample delicious snacks from around the world and connect with each other through meaningful conversations.
Incorporating Universal Yums into our homeschooling has greatly enhanced our geography studies and made learning more enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a fun and tasty way to explore the world with your family, consider subscribing to Universal Yums and starting your own Geography Tea Time activity. Who knows what delicious and fascinating discoveries you might make together!
If you host your own #geographyteatime, make sure you tag me on Instagram, I would love to see it!
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and Holistic Homeschool Mindset Coach. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.