I usually set it up the night before we start a new unit, and when the kids wake up the next morning they are really excited to check out the display and see what we'll be studying.
This year for our Galloping The Globe adventures, I decided to try a new twist on this idea by creating a travel suitcase filled with items representing the country to which we'll be "traveling".
I began by digging out an old briefcase of Kurt's and decorating it with vintage luggage tag images like the ones used on old steamer trunks. I printed them out after doing a Google image search with the keywords "vintage luggage tags Italy".
The kids really enjoyed these and liked them so much they put them in their notebooks at the end of the unit.
After getting the outside of the suitcase ready, I packed our Italy items:
- printouts of Italian money
- Italian postcards (made my own using internet images of famous landmarks)
- box of biscotti
- Papa Piccolo (our Five in A Row story for this country)
- Italy ABC's
- airline tickets
I hid the suitcase on our front porch and gave the kids a treasure hunt, which they had to follow in order to find the suitcase.
They had a blast checking out the items inside and munching on the biscotti while I read Papa Piccolo. It was a fun and engaging way to begin our study of Italy.