I was going to give everyone a pre-holiday sneak preview of all the cool Nat Geo Kids swag I’ve gotten. I mean, that’s when normal bloggers create gift guides and when normal people buy gifts.
But. You know.
Raise your hand if you or your kids got an Amazon gift card for the holidays! I mean, I actually didn’t*, but maybe you did.
(*That’s not entirely true – I got one from Amazon Affiliates for a grand total of $18 because you lovely people click on my affiliate links sometimes. Segue. This post contains affiliate links.
Full disclosure: Yes, Nat Geo Kids sent me most of these items — though I was under no obligation to review them all. A few we already owned but I pulled them out to include them. Because we love Nat Geo Kids stuff.)
My intention had been to save several of the books for Christmas but Lorelei is always with me when I get the mail and I always gave in and opened it right away.
I love the Nat Geo stuff because it is bright, colorful, and glossy. The Big Book of Why and Try This! were books I bought for Lorelei for previous holidays. You can see all the bookmarks in the Try This! book — she pretty much wants to try everything. It set up a deep love for “experiments” for her, which is both amazing and slightly annoying because some things I’d rather not turn into a concoction.
Of the books sent to me for being part of the insider program, her favorites have been the Famous Fails! book and Weird but True 8. I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting I found them to be, as well.
Here’s some inside-the-cover goodness.
Little Kids First Big Book of Why – I bought this when Lorelei was going through a big “why” phase. Here’s why! Let’s read this and please stop asking me philosophical three-year-old questions that I can’t answer! It was probably around the time she asked me, “But, mommy, why are we here? I mean, why are we alive?”
Famous Fails – I love this one for Lorelei right now. She’s very anxious about getting things wrong, failing, or looking ridiculous. Being able to read these stories of fails that turned into very important discoveries and inventions has been great for her.
How Things Work – I like reading this one. I was a kid who took things apart just to see if I could put it back together again.
Ultimate Ocean-pedia – I haven’t delved into this one yet but the photos are delicious. Maybe delicious isn’t the best word to use for a book full of fish.
Weird but True 8 – There is a reason this is the 8th Weird but True book. These are fun and ridiculous and give kids random facts to bring up at inopportune times. It may also help you with your weekly trivia night.
Almanac 2017 – Random facts! I love random facts and information!
Arabian Nights – This one is still a little above Lorelei, I think. Also, she’s into Greek myths right now, so we’re reading through a book of those. It has beautiful illustrations.
National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide USA Centennial Edition – Like a travel guide for kids that is tailor made to get them interested in exploring the outdoors. We do most of our camping at state parks and national forests but I’m keeping this in my metaphorical back pocket for the next time we go to the mountains.
I think the highlight for her has probably been the souped-up View-Master with the National Geographic Virtual Reality discs. This is not the View-Master of your childhood — It is basically Google Cardboard but in a much fancier package. The reels you remember are now more akin to a QR code to play the experience you choose. You can also use any Google Cardboard apps.
Zach is really into VR stuff and we have a Rift that she has rarely been allowed to play. He is a professional 3d animator and has been very interested in creating VR experiences, as well. So the View-Master has been a really fun activity for the two of them to do together.
It’s not hightech VR but it’s plenty interesting for a six year old. And the price is right.
I can also attest to the durability of the viewer. Rowan had great fun looking at it until he threw it on the ground. He’s grabbed it a couple more times and done the same. The front plastic popped off once and I just stuck it back on, no harm, no foul.
The Dinosaur experience is pretty rad (do people still say rad?). You can walk around a landscape and look at different dinos. If you look directly at one and click the button on the side (what used to advance the reel when we were kids) it will give you more information.
The Wildlife experience is similar. Lorelei came into the bedroom the other evening really excited to show me zebras. She told me there were a lot of zebras in our hallway.
The only downside is that it takes up a fair amount of space on your phone and eats through the battery. It is also not compatible with every phone, so make sure to check!
I signed up to be a Nat Geo Kids Insider for a reason: because I really love their stuff. The content is great, the photos and illustrations are beautiful, and the books are interesting enough to make me not want to bang my head into a wall. Oh, and it’s educational.
Here is a link to all sorts of Nat Geo Kids content over on Amazon. It’s a little overwhelming but there is something for every kid’s interest (and probably yours, too!)
And while I would love for you to go through my Amazon affiliate links, I would love for you to go shop at your local bookstore even more. They can help point you in the right direction, order what they don’t have, and you’re supporting a local business. I went into my local store, Regulator Bookshop, last week and noticed several huge displays of Nat Geo Kids stuff!
Does your family have a favorite Nat Geo product? Let me know!