Neenah, WI (PRWEB) June 13, 2006
According to a recent poll by National Geographic, most Americans 18-24 do not know that Sudan and Rwanda are in Africa, and 63% cannot find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map of the Middle East.
A new puzzle, invented by a former international aid worker, hopes to remedy this lack of knowledge by helping children learn geography in a hands-on manner.
The Africa GeoPuzzle is a jigsaw puzzle map of Africa and the Middle East, with individual pieces shaped like countries. As children assemble the puzzles, they learn about each country from Algeria to Zimbabwe while building cognitive, problem-solving, fine motor, and language skills.
A Passion for Africa
“Lack of geographical knowledge is a big hole in our educational system,” says Bob Galinsky, a former international aid worker and founder of GeoToys. “And in the case of Africa, the hole is the size of the Grand Canyon. Clearly, we can do a better job in this country of teaching our kids about the world, and the first thing we need to do is to make geography fun."
Galinsky, who worked and travelled extensively in Africa prior to starting GeoToys, wants children to learn more about what he calls "the neglected continent".
"Africa is an amazing place, as everyone who has ever been there knows, and our goal with the Africa GeoPuzzle is to stimulate kids' natural curiosity about Africa," he says. "That's just a very small first step to getting them to realize the enormous depth and richness of African culture, and eventually to building strong cultural ties and understanding."
Designed by art professor Karina Cutler-Lake for children 4 and up, the Africa GeoPuzzle contains 65 brightly colored pieces that fit together to create an entire continent. The Africa GeoPuzzle, which includes the Middle East, is the latest in the line of award-winning GeoPuzzles of major continents. Europe and Asia are already available, with North and South America due in August of 2006.
GeoPuzzles are available online at timberdoodle.com, as well as at fine toy retailers (for a list, visit geotoystore.com ).
About GeoToys and GeoPuzzles
Founded by Bob Galinsky in 2004, GeoToys, LLC is based in Neenah, Wisconsin and is committed to providing high-quality, affordable and fun geographical toys for children of all ages. GeoToys donates a portion of its profits to geography education programs in order to promote “world piece”.
The GeoPuzzles were recently recognized by Dr. Toy with a Smart Play/Smart Toy award. Matt Rosenberg, author of “The Handy Geography Answer Book” and resident expert at geography.about.com, gives the GeoPuzzles a four-star rating, while Geography World’s Brad Bowerman calls the GeoPuzzles “a great introduction to world geography.”
GeoPuzzles are available for retail distribution. For Midwest Sales, please contact KSM Sales at 800-576- 9901.