Get this great product here: Hugg-A-Planet ISS Bundle, Pocket Earth, Moon, and Mars
My 8 year old daughter has recently become fascinated with history and geography, and I am really enjoying fostering this interest as much as possible, with both her and my 5 year old son. I came across this set of plush globes from Hugg-a-Planet and was really intrigued, thinking this might be a fun way to keep maps handy and help her learn while also having fun.
Now that I’ve had a chance to use these with my kids for a few weeks, I’m really pleased with the quality and detail of all three. The Earth ball is colorful and has all the detail I would expect from a standard globe. We do have a globe, but it is bulky and a bit awkward to deal with, so this is so much easier to take a look at. If my daughter is reading or doing her homework, she will sometimes come across the name of a place she’s not familiar with and will want to see where that is on the map. Getting the globe out for these kinds of quick inquiries is inconvenient – it is so much more simple to just grab the Hugg-a-Planet Earth ball and find the place of interest.
What makes this set even cooler is the fact that it includes plush balls of the Moon and Mars. I really like that the sizes of all three balls are proportionally correct, so that my kids can see how much larger the Earth is than the other two. I’ve never really learned much about outer space geography, so I’m as fascinated as the kids to see so many spots labeled on the Moon and Mars balls. I think it’s going to be really cool to keep learning details from these over the years as we use and play with them. The Moon has lots of cool historical facts on its surface, including the spots of landing of various US and Soviet space missions, as well as labeling geographic features and simple things like the “Dark” and “Light” sides of the Moon. Even just simple things like the red color of the Mars ball have already been educational. My 5 year old asked why the Mars ball is red, so I was able to use that as a nice teaching moment. While Mars is mostly red, there is actually a color key that shows how different types of topography are color-coded, which is very cool
The Earth ball has a pocket that opens up and closes with velcro that is designed to store the smaller Moon ball. It takes a bit of practice get the Moon neatly back into the pocket. I recommend squishing the Moon and folding it in half, then kind of in half again, and then stuffing it into the pocket. Once it’s pretty much all the way in, then make sure the velcro strips are totally clear and start fastening them together from one end, smoothing all the way down until it’s fully fastened. Once it’s closed, it blends in remarkably well with the other vertical seams on the ball so that I can’t even visually tell that there is a pocket there!
I’m very glad that I was able to receive this as a free promotional sample in order to evaluate and provide my honest review.