Mighty Machines (Big Book of Big Machines)

Adrian loves transportation - Big Mighty machines in particular! He is in awe every time he reads about them or even better - sees them in action!


Do you need to dig a big hole in the ground or a long ditch? Then you need a power shovel, which is like a huge scoop -"bucket" with a long handle, that sits on a crawler. Miners use power shovels to dig up coal, and almost every building site would have power shovel excavator. A driver sits in a cab on a rotating platform known as the "house", and pushes and pulls levers to work the shovel.

DSC_0092After witnessing the construction site, Adrian was obsessed with building site machines and anything that is big and powerful. The Usborne Big Book of Big Machines (buy here) features some of the world's biggest machines found on building sites, farms, airports and dockyards. 


Constructed of thick, sturdy pages, this book has accurate yet simple bright illustrations with the names of machines, their functions and some of their key parts. Sensible groupings include "Farm Machines", "Flying Machines", "Road Machines", "Building Site Machines" and "Dockside Machines", as well as a mining machine, an excavator and a page of 'Biggest, longest, fastest...". The recommended age is 4+ but this book captivates my three year old who loves the content and colorful bright illustrations - some of which unfold four-page wide. He also loves learning the names of some less commonly seen machines while having fun acting out some of the machines' functions.


Do you want to make a road or build a house? Then you need a bulldozer to get the ground ready. A bulldozer is a tractor with a big super-strong metal blade in the front that goes up and down. Most bulldozers are crawler tractors. Bulldozer can knock down bushes and small trees, and it can also push piles of dirt and make the ground smooth.   



A road roller is used to compact soil, gravel, concrete, or asphalt in the construction of roads and foundations. Rollers are used also at landfills or in agriculture.

DSC_0088Building site machines. 

DSC_0053This excavator has crawler tracks to help it move over bumpy ground. The bucket has sharp metal teeth which cut through earth. Excavators are also called diggersmechanical shovels, or 360-degree excavators (tracked excavators are sometimes called "trackhoes"). 

Adrian was so excited to witness an excavator in action up close! 

DSC_0085Farm Machines.

For the biggest of machines, like the biggest aircraft here, the book opens up two giant foldout pages. 

The power and size of Mighty Machines is so impressive for a little mind! And since we like putting theory into practice, we could not think of a better way for Adrian to relate to all these big machines than by seeing them first-hand - a truly unforgettable experience!

Interactive 🇺🇸 United States 🗺 Map Puzzles

In continuing with our Geography 🌎 Theory 📖 Curriculum Lesson on 🗺 Mapping (read a post here), today, we are putting theory into practice by assembling some of our favorite interactive map puzzles. 


We are also using miniature replicas of U.S. monuments (buy here) to add a 3-D to our puzzle.  

This USA Wooden Sound Map Peg Puzzle (buy here) is a light-activated puzzle, which says the name of the capitol when the puzzle piece shaped as a particular state is placed in the puzzle board correctly. Besides helping develop fine-motor and pincer grip via the use of the peg, this sound puzzle helps a child learn about the 50 American states and their capitols. The puzzle has 40 pieces, and I did not expect Adrian to be able to complete it at 41 months, but interactive sound really kept him engaged, and he tenaciously kept going until he had finished the entire puzzle. The light on his face when he exclaimed: "Mommy, I did it; I did it!" and the sense of accomplishment and confidence it gives to a child is immeasurable, and is worth all the effort.

Adrian also has been enjoying interactive TAG pen (buy here), and today, for the first time, he independently assembled Interactive United States Map Puzzle (buy here). This two-sided jumbo map puzzle teaches U.S. geography, map skills and famous U.S. landmarks through numerous interactive games  and over 300 audio responses. 

DSC_0028This puzzle works with a TAG pen, which is sold separately (buy here), but it is worth the investment since the pen works with any LeapFrog Reading system. 

Visit landmarks, meet children from around the country, explore state capitals, find fun facts and play 10+ games on a jumbo 2-sided U.S. map puzzle. Age 4-8 years Features Climb volcanos, fly planes, navigate lakes and learn about animals from coast to coast—with 300+ audio responses. Hear kids from across the country tell you about how they live, play and eat on the Great Plains, in Alaska and around the United States! Locate cities, measure distances, compare regions and find the 50 states and their capitals. Touch the compass rose to go on a musical journey across the United States and listen to regional songs. About the Series The Learn through Reading Series supports reading development by providing children with knowledge-building opportunities in areas of personal interest. Learning Difference Interactive maps are a great way for young children to explore the world and build basic map skills. Fun facts and engaging games inspire children to make real world connections with the settings of their favorite stories. 

DSC_0035The reverse side of the puzzle reveals the political map of the U.S.

For your convenience, I added these two puzzles as well as the geography materials we are loving to my 💖aStore 🛍 here under a single subcategory "Geography🌎Materials & 📚Books." 

For more on U.S. monuments and landmarks, see a post here "Presidents' Day - How we celebrate (U.S. Landmarks🗽 and Monuments🏛)"