We've been learning more about London (and England, by extension) over the last couple of weeks, mostly in reading and discussion. We've cleared out the section on England in our local library, and we also picked up some English folktales and biographies.
Together, we've read some more general picture books about England in general and about some of the landmarks.
Elizabeth prefers to immerse herself in English royalty.
Paulie is particularly enjoying a novel set in London about the statues of London coming to life.
Philip prefers English folktales and reading about the Egyptian mummies we will see at the British Museum. Elizabeth also enjoys the folktales, especially this version of Robin Hood that has tidbits of background about the story, the culture of England and various other information in the sidebar of each page.
Finn, well, he's all about the buses. We had this mini DK book about London, purchased at a used bookstore for about 10 cents, and all he can talk about is seeing the big clock from the big red bus. A friend of a friend, who heard we were headed to London, sent this full-sized copy of DK Kids' London for our kids. They've thoroughly enjoyed seeing more pictures of the sights. Thanks, Allysa!
And as a family, we've been reading Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. I printed out a map of Peter Pan's Kensington Gardens for each of them to follow along while I read the story since the book refers to various places in the garden all throughout the book. I was hoping that it would not only be helpful with the story, but would also familiarize them with with Kensington Gardens since we will be staying only a few blocks from there.
I really hope that all the reading we're doing now will make London come alive for them while we travel through the city and will help the trip have a bigger impression on them in the long run.