Simple Around the World Map Activity
In the age of Google Maps and Smart Phones it is easy to think that Map Reading is a skill of the past. Before you relegate it to the list with cursive and analog clocks, let me make my case.
Imagine you are in the middle of nowhere. Yes, nowhere does still exist in some places. Cell towers are few and far between and wifi is an hours drive.
Or imagine you are below ground on a subway. Yes, even in the busiest city in America there are cell phone dead spots. There is construction, your train is being re-routed and your planned route won't work. (Can you tell this has actually happened to us?)
You don't know where you're going. You aren't even sure where you are. How do you get home?
I truly believe that reading maps is a skill that our kids will continue to need in the future. Even better, maps are fascinating to children.
My twins have long been fascinated by 5 reasons your preschooler will love Early Explorers" target="_blank">the map on their bedroom wall and seek out maps when we wander through the city.
This activity combines maps with an amazing book we read as part of Multicultural Children's Book Day. I can't wait to share!
We received a free copy of the book to review. Opinions below are my own.
Affiliate links are included below.
This beautiful book celebrates both the diversity and universality of childhood in the most hopeful and conversational way. Each page addresses a global truth, such as all children needed a home, food, or time to play, while demonstrating the vast differences that exist around the world. Reading this with my twins opened up many opportunities for conversations through the questions in the text and the detailed illustrations about both their lives and the different lives of children around the world. The back of the book was our favorite part. Each illustration is taken in depth and you learn the back story and where in the world the kid is living.
The back of the Barefoot Book of Children is one of the more unique elements I have ever seen. It gives details about the illustations within the book. It tells you where the children are in the book and has you automatically reaching for a map. My kids ran to their 5 reasons your preschooler will love Early Explorers" target="_blank">Little Passports wall map as soon as we got to this part of the book.
Small People (we used Lego People)
Children's Atlas (optional)
If you don't have a big map that you can put on a table top, print a smaller one out. We looked at our 5 reasons your preschooler will love Early Explorers" target="_blank">Little Passports map while reading the book, but for the activity we used this map from Childhood 101. You will also need to gather some little people or figures of some sort.
Now choose one of the pages in the back of the book that describes the illustrations. The one with the different homes was a favorite of ours, but any of the pages will work for this activity.
Open the book and put it next to your map on the table.
Read each part of the illustration. Where does the person live?
Find that place on your map. You can refer to an atlas if your stored geographical information is as limited as mine. Put one of our figures or people on that part of the map.
When you finish, you will have marked all the different spots on your map represented in the illustration. Does your child want to do another page?
This is a super simple activity, requiring almost zero preparation, but my kids found it fascinating. I hope yours does as well!
NAEYC CRITERIA ADDRESSED: Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to build their understanding of diversity in a culture, family structure, ability, language, age and gender. || Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to learn about physical characteristics of their local environment as a foundation for learning geography. || Kindergartners are provided opportunities and materials that help them link learning about their hometown, their state, the United States and their country of origin to previous learning, as a foundation for learning geography, history, and social studies. Learn More about NAEYC Here.
I am proud to be a participant in the annual Multicultural Children's Book Day. Make sure to pop over to their site for more great info and book ideas!
The Barefoot Book of Children
Small People (we used Lego People)
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