Raising children who understand the world they live in is a high priority for me, especially with family members spread across the globe. Maps are one of the easiest steps to accomplishing that goal!
I started my kids off with a very simple felt map of the continents of the world – this works even with children who like to eat things! I have a basic continents template here, if you would like to make one of your own!
We have since added a globe, and a large wall map of the world. When I was a child, my siblings and I explored the world by spinning the globe, closing our eyes, and then learning about whatever place our finger had landed on when the globe stopped spinning. This is a game my kids now adore as well, and a wonderful way to explore the world!
With our giant wall map, I love using weather as a jumping off point for talking about different parts of the world and seasons! Large maps also work really well if you want to talk about where different types of animals live, or what foods grow where.
My kids also love playing with our LeapFrog Tag World Map, and we are starting to explore the world using Google Maps as described in the Exploring Geography post on Thailand written by Jenni of The Good Long Road.
How do you use maps with your children?
This post was written as part of an ongoing cross-blog conversation I’m running with Melitsa of Play Activities about ways parents can encourage global thinking and understanding. Here is Melitsa’s post about using maps, my post about global games, and Melitsa’s post about global games. Here is the next question we will be looking at: How can we use charitable opportunities to encourage global understanding?