Cartography for Kids Activity

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Updated on Aug 6, 2013

Chances are your kindergartener knows every nook and cranny in your house, but what about her knowledge of the world outside? Expand her geographic awareness with these fun and easy map lessons. Looking at a map for streets and natural landmarks will give her a bird's eye view of the world she lives in, and by making a map of her own, she'll get to know the geography of her own personal world. Here's how to start grooming your little cartographer for greatness.

It’s one thing to learn where everything is at home. After all, it’s a place your child spends a great deal of time. It’s another thing altogether to learn where everything is in your neighborhood. Help your child learn her home turf a little better and begin to understand how the world she lives in can be depicted in a two-dimensional map.

What You Need:

  • Two large sheets of paper
  • Markers or crayons

What You Do:

  1. Draw a map of two adjoining rooms in your home. Choose rooms your child knows well – the living room and the kitchen or her bedroom. Include walls, windows, doors and the primary pieces of furniture. Label one of the rooms, including furniture.
  2. Show your child the map and explain that it's a picture of a part of your home.
  3. Point out how the lines on the map show walls, doors and furniture in your home as well as the items you labeled.
  4. Help her label the second room.
  5. Get the second large piece of paper and explain that you are going to draw a map of your neighborhood. The walls on the map of your home help define everything. Streets serve the same purpose on the neighborhood map. Help her draw these streets on the paper.
  6. Where is your house on this map? Draw a star and label it HOME.
  7. Add her the house of a friend that lives close by. Use a different colored marker to draw a star and label that with her friend’s name.
  8. What are her favorite neighborhood locations? Color a park or an athletic field in green. Draw a cat for the pet store and an ice cream cone for the ice cream shop. Let her have fun adding her favorite places.
  9. Tie up your shoes and go for a walk. Did you get it all right or do you need to fine tune your map when you get home?

Not only will mapping her surroundings give her a lesson in geography, but it's an art project that will get her moving and exploring her neighborhood with a map in hand!