Create a 3D Town & Nurture Young Explorers
Children are explorers by nature. They are curious about their own backyards, their neighborhoods, and the world at large. Summer vacation, when many families travel about town, around the state, or across the country, is a perfect opportunity to nurture the explorer in every child. During this time when a child’s world is expanding, you can nurture curiosity and help children develop mapping and geography skills that will serve them both now and later in life as they set out on their own adventures.
Building a 3D town like the one shown here is an easy and exciting project that can be done by one or several children, or, even better, as a collaborative activity for the entire family. You can complete the project in one sitting or over several days. When you’re finished you have a motivating play and learning environment that can last all summer long and serve as a springboard for investigating real world maps.
Children begin by exploring a small map, and then build a 30” by 40” town
with 3D buildings made from easy patterns. In the process, they learn basic
mapping and geography skills that will help prepare them for standardized
tests and will transfer to real world situations. All materials except for
a few basics can be downloaded for free right here from the Parents’ Choice
The printed materials for this activity were created with Neighborhood MapMachine, a software program from Tom Snyder Productions, a division of Scholastic. With Neighborhood MapMachine, children create their own original maps of real or imaginary communities. They add symbols for buildings and objects, attach photos, travel around maps onscreen, solve mysteries, and print maps in four sizes from single page to wall size. For more information on Neighborhood MapMachine, click here.
- To create a motivating environment in which to develop basic mapping and geography skills including the use of symbols, compass directions, scale, and grid coordinates
- To practice eye-hand coordination
- To develop transformational geometry skills
Reprinted with the permission of the Parents' Choice Foundation. © Copyright 2012 Parents' Choice Foundation. All rights reserved.
Add your own comment
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Bullying in Schools
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction
- Steps in the IEP Process