- Lucy in the City: A Story about Developing Spatial Thinking Skills, by Julie Dillemuth
- As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps, by Gail Hartman
- There’s a Map on My Lap!: All about Maps, by Tish Rabe
- Kat’s Maps, by Jon Scieszka
- Henry’s Map, by David Elliot
- Follow That Map!: A First Book of Mapping Skills, by Scot Ritchie
From interactive atlases to map-making tools, the web is filled with interactive resources that provide more than turn-by-turn directions. Use digital tools to . . .
- Explore: National Geographic has a multitude of mapping tools and activities, including lesson ideas for PreK-6, an interactive Kids Atlas, and a map-making tool. Google Maps is another terrific resource. Zoom in on your neighborhood and look for key landmarks. Toggle between the map and the “street view” to help kids figure out the relationship between an aerial map and what we see from the ground. Before going on a trip, use digital maps to plan and explore the route.
- Build: PBS’s Cat in the Hat Can Map This and That is a site that lets kids design and build their own indoor or outdoor map and populate it with objects such as furniture and trees.
- Watch and Play: PBS has developed map-related parent/child activities in conjunction with two Curious George episodes: Up Up and Away (Episode 1) and Curious George Takes a Hike (Episode 10).
- Draw a Map: Grab some paper and crayons and work with your child to draw maps of places you both know well. Start with rooms in your home and then branch out to favorite places such as a local park. Use simple shapes to draw and label objects such as furniture or playground equipment. Take a walk around the block together, looking for landmarks to include in a neighborhood map. As kids get more proficient, encourage them to create maps of imaginary worlds or of places in their favorite books or movies.
- Treasure Map: After drawing a map of a room together, hide a special object somewhere in the room and then point to its location on the map. If they struggle, use spatial language to give clues, such as “It’s under a pillow” or “It’s inside a cabinet.”
- Talk about Directions: As you drive or walk together, ask them to anticipate where you need to go next. “Which way do we turn at this stop sign? Right or left?” or “How many stops are left before we get off the subway? Let’s look at the wall map.”
As you explore mapping with your child, you might just find that it reignites some of your own curiosity about the world and what it looks like. As Judith Schalansky, acclaimed author and map lover, wrote, “Give me an atlas over a guidebook any day. There is no more poetic book in the world.”
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