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map activities for a kindergartener?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
DS is REALLY into maps lately. He has an atlas he studies daily. Right now he likes to copy it and draw different states then talk about what's there. He is learning to read the key and the 4 directions as well. Does anyone have some great activities I could use with him? I am drawing a blank and I think he too young to start learning the capitols? But I may go with it just for exposure sake. TIA!
post #2 of 18
Maybe drawing your own maps? I'd been thinking of ways to introduce my DD to maps, and I thought about starting by laying out some things on an empty table and drawing a "map" of that, then progressing to a map of a room, our neighborhood, our small town, etc.
post #3 of 18
Subbing because my 5 year old is REALLY into maps right now!
post #4 of 18
Pick up random items around the house and find where they were made, then locate on the map.

Play around on Google Earth (typing Grandma's address, the Grand canyon, etc.).
post #5 of 18
My son loved (and still does) treasure hunts. We made a map of our apartment or room, made photocopies, and hid an item in it. I then made arrows on where to go.
On a more sophisticated level, I would put a new treasure map in the first spot, and so he kept on looking for treasure maps until the end.

He LOVES this.
post #6 of 18
Maps, Globes, Graphs: Level A (Cr Maps/Graphs 2004) (Paperback)
~ Henry Billings (Author)

My dd went through a stage where she was into workbooks and really liked this one. we used level A in preK-K.
post #7 of 18
post #8 of 18
You may also want to check out orienteering as a family activity. It's alot of fun!
post #9 of 18
DD had the idea to make map cookies. But, she decided they were too small so she and DH made a giant sugar cookie and turned it into a map. They used colored dough, sprinkles, cookie decorating pens, and apparently made a map of one of my sister's houses, who has a pool.

post #10 of 18
When my son was this age, we joined a post card club. (You can do a search on yahoo groups to find one.) As we received a post card from each state, we colored in the state on a map. Then when he received all the states in a region I printed off the certificate for that region. We made a scrapbook out of the postcards.

post #11 of 18
Teach him to use a compass so that he can identify where N, S, E, and W really are.

Draw a map of your house, neighborhood, grocery store, ect.

Shape playdoh into states and countries.

Print out info and pics of historical and natural landmarks and learn where they are.

Learn about climates and weather patterns in different areas (DS is *fascinated* with tornado alley right now!).

When you learn about anything in a specific place, go find it on the map/globe (pyramids? Go find egypt. A famous person? Find where they were born. ect).
post #12 of 18
The three year old I babysit loves maps. We have a large children's map book and a bunch of flash cards with cities and landmarks on them. He loves looking through the flash cards (which have a full color photo on one side and info on the back- we focus on the photo) and finding the place on the map. We then talk about the place and the people.

I am thinking about getting a large laminated wall map and making items that we can move around on the map like animals so we can talk about where they live, etc.

I have a friend whose five year old loves maps and bus schedules. He likes looking at the city bus schedules and plotting them on the maps. he knows almost all the streets in our city.
post #13 of 18
Here are two games my kids like to play: http://www.scholastic.com/census/glo...029/census_TNL (this is the easier one) and http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/G...hyGames/Geospy. Here's another fun one: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/G...yGames/Copycat.

I think it would be fun to map books, but we haven't done it yet. I can imagine doing a big map for a book like Scuffy the Tugboat. There is a great map on the endpapers of The Great Gracie Chase by Mark Teague that could be drawn from the story, or just discussed.

We have mapped out journeys of nonfiction books, like Christopher Columbus biographies and now Charles Darwin. We liked the Animals __________ Saw books, http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_1_...x=Animals+Chri. We also read How to Bake an Apple Pie and See the World, and baked a pie from apples we picked - I figured out where all of our specific ingredients came from and we mapped that. Also have mapped other family members' trips - to Great Britain, to New Zealand and used their itineraries and postcards for inspiration. Basically I incorporate maps whenever possible since the kids are so interested - when we studied coral reefs, we located those on the map and labelled them, when we did Cinderalla stories around the world we located those on the map and labelled them etc.!

Two of my favorite map books are Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney and Mapping Penny's World by Loreen Leedy.

My kids have both always loved poring over our state's Gazetteer, to the point that we eventually got a "house" copy just for them. I always get two maps for amusement parks and state parks/trail maps when we go too because they love poring over them later.

I read somewhere about making a scavenger hunt using map directions (start at the big tree with the swing; go 4 steps W etc.) but again we haven't done that yet. Sounds like fun though!

Just thought of one more thing to add - games... The game Camp has some map stuff, about states. We played Game of the States as kids and will be getting it for my kids for Christmas. My daughter liked playing Great States as part of a local geography class. They also love doing the world/US map puzzles like this one http://www.amazon.com/Large-Wooden-C...8138612&sr=1-1 and the 100 piece puzzle ball globe - I think it has 100 pieces. That was a Christmas present last year.

So many fun things!
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by christinar View Post
Thank you so much for those! That will help us so much with maps in general, but also learning the states.

I have 10 different books on hold at the library right now for DS1 about maps. Other than that I was going to have him draw a map of his room. Then we are going to go to the zoo & let him guide us around by using the map.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
wow thanks for all the ideas and great links!

I found the "Great States Junior" game too and it will be PERFECT!
post #16 of 18
post #17 of 18
How about a topographical map out of playdoh. It can be of an imaginary place.

post #18 of 18
I saw this book online and thought it looked interesting.
Follow That Map!
A First Book of Mapping Skills
by Scot Ritchie

Sorry, I can't get amazon online right now to give you the link, but saw it on there.
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