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Make world maps more exciting to explore and learn. Create challenges to teach kids how to plot, track and find countries, capitals, animals and more.
There’s something magical about kids learning the world is a whole lot bigger than their house, suburb, school and even state. Their minds are often blown when they first discover just how big the globe is. You can introduce them to the world in small and enticing bites by using topics they already love. Before long, they’ll be travelling and having fun on their own adventures. Try these ways to learn and have fun with world maps.
Start with a classic: use a wall poster map to find capital cities around the world. It’s great for kids to start having conversations about different countries and cultures. If your family originates from different parts of the world, it’s also a chance to talk about your family history, as well as a fun way to teach kids about geography.
Once they have capitals down pat, you can talk about the unique architecture and famous landmarks, like Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Rome’s Colosseum. Your kids will be trivia buffs in no time.
Volcanoes are one of nature’s most fascinating features and one primary-age children are often keen to recreate. This makes it a great topic to track on a world map and there are plenty of different ways you can go about it. Help your child create a colour-coded system and then go about finding dormant volcanoes, followed by active ones. You could even mark the last time they erupted.
Not only do maps give kids a sense of the world outside their own environment, some come with added extras like flags and fun facts. Flags are a great feature to help children memorise countries – with their bold colours and patterns, they’ll aid in developing cognitive skills.
In this world map activity, you can talk about which flags share colours and shapes, an easy concept for young minds to recognise, and maybe even which flags represent places you’ve travelled to. Encourage your child to create their own flags with coloured paper and stick them onto the countries on their world map.
This is a great activity to introduce beginners to the globe because it’s very visual. Little people will love tracing their fingers around countries to see if there is water on every side. Plus spotting tiny islands on a globe will be an extra challenge. As they get older, kids can learn about the oceans surrounding the islands.
Migration is such a cool and exciting concept to explain to children. And whales provide a great example to track on a world map. Start with migration patterns in Australia then work your way around the world.
Did you know, humpback whales travel about 5000km each year, one of the longest migratory journeys any mammal makes! This works well on a big globe, and if your little one can draw some whales and stick them onto the migration paths, as you spin the globe the whales will ‘swim’!
Kids love being down on the floor playing, so introducing a jumbo felt world map for the kids room will feel like a game while sparking their curiosity about the world. Help them identify mountain ranges, rivers, continents (e.g. pointing out the difference between South America and North America), and oceans.
Using a world map, you could explain the difference between a river and an ocean and talk about the animals that live in them and the kinds of boats that navigate them. This felt world map is also a great way to talk about mountain ranges and help explain scale. You can also teach your child the highest peak on each continent, too.