We love good geography crafts for kids. Whether they are map crafts that let children reuse and recycle old atlases in quirky ways or kids activities with an emphasis on earth science, we’re all in.
Incorporating geography into your children’s home routine comes with many perks. It helps kids gain a bigger worldview through a better understanding of where different places are located and where resources come from.
Geography play also allows kids to learn more about the origin of certain languages and cultures. And it piques global curiosity that might just inspire a future family trip. Check out these five cool geography activities and crafts for kids and then start creating.
1. Help Your Kids Find Their Place in the World
Teaching kids geography starts with helping them understand where they fit in. With a few paper plates, some construction paper, and crayons, your kids can use circles of varying sizes to craft a multi-layered masterpiece that depicts their place in the world. Each circle represents a different geographic location: city, state, country, continent, and planet.
Kids identify their geographic location from the planet Earth down to a drawing of their home using each circle to represent a different spot. Besides the supplies listed above, you’ll also need mixing bowls of varying size as templates for each circle as well as glue, scissors, and a large metal loop (for assembling the circles). Print out maps of your state, country, and continent and get full instructions here. Or use images from an old atlas for vintage appeal.
2. Create a Papier-Mâché Globe
While making papier-mâché comes with a little mess, it’s well worth it to teach your kids about the planet. It’s also a great way to recycle old newspapers. Besides newsprint, you’ll also need a large mixing bowl, paint (in white, brown, green, and blue), paintbrushes, glue, and a balloon. Go with a punching bag balloon to achieve the ideal size and shape.
Use a second smaller mixing bowl to prop the balloon on as you’re adding the newspaper and glue. Once the balloon is covered and dried, it’s time to go back in and draw the outline of the continents. Help younger kids with this, although older kids should be encouraged to give it a try.
While your kids draw in these continents and paint them green, talk about different places around the globe. Help your kids learn the names of each continent and point out approximate locations for countries and cities. You can even add stickers (once the globe is painted and dried) to represent your hometown and places you’d like to go. Get your step-by-step guide to creating a DIY globe.
3. Teach Your Kids About Mind Mapping
A great way to help kids learn that maps are graphic representations of information is through mind mapping. Mind mapping allows kids to understand and organize their thoughts visually. It’s also a proven way to encourage them to make connections. And kids of all ages benefit from it. (Some research even shows mind mapping can help older kids take better notes in school.)
To get started, grab some sheets of paper and fun stickers. These should include a variety of animals, fruit, cars, planes, people, and whatever else interests your little ones. Have them arrange these stickers on a piece of paper to create a silly story. For younger kids, help out by drawing arrows between each sticker and writing a few words (they suggest) to tell the story. Older kids can make these connections for themselves. Check out the full instructions.
4. Learn About the Layers of the Earth
For a fun take on earth science, check out this 3D model of the Earth. This craft lets your kids learn about the layers of the planet while having some serious fun with play dough of various colors. Accompanied by a fun handout, your kids will enjoy this hands-on physical geography activity.
What’s more, apart from the play dough, all you need is a paper plate (to keep the mess concentrated in one spot) and a knife. You’ll use the knife once your kids have finished making their models to carefully cut each one open revealing the various layers of the globe. From the inner core’s red clay “magma” to the outer shell’s vibrant blue punctuated by swathes of green land, this craft proves both educational and eye-catching. Get the full scoop.
5. Travel Around the World
This last activity proves surprisingly simple. But younger kids will have a blast while using their imaginations and learning about different places all over the world. For this geography activity, all you need is a large world map or globe and a handful of toys. Better yet if they are from Disney’s Cars 2 and/or Planes.
Why the Disney theme? Because Lightning McQueen and his compadres traveled all over the world in each of these transportation-based movies. You can use this to spark your kid’s interest in “traveling” to the same spots using their toys. Get a full list of locations featured in Cars 2 and Planes, and then let your kids start traveling the globe.
Geography Activities and Crafts for Kids
These geography-focused activities and crafts for kids will help your children learn more about our planet while developing fine motor skills. From learning their place in the world to exploring the Earth’s layers, they’ll also have the chance to reuse and recycle newspaper, old maps, and other materials found around the house.
At Our Whole Village, we craft transformational trips for curious families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its people, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for curious families just like yours.