Teaching kids geography doesn’t have to be boring or involve lots of rote memorization exercises. Instead, turn it into a fun adventure with innovative map activities for kids. From mapping out the global cuisine that you and your kids have tried to integrating your family’s heritage into map studies, there are countless, captivating ways to inspire your children to immerse themselves in a world map.
Read on for three creative ideas to get curious kids interested in world map activities.
1. Go on a Food Scavenger Hunt
There are many ways to travel the world from the comfort of your hometown. One of these is food. How? Start a running scavenger hunt with your kids to see who’s eaten cuisine from the largest variety of countries around the world.
Have you and your kids tried Japanese sushi, an Indian curry, Mexican fajitas, Brazilian barbecue, or a Thai noodle dish? If so, place a mark on each of these nations. Then, start exploring foods you have yet to try by expanding your restaurant reach. Include the cuisine of Ethiopia, Morocco, Vietnam, Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Greece, and more. Get more cuisine ideas.
Then, keep expanding from there. Not only will this get your kids pouring over a map, but it’ll spark their interest in trying different foods. You may also find a favorite new restaurant or two along the way.
A fun variation of this game involves cooking recipes from all over the globe. Get started now by downloading our Around the World in 12 Recipes cookbook. It’s filled with fun, delicious recipes from all over the world that’ll launch your scavenger hunt.
2. Explore Your Family Heritage Through Maps
Map reading skills help kids develop spatial thinking and the ability to analyze phenomena related to spaces and places. When it comes to learning about family history, kids are total sponges. They love hearing stories about family members, and these shared moments help shape their identity and their place in the world.
By adding maps to this storytelling time, you ground your family’s heritage in concrete, geographic locations. It’s a great way to explore your children’s cultural past while teaching them important lessons about family, love, and the globe.
And getting started is simple. Just pull out a map and begin asking (and answering) the following questions. Who are the “characters” in your family history? Where were they born? Where have they lived? Where did your ancestors move from, and which languages did they speak? How far back can you go?
3. Play 21 Questions Geography-Style
Twenty-one Questions is a proven road trip favorite and with good reason. It teaches kids how to ask questions, solve problems, use the process of elimination, and all while enjoying plenty of family fun. It’s also an easy game that can be played anywhere with no equipment or game pieces required.
While the geography version does require a map or globe, that’s it. Sit down with your kids and have whoever’s “it” use the map to secretly select a country. Then, let the questions begin!
Reassure whoever’s “it” that it’s okay to say “I don’t know” when they get asked a question outside of their range of knowledge. These unanswered questions build on the sense of mystery and will get your children even more excited and curious about the chosen country.
During gameplay, allow the questioners to explore the map or globe. It will stimulate more questions and get them focused on finding the right destination.
Fun Map Activities for Kids
These simple map activities for kids pack in lots of fun while allowing children to interact with maps. You’ll be amazed at how carefully and analytically they pour over a global map while learning about family members or trying to figure out the chosen country during 21 Questions.
Interested in more activities that integrate learning about the world with fun, hands-on activities? Then, check out these five fun geography activities and crafts for kids.
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.