Learning direction can be confusing for young children. But these simple carpet map activities bring map skills to life for kids and makes learning fun.
Kids Activities loves these cute floor maps for kids and these map activities are a great way to use them.
For years, we have owned a map rug that my boys have played numerous sessions of trucks, planes, and trains on. It’s one of those pieces that really gets in the way (especially when vacuuming) but you don’t dare part with it because of the imagination play it inspires. I have always wanted to do more with the rug and as I was moving it around the other day, inspiration struck. A map rug is the perfect visual to help with learning direction.
A compass rose always seems to make sense when it is placed on a map, so why not create my own compass rose to teach directions to my son. In school, we were always taught that West and East spell out “W-E”, with North on top and South below. That is fairly easy to memorize, but when you have to put it into play, it becomes a bit confusing.
We quickly sketched out our own compass rose for our map and while I did my best to explain what the different directions meant, it was a little over my three year-old’s head. Until we put it into action.
I lined up the rug correctly in his room with the compass pointing North. And again explained directions, this time using his map.
“The airport is in the North.” “The carpark is in the south”
“Can you drive your truck West?” “If your train went North, what would it run into? Let’s try it.”
“What direction is the red car driving?”
“Can you drive your car North and then West?” Where do you end up?
We went through all sorts of questions like the ones above, his little wheels turning to answer me. Then I asked him to tell me what direction he was going to take his vehicles. It was a great moment of mother-son play that incorporated a beginning lesson on map skills and directions.
More Kids Activities
What has helped your kids learning direction? Have they ever tried a carpet map? For more map skills and kids activities, you might enjoy some of these ideas: