Let’s learn about the compass rose and how it can help us navigate a map! To help my kids learn the cardinal directions I created this compass rose craft.  This easy kids craft and map activity is great for kids learning what a compass rose is, how to use a compass rose and practice the skills associated with North, East, South & West! This compass rose activity is great for home or in the classroom.

Compass rose project for kids - compass rose created with craft paper to practice the cardinal directions and a treasure map worksheet that can be printed to practice.
Let’s make a compass rose & then go on a treasure hunt!

Compass Rose for Kids

All three of my boys have loved learning map skills. Both my husband and mom are map enthusiasts, so it appears that genetics may play a role in their excitement. Rhett(5) and I have been working on map basics – North, South, East and West – and the compass rose.

Related: How To Make A Compass

What is a Compass Rose?

A compass rose displays the cardinal directions {North, South, East & West} and the intermediate directions {NW, SW, NE, SE} on a map, chart or magnetic compass.  It is often seen in the corner of geographical maps.  Other names include windrose or rose of the winds.

Let’s Make a Compass Rose

I thought it might be helpful to make a Compass Rose worksheet to help Rhett learn the cardinal directions.   It is always helpful to have something that he can pull out on his own and work on without my undivided attention.

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Supplies Needed to Make Your Own Compass Rose

Compass rose project materials
Printable Compass Rose Template from Kids Activities Blog to use as a template to make your own compass rose
Download, print and cut out this compass rose template.

Download & Print Compass Rose Template Worksheets Here

We created two compass rose online versions for you to download and print for a compass rose worksheet.

Directions to Make a Compass Rose from Template

compass rose craft for kids - making a compass rose

Step 1

Use the printable compass rose shapes as a template:

  • The image was cut and used to cut the scrapbook paper into one large and one small four-point shape.  
  • The larger one was used for N, S, E & W and the smaller one for the intermediate directions NE, SW, SE & NW.

Step 2

Glue each of the four point shapes onto a sheet of paper as a base – the larger one on top.

Step 3

At each point, fasten a Velcro dot.

Step 4

Cut 8 squares and label with the cardinal and intermediate directions – N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW

This allows the direction squares to be removed and replaced by little fingers whenever desired to practice on the compass rose.

learning directions

What We Learned from Making a Compass Rose

  • One thing that I learned when completing this project is that I would decrease the size of the Velcro used next time. It is VERY sticky and a smaller square/circle would make it easier to remove – I have updated the directions to include a smaller Velcro dot.
  • Once the directions are learned, this Compass Rose could be used for “life size” map projects within a room or in our backyard.
  • This is a really fun compass craft or map craft for kids of all ages.

I feel a treasure hunt coming on…

DIY Treasure Map Activity

Using the printable map worksheet (great for preschool, Kindergarten, elementary school & middle school because the instructions are customizable) included in the printable compass rose pages above. 

You can create a fun map learning activity that works great at home or in the classroom to teach cardinal directions.

Treasure Map Activity for Compass Rose

Have the kids create a compass rose and then use it to navigate the treasure map with a pencil or crayon.  This could be as complicated or as simple as is age-appropriate.

Come up with a sequence of directional instructions that are delivered to one or more students at a time.

Here is a sample set – the goal is to have a continuous lined path between map destinations when the compass rose is pointing up as North…

Using Cardinal Directions in a Treasure Hunt

  1. Start at the ship and go North stopping at the first plant.
  2. Then go East until you run into a pond.
  3. Go South to the first animal.
  4. Then head Northwest until you meet a crab.
  5. Go further Northwest until you meet two sharks.
  6. Head East or Southeast until you find treasure.

More Map, Navigation & Learning Activities for Kids

How did you and your kids use this compass rose? Did this activity make it easier for them to learn and practice compass rose skills?

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    1. Hi, Kerrianne! There is a green download button towards the middle of the post that allows you to download the printable! I just emailed it to you, too. I hope that helps!

    1. Hi, Leslie! I am emailing the file to you right now. Just download and print from there! Have fun!

  1. This is just what I was looking for. My Sunday School kids are learning to “Prepare the Way for the Lord” this Christmas season and I thought a compass would be a great tool to use to ‘Prepare” them for the coming of baby Jesus. Thanks

  2. I love this idea and know my son will too! I like that you used velcro so he can practice again and again! SO clever!

  3. Love this idea! My 5 year old is really into maps too. He has a little compass that he carries around everywhere. I’m going to make this today for him. Thanks for the great idea!