Teaching Maps: North, South, East, West

Here are two fun activities to help kids grasp the directions on a map.

1. When the days are warmer, we love to take walks through the neighborhood (and beyond). We take turns calling out North, South, East, and West. We go one direction until we come to an intersection or run into something. Then, the next person calls out a direction for us to go. This is a fun way for children to grasp directions around your home and the orientation of things. It also brings you to new places and adventures, where there's never been a reason to go before. We've also done this in the car.

2. Make a simple treasure map with white crayon on white paper. Don't forget to include an Orientation Key with the directions! Next to the lines, write 'Take 2 steps west, 5 steps north...' Include movement in all four directions. Have the kids color over the map with a colored highlighter to discover the map. (We tried water colors. That didn't really work. I found an article online that says to use highlighter.) Be sure to hide something at the end where X marks the spot.  :)

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