Maps and literacy

Great ideas for using maps for reading and writing skills

If you’re out and about this summer grab a map and add some literacy lessons.

1. Giving a map to the children and following your route as you go is a great lesson in geography. Look out for landmarks, talk about left and right and the points of the compass. What words can they spot on the map to match up with what they see on their journey?

2. When you return home, use the maps to talk over your journey – sequencing the things you saw, seeing if you can remember them all. Talk about what you liked the best, what was most interesting, what was hard to find, what was the oldest thing you saw, what was the tallest: lots of chatting, boosting communication and vocabulary.

3. Use your finger or a pencil to trace your route along the map – co-ordinating your hand and eye as you move along, and practising early writing skills.

4. Use the map to play i-spy, taking it in turns to give clues and find the answer.

5. Draw a map of your own: re-creating your journey or making one up using your imagination. You could turn this into a photography project and make your own street map.

An excellent resource of preschool activities, toghether with 10 printables. Includes math, literacy, art, science and play ideas for thre to fice year olds. Click through to download your copy.




  1. says

    Both my kids love their HUGE global geologic survey wall maps that their Grandmother (a geology nut) gave them. Our current home isn’t big enough for hanging them up, but we keep them easily accessible and roll them out on the floor every now and again. The kids love to point to the countries and regions they recognize and ask about the ones they don’t. But most exciting are the little dots that represent fault lines and volcanoes! Oh, the stories they tell about those dots!

  2. says

    My mom always picks up maps for the boys when they are out and about and brings them home with them. I love when they bring home a map from the zoo and we can talk about their day with Grandma and Grandpa! These are great ideas to extend that. I really like your idea to play I spy with the map. That is one of my son’s favorite games.

  3. says

    I love all of the ways you suggest using maps! Will put these to use with my kids soon!

    Thank you for linking up to learning laboratory at mama smiles =)

  4. says

    This is a brilliant learning activity! I’ll be on the hunt for maps now.. haha… Love it! I loved this post so much I am featuring it at this week’s For the Kids link party at Sun Scholars!

    Thanks so much for linking up! Stop by, grab your “A++” button to stick on your blog, and share some more of your fun ideas with us. Thanks for sharing at!

  5. says

    My kids LOVE maps. Whenever we go to the zoo or a theme park where they hand out maps, I take it to Staples and have it laminated. My kids will play “zoo” or theme park and use the maps. So much fun!

  6. says

    We absolutely love maps!!! :) One fun idea we’ve done on long road trips is to personalize a google map so the kids can follow along. I agree with you- reading a map touches on so many different skills!

  7. Ramona says

    I learned how to read when I was very young reading maps and street signs. We traveled cross country and I was my moms real life GOS. My son also loves maps. He has a giant plastic Highlights map hanging in his room. Would love to have a large one of the entire globe. We always talk about the different states but would like to be able to talk about all the countries.

    • says

      My daughter is doing a project all about the world at the moment Ramona, and is loving pulling out our maps to look up anywhere we’ve been .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>