Why are map skills important for kids? How can I teach navigational skills to preschoolers?
Inside this post you'll learn about maps and why knowing how to get around is important for kids! We're also sharing some fun and simple ways to expose kids to maps and practice easy skills like following a compass and looking at a map key.
These activities are part of our Kid Approved Life Skills School we are sharing this summer! Kids of all ages can participate!
RELATED: Find more fun outdoor activities for kids here.
Why do kids need to learn navigational skills?
- Kids need to learn how to get around their towns and neighborhoods.
- They also need to know how to understand a map and what different symbols mean so they can get from place to place.
You don't need to wait until kids are old enough to go off on their own to learn about maps and navigation.
Start when they are little and help kids learn to be good observers.
Navigation & Map Skills to Teach:
- Show kids different kinds of maps
- Teach them the parts of a map- symbols, water, parks, roads, map key, etc.
- Show them how to look at and draw a birds eye view
- Show them how to follow a path on a map
- Teach them about a compass and directions.
- Talk about the locations in your town and how to get there and home.
Teach Kids Navigational Skills in Simple Ways!
Maps don't need to be complicated. Introduce maps and towns and directions to kids in fun ways!
We have 4 simple activities you can use to introduce maps and navigational skills to kids!
- Some simple things to talk about/show kids
- A supply list for the activities
- 4 simple activities
- Movie & book ideas
This week's map themed activities:
1. Build a map of your room
Use paper and markers to make a map! Toddlers can team up with a parent or sibling to create theirs.
2. Go on a treasure hunt (using the map of your room)
Grab some treasure or a favorite toy to hide and have a sibling or parent try and find it using your treasure map!
3. Follow the leader adventure
Go on an adventure around your neighborhood and learn how to use a compass and practice saying the names of the directions (north, south, east, and west).
4. Build your own town
Use paper, markers, and building toys to create your own town!
Why did you include movie ideas?
Did you miss any of the skills we've shared so far? Find them on our Hands-On Life Skills Activities landing page HERE.