Activity: You Are Here
- Paper, pencil, markers (small toys)
- 30 minutes
- Map Skills
By the guys at todayisfun.com
On a piece of blank paper, draw a map of one of the rooms in your house, ideally a larger room that your child feels comfortable in, such as a living room or play room. Try to draw the map roughly to scale (without hurting yourself in the process). The map should show the bigger, immovable features of the room (don't try to include every book and toy, but do draw the furniture). Show your kid the map, and explain how everything in the room is represented on the paper: "Here are the windows, here is the door, here is the sofa, here is the chair, etc." Have your child choose 'markers' to represent the people (and pets, if you have them) in the room. These markers should be toys small enough to fit on the map without covering much of it up. There should be a marker for each kid and adult--including you.
Now have your child move around the room, and move the marker accordingly. You might want to narrate--"The red Lego piece is moving close to the table, moving closer. Oh--now the red Lego piece is stopped, and is sitting on a chair. Look, now the red Lego piece is on the move again."
When my kids were younger, they were intrigued--and a bit baffled--by this activity. They loved to try to "outsmart" the map by running around the room quickly and crazily. As they got older and figured out how a map works, they liked to see all the places they could make their marker go. We also made a marker for Mommy, who was hurriedly packing them up for school, and the kids loved to watch as the tiny girl from the Lincoln Log set appeared in one doorway, moved across the room to get something out of the cabinet, and then disappeared off the map, out another door. In the summer, you could draw a map of your backyard. It is possible that famed travelers Lewis and Clark started their great explorations using a map of the living room.
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