Introduction: Neighbourhood Map for Kids
Why did I make a map for my toddler? Because she was showing interest to learn spacial concepts. Whenever she saw a map at the train station she insists we show the roads, train tracks, rivers, etc. Thus I planned to make a neighborhood map with familiar places and routes. It would be the best way to introduce the concept of maps.
So here is a simple idea to create a colorful map for toddlers/ preschoolers. It's easy and doesn't take much time!
- Cardboard sheet of preferred size
- Black Insulation Tape
- Felt sheets or color paper
- Tools: Cutter, Pencil, Hot glue gun, scissors
That is all you need to make this.
Step 1: Choose the Area to Represent
The first step is to decide the boundary of the map that we need to create. I chose a distance of 500m radius around our house. You can use google map for reference to draw the main roads and streets of your neighborhood.
Step 2: Mark the Important Places and Landmarks
There might be a lot of buildings within the chosen boundary. But please select only the important spaces and landmarks so that the map is easily readable for the kid.
For instance, I have included only the following:
- Our home
- Busstop/train station
I have roughly marked the footprint of all these places on the cardboard sheet. It is important to draw it in proportion to one another with reference to Google Maps.
Step 3: Make the Road
Let's begin with the roads. I have used black insulation tape on the marked lines. For the narrow roads, I have cut the tape in half along the length and pasted over the marked lines.
Alternatively, you can also create a network of roads with black markers.
Step 4: Add Buildings
Cut patches of the felt sheet/color paper for buildings/places and paste it on the cardboard with a hot glue gun.
Each type of building should be represented by a unique color. I have added a black outline for some light-colored patches.
Step 5: Add Other Features
We often walk through a tunnel of a railway bridge near our home. So I have included that as well. I folded a long strip of cardboard and pasted it over the road.
Step 6: Add the Legend
The final step is to make a legend for the map. The map Key or legend is an essential part of the map.
First, I cut the felt pieces and pasted using a hot glue gun. I composed vector images of buildings in PowerPoint. After printing, I cut them and pasted next to the respective color.
This pictorial representation is much needed for kids who are yet to read.
Now the map is all set!
Step 7: How to Play/Interact With This Neighbourhood Map
- Hang this on the wall and have a conversation with your child about the places you went, what you did there, and recollect memories with them. It would also be interesting to see some relevant photos of the places.
- You can take this board along when you go out next time. This way the little learners can navigate around with these maps.
- Use this as a playmat with toy cars.
Ask questions. Here are a few examples: Where is the supermarket? What's that big red building? How to go to church from our home? How many parks are there around our house?
Here is a quick video of my daughter interacting with our neighborhood map. She is 32 months old now.
I hope this instructable inspired you to make one for your kid!
Participated in the