Teaching your children about map skills starts with knowing the basics. So I start with the cardinal directions! A simple game of Simon Says can turn into a wonderful treasure hunt with a bonus of always knowing which direction to point to find the North Star! This map learning activity is sure to teach your kids some valuable map skills while they play!
This game all started with buried treasure.
Logan found a candy filled Easter Egg tucked in a bush…
from LAST Easter.
And in true ‘7 yr old’ fashion asked “Can I eat it?”
So I went inside and found some chocolate coins from Valentine’s Day (much better right?) and decided to make it a learning moment.
First, I put up super simple, cardstock signs around the yard to mark the cardinal directions (using my compass to make sure I was right). Then we played a game of Simon Says. Instead of saying, “Take two steps to the left” I said, “Take two steps to the North” or “Jump two steps to the East.”
The neighbors poked their heads over (they are homeschoolers too) and asked if they could join in. Then there were four kids jumping, turning, and taking big steps while learning their directions.
The more I guided them around the yard, the faster they would turn in the proper direction. Finally, I decided they had all four directions down and I guided them to their prize. It was like a Simon Says and Treasure Hunt mash-up!
I added a tiny bit of math by making them split the coins between the four of them before they were allowed to eat them. I don’t think they noticed.
I love homeschool. <3
How do you teach your kids map skills? Please tell us about your favorite map learning activity in the comments below!