Get to Know Your Neighborhood with a Homemade Map

by | May 8, 2020

Week 12: Ideas for learning about your neighborhood

Before you leave home, help your child draw a basic outline map of your street from memory. Include buildings, streets, and general landmarks. Identify your own home for reference.

Think about what kind of map you’d like to make. A map of street signs? Homes with black cars? Palm trees? Yards with colorful flowers?

Add notes and details to your map as you observe them on your walk. Take pictures for reminders if desired.

At home, enhance your map with colored pencils, stickers, etc. Older children may want to draw a fresh map on larger paper and glue down printed photos or make a collage


Providing lots of experiences with meaningful engagement is a major element in the recipe for a deep and lasting relationship with your kids.

This activity does not have to be complicated. If it lasts 10 minutes, great! If it occupies an hour, fabulous! The most important part for you as parents is to maximize your engagement with your kids, before, during, and after the actual map of your street is made. See the list of ideas at the bottom.

????️——————– Activity ——————–????️
Required tools:
✔️Paper and pencil

Optional tools:
????Markers/colored pencils/crayons
????Printed photos

Extra Engagement:
✨Look at maps around your house or online for inspiration before and after your walk.
✨Talk about basic elements of reading a map including:
1️⃣how to find where you are to orient yourself,
2️⃣what a compass rose is,
3️⃣how to read a legend and understand symbols used for different items.

✨ Talk about places we use maps even though most of us use GPS for driving directions. For example at shopping centers, inside office buildings, at amusement parks, public transit stations, when you’re traveling, etc.

✨ Talk about what it was like before we had Waze, and Google Maps and GPS in our cars.

✨ Explore Google Earth online and discuss what GPS is and how satellites take pictures of our earth and can make incredibly detailed maps.

✨Read a pirate adventure story and explain the phrase “X marks the spot!”

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Somer Loomis

Somer is the Chief Content Officer at Raising Families living in Southern California with her husband and four-year-old son. She spent 10 years in the architecture field as a designer and medical planner and now applies her love of integrative thinking and big-picture planning to her family and career. Read full bio >>

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