Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Maps for Kids on the Road

Image from Google Maps.  Thanks Google!

Welcome back to the blog!  I've been off for the summer.  I went on a kind of "obligation vacation" of the sort (with the exception of parenting).  I got to have a break from music therapy work, choir, teaching faith formation, scheduled sports and as you can see, I have not taken the time to post either. These are all things I love but the break this summer was very needed.  School is beginning in two weeks and I could have gone two more plus that as far as school starting again but it's coming so here I am getting back into the swing. 

We are about to take our last trip for the summer. It will be a long weekend trip up to Amarillo and Lubbock where my parent-in-laws live as well as some cousins of Scott's family.  We do not travel up there often so we are very excited.  Especially the kids!  But of course...the drive will be long and kids will be asking, "Are we there yet?" or "when can we go to the bathroom?" as I DEFINITELY did when I was a kid. 

Back in the spring ,NPR's Talk of the Nation, had a show on maps.  I found it fascinating and one of the callers shared what she does in the car for her kids to help them continue to develop spacial awareness skills. She gives one or two kids a map to look at while driving and the other might get the GPS.  

To get a better idea, spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in space or organized knowledge of objects in relation to oneself in that give space (    Spatial awareness visualize patterns in space especially in depth and distance ( Spatial awareness can also transfer to many other skill areas especially in relating to structure, organization, how you visually picture things in your mind and is an important factor in our overall perception.  

I thought back to how much I LOVED looking at maps as a kid.  I used to stare endlessly at a giant and detailed map of Louisiana in the Dairy Queen my grandpa owned when I would go to work with him.  Honestly I still love to look at maps. 

 I thought that having maps for my kids during our upcoming drive would be more fun for my kids as well.  They can stay a little more occupied AND  learn to figure out when the next bathroom stop will be.  Well... it maybe a few more years before we reach that one.

Map Actitvity

  1. I printed off a large map of Texas with the basic rout (as seen above.)  
  2. I also printed out more detailed maps of different sections of the route. 
  3. I then also printed an even more specific one of Amarillo so they can see individual streets when we get close.  Of course they may be fast a sleep by the time we arrive but you NEVER know!!

I hope this is something that others find enjoyable and also helpful.