We think every house should have a world map! I have previously written about how the first world map I created for my children is helping to shape our language learning adventure and also helping us start to explore global citizenship. There are lots of simple games you can play with a map of the world to help your children travel the world. You don’t even need to leave your front door!
Here are 10 ideas for games you can play to help your children travel the world:
- Secret location: Close your eyes and stick a sticker on the map. Open them and investigate the country or sea where your sticker has landed. Look at pictures on the internet and even go on a pretend journey there! You can find our map with stickers here.
- Where are your family, neighbours, friends from? Do you have family roots from around the world? Or maybe neighbours or friends who were born in another country? How about finding out about some of these countries and languages? You can plot them on your map. You can find a personalized family map here.
- Sea creatures: 71% of the earth is covered by water, and our oceans are very important. There are some sea creatures on your Lil’ollo map, but how about finding out about some more? Sharks are very popular in our house!
- Pretend to be pilots: Build a ‘plane’ (this can be a chair, or a box, you get the idea) and plan your journey round the world. Which countries are you going to visit? What languages do they speak there? Pack your plane with plenty of fuel and food for the journey!
- Where do the animals live? Where would you find a lion? Or a giraffe? Where do dogs live? Or Kangaroos? Or giant spiders? (I’m dreading on of these being on Marco’s Christmas list!)
- Food detectives. So much of our food now comes in from overseas, it can be a fun game and helpful conversation to start by looking in the kitchen and finding on the map how far your food has travelled. The same game can be played with clothing
- Language Explorers: Pick a country and learn how to say ‘hello’ You can use a map of the world to talk about different languages with your children, pick a country and find out how to say hello! Some countries have a number of different official languages, South Africa has 11!
- Boats, planes and submarines… if you had to travel all the way around the world, how would you do it? Can you draw some of your methods of transport? Do you know where the fuel comes from?
- 2D – 3D: How about looking at pictures of the earth from space, and also a globe if you have one. We are very lucky to be near to the International Space Centre in the UK, and regularly visit. Marco is starting to make the connection between the flat map, globe, journeying into space and the solar system.
- What time is it? The time changes when we visit family in Italy, and we have some time zone clocks on our wall. We also recently had friends visit from Australia and this prompted a discussion about time zones. It’s a complicated subject for younger children but, if your kids are interested, one to start conversations about.
We would love to hear about how you get on with these games. Don’t forget to visit the freebies club to download your world map activity kit!
Alex is a designer, writer, entrepreneur, problem solver and mother to two multilingual children. She is passionate about using design to improve people’s lives and has worked on projects around the world. Alex is a champion for languages and creative arts in early education and the creator of Lil’ollo.