Our planet is becoming smaller by the minute. It is vital that our children begin to understand that they are part of one, interconnected world, and we can help to spark this interest at an early age in our own homes. But where do you start with a topic as vast as our planet and everything on it?!
I am all for gentle learning and a world map is a great visual anchor for an adventure that doesn’t require expensive plane tickets. Maps provide a starting point for conversations about family, friends, neighbours, holidays, where our food comes from, where our clothing is made, where different animals live, where giant spiders live (a favourite of my three-year-old), planes, boats, how parcels get from one side of the world to the other, marine life, fishing, the atmosphere, weather, space travel… You name it; there are thousands of conversations you can have whilst looking at a map of the world.
As talking is so important for early development, I am yet to find a simple poster that can provide as much mileage as a world map. Our family map was one of the first Lil’ollo products I designed as I wanted to be able to tell our children about where our family come from. So I made our very own personalised map and put pictures of our loved ones up all around it. We mark on flight paths when someone is going away, we talk about our friends from all over the world, and the myriad of communities that make up our city. I have also made the Lil’ollo Personalised World Maps available to everyone on our website and I have had the privilege of creating unique maps for families around the world and getting to know all about their family history.
I noticed that the more we talk about our map, the more my eldest child wants to interact with it, to mark on new places with stickers, draw where the aeroplane flies when we go to see his grandparents in Italy, and to go on ‘adventures’. I’ve heard similar stories from other families, so I have designed a new map – one that you can personalise yourselves with stickers, pens and your own key. We have already made a few at home, ranging from maps about our family, through to maps about boats, planes, submarines and rockets. We want this to be your map and for it to tell the stories that you and your children can get lost in.
I’m so excited about sharing our new map with you, and even more excited to tell you we are running a giveaway! Please follow the link here to find out more.
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.