Teaching Map Skills

Maps are very distorted so here is a great project to help teach your child how hard it is to flatten a spherical shape without distortion.
  • First, blow up a balloon and tie it closed.
  • Second, draw the outlines of the continents on the balloon with a permanent marker.
  • Third, untie the balloon and deflate it.
  • Next, cut off the top and bottom of the balloon and then cut through the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Last, stretch out the balloon and pin the corners to a cork board or foam board. Discuss how the map looks different when it is flat.
Another way to teach your child locations is to put maps under a clear plastic table cloth on your kitchen table or use pre-made placemats with maps. You will be surprised to learn how much children will learn from consistent exposure.

My children especially enjoy learning about states and countries by using puzzles. I even make it a game by timing them to see who can complete the puzzle the fastest.

Have FUN learning about the world together!