Friday, November 20, 2015

Studying Maps from 1 to 6

We have talked about maps and drawn maps but Mother Goose Time had us try another method.  We were to take a poster board and hand the children different lengths of masking tape.  They would lay the tape down as they wished to make a street map. 

I had a poster board, but I only had one, and I quickly realized this would be a popular task and may cause a fight if just one map was made. So I pulled out our handy dandy blue print paper that Jeff brings home from work, flipped it over and used blue masking tape. 

They soon saw what a great opportunity these maps were for driving their cars.  Adam who has been into trains grabbed a train. 
 They drove . . .
 Then added some more streets.

Adam does not like to be left out, he is 20 months going on 6.  He thinks he can do all the things big brothers can do.  Most of the time he is right.  So I gave him little strips of tape and let him stick it to the black poster board. He spent a lot of time trying to get the sticky side down and in his fingers ready to stick.  Watching his fine motor skills at work was quite the treat.
Then he would push it down and was determined to get it all stuck.  Of course he was just happy to get it stuck and was not worried about the pattern he was making.  I am so impressed by this little man.  He has great control for a little guy his age.
I may have mentioned the idea of adding buildings.  That's all it took and Lachlan had the big bin of Lego Duplo's out and he was starting to build.
The next step in the process I have to say, was another stroke of genius by Mother Goose Time.  Have the kids name the streets they say.  Well of course, why didn't I think of that.   They loved this part and I was fascinated by the names they chose.  It was a glimpse into their thoughts at that moment.  Kind of like a tell me the first word that comes to mind exercise. 

I reminded both the boys that we live on River Oak Rd and that other streets have similar names.  Lachlan from there chose "Salt Water" street which I was very impressed by.  I am not sure where Trunk Rd. came from, haven't figured that one out quite yet, except that I think it is the elephant's trunk not a cars trunk. 
 Next was Petal St, and Bell Rd.
He added a driveway to his building which is on Star Wars Street. You can also see Log St. at the top of the map there.

The hardest part of this activity was that Adam wanted to "help" and Lachlan wanted his map just so.  But he is a good big brother and was able to let him participate. 
 Lining up the driveway.  More fine motor skills at work.
So here is Peter's finished map.  I love the difference between the two maps.  They speak of their personalities.  Lachlan's is uniform and the corners are square.  Peter's is a bit more abstract. 
 He chose to name the main roads, River Oak Rd, and Oregon Rd.  Then of course there is Pig St. and Warthog St. which do go together. 
 At the top here is Stair St.
And then River Rd. and Flower Corner (I think he heard Lachlan name one of his streets Petal street and came up with flower from there).
Adam, desperately wanting to join, but continuing to mess up the things his brothers were working on, was given his own set of roads for driving.  Jeff and I put this together when Peter was the same age Adam is now.  He wanted to play trains with Lachlan and would keep pulling the tracks apart on accident.  So we made a board with the tracks screwed to it.  We used the pieces that were really hard for the boys to use on their own.  The bridge parts that had to have blocks underneath to hold them up and even still were quite wobbly. 
There are a few things I would do different with this board now that we have used it.  I would eliminate the inner track and just make it one big circle around the outside. They always want to sit in the middle when they drive their trains.  But I would also put one split track piece on the outside edge so that when the board is sitting on the ground like this more track can be added.  That way this board could grow with them and be a great starting point for when they are ready to build their own tracks.
Here Adam is telling me his signature "noooo" as I try to take his picture. 

Overall I was blown away by this activity.  They could each do it quite easily at their own level.  Adam being 1 and Lachlan all the way to 6.  It really covered so many skills and is a great way to introduce maps but also a great way to introduce the concept of neighborhoods and towns. 

You could make a map of your own neighborhood and draw your house or build your house on the map.  For older children, you could have them write the names of the streets on the map themselves.  Even mine could have done this but I could tell their moods could not handle that challenge, so I didn't push it. 

So next time you are at the store grab some poster board and see what your kids come up with.  You will not be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. What a fun idea! My Mother Goose Time Box arrived today and I may have spent a good portion of my day looking over everything and punching/cutting everything out... I am soooo excited! I always want to do fun learning activities with Little Guy but can't ever think of anything beyond coloring! Now to see if my perfectionist self can manage to actually let him do the crafts even if they look horrible LOL