FYI: We are not affiliated with discoverymap.com in any way. We simply use them and love them, and are sharing the good news.
Discovery Map is the main company creating those adorable two-dimensional cartoon-like maps that you see available in hotel lobbies in major tourist cities. The feature all of the major bodies of water and local attractions, from water parks to museums.
Long ago, we noticed that the cutesy drawings on these maps make them very attractive to even the youngest children. A kid who might never so much as glance at an atlas is suddenly enthralled when looking at one of these (especially when one can find an amusement park).
We used to simply collect these maps while vacationing. In the classroom, young kids might be asked something like, "If you walk from Acme Beach to the Acme Science Museum, in which direction will you be walking?"
Recently, we realized that the Discovery Map company is online. There are Flash© versions of the maps that kids can explore for free online. And for just 95 cents each (as of September, 2013), you can order a map.
We're thinking that, for our next family vacation, we'll order a map ahead of time. Each kid can examine the map and pick a place to visit. What a fun way to include basic map-reading in everyday life!
Click here for the Discovery Maps website.
Click here for our free Geography educational materials.
Click here for our free printable worksheets related to general themes in World Geography.