Use the math center or other specific area of the room for a small group game (i.e., Treasure Hunt.) Create a map of the room with simple representations of doors, windows, tables, etc. so the child can read it. Place an X at the spot where the child is located. Prior to the activity, hide specific objects around the room. Laminate the maps, so the treasure can be “erased” and redrawn in a new spot.
Have the child cover her eyes, while the adult draws a circle on the map of where treasure is hidden. The child then takes the map and tries to find the object.
Most children will be able to find the hidden object after using the map for one or two turns. Some may need help with orienting the map so it aligns with the room.
Map activities help children develop a broader understanding of space in relationship to themselves. Early childhood educators and parents can use maps to the outdoor play areas, the front desk, the bathrooms, etc. Adding the treasure at the end makes this more fun!
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.