Map the Neighborhood

Here’s a fun project to combine literacy and geography! This map-making activity is pretty elaborate, but you could do a simple one on paper with the help of Google Maps.

Our favorite map is an adorable floorcloth, made by my mom for my older son’s 6th birthday.

It’s a perfectly detailed map of our neighborhood, including our house, surrounding parks, friends’ houses and other favorite local hangouts.

Our little vehicles, Lego pirates and Star Wars characters have had many fabulous adventures cruising around our neighborhood!  The boys love maps, and this personalized map of our neighborhood is extra special.  Plus it has actually helped them learn street names and alternate routes.  Very handy!

Thanks again, Mom!


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  1. says

    I love this map! What a great way for them to learn their way around their neighborhood. I want to try my hand at quilting a map for the foot of my son's bed. Maybe then he could lay it out on the floor to play on it from time to time, too.

  2. says

    Hi Meredith, I hope you’ll post about your quilt map on your blog! I’d love to see how it turns out! I’m a big fan of multi-functional ideas like that. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. says

    What a wonderful map! My girls love to pretend they are flying on a plane to different countries and we map our travels on a large World Map. Today we were reading about dogs from around the world and searching for the different countries. We also enjoyed a post card swap this summer with families from diffent states and posted our cards near a map of the USA. We also studied the different states.

  4. says

    You guys are geography pros! I especially love the dogs around the world idea! Thanks, Jen!
    (Adorable new profile picture, btw!)

  5. says

    Hi Erin!
    I found your blog through Design Mom and I love your play mat. I read the instructions link and I was wondering if you are able to roll up your rug and store it or if it has to lay flat. This rug would be perfect for my son who loves to drive his garbage truck all around the neighborhood and pretend it's stopping at his friends' houses.
    Thank you!

  6. says

    Hi Heidi,

    My mom actually modified these directions because she wanted to be able to roll it up. She started with a canvas that was pre-treated with gesso. She got it from an art store. Then she worked with permanent markers and paint, then covered it with several coats of a water-based spray varnish. She specifically went for the water-based finishing spray because she wanted something that wasn’t toxic for the kids to play on, and she also wanted it to be flexible enough to roll up for storage.
    Hope that helps!

    This would be perfect for your little garbage truck driver! 

    I’d love to see a picture when you’re finished!

  7. says

    What a great mama! Love this idea, I've been thinking about making something similar but I'm not sure I'm patient enough to make it an "accurate" map – I think it would be more of a "free-form/eye-balled" version of our neighborhood, but I doubt my girls would mind!

    : )
    pink and green mama

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