Michelle (author of the wonderful blog Scribbit) came up with a brilliant way to teach her kids about geography. This would be a wonderful way to build excitement for summer travel.
To help teach my kids about the world around them I implemented a trick for teaching basic geography.
I scrounged around for the maps occasionally included as inserts in National Geographic Magazine and put them up, one at a time, in a conspicuous place in the kitchen. I wrote questions on index cards and taped them up around the map for the children to solve.
For example, this month we’ve got a map of the Balkans up so I have "Where is Budapest?" and "Where is Montenegro?" stuck around it.
When a child can answer all the questions they show me their answers and are eligible for a treat from The Bag. Sometimes it’s a few M&Ms, sometimes it’s a fancy pencil, whatever I happen to have on hand.
A good place to find maps is in the discard piles at your local library. They’re always getting rid of old magazines, just make sure they’re current.
For some other fun links to maps try these:
Middle Earth, an interactive map of Tolkien’s world with zooms similar to Google Earth
Trove Maps, a site where you can make your own treasure maps
PediaX, a map that allows you to find the twenty top Wikipedia entries for each location
Bible Map, a site that allows you to see a map of each geographical location in the Bible indexed by the verse where it is referenced
Mapsack, which maps beaches, temples, ruins, castles and other cultural sites
Napoleon Dynamite’s Sweet Map of Preston, Idaho, where you can seen scenes of the movie and where they were filmed. Sweet!