US Geography Activities Mapping Our Junk Mail into a Wall Map
I recently got the book Geography Crafts for Kids: 50 Cool Projects & Activities for Exploring the World. It’s been a reassuring to see it does indeed have lots of really cool ideas for very fun projects. Most require just simple materials yet provide a hands-on, out-of-the-box approach to learn about maps, time zones, grids, topography, weather, and much more.
We have picked the Mail Map project. We use all the junk or other relevant mail that comes daily and map it into a wall map. The enthusiasm that this simple idea has produced in Super Hero is delightful to see. He looks forward to clipping another address to paste into our map. I did modify the exercise by adding the very lovely book by Lynne Cheney: Our 50 States A Family Adventure Across America. Therefore, each time we include a new state into our mail map, we read about this state in Our 50 States book. This book offers a collection of facts arranged with charming illustrations that are so enjoyable to look at and read.
We have about a third of the states mapped out, and are still looking forward to receiving more mail from almost the entire mid west and western United States. Hopefully, there will be more junk coming from these states soon. Who knew junk mail would once be welcomed at our home?!
A fun, fun, simple project, that perhaps your child would enjoy as well. Super Hero has learned so much about the United States, not just from mapping mail from big or even tiny towns, which we need to look up in our iPad as they don’t appear in the actual wall map. But also because he sits and stares at the book reading about salient points in that State’s history. In case, you are interested to do this sort of family game with your own child, this is the map I bought for this purpose: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0528002279/ref=oh_details_o05_s01_i00. Very nice coated, albeit a bit thin, paper with bright colors and so inexpensive.
The day the map arrived from Amazon (September 17, 2012). We were going to place it on our cork board but it was much larger. So we used plan B and put it directly on the wall.
And here our latest images from October 30, 2012: