The most valuable piece of art in our house is a cheap, colorful map of the United States that hangs above our kitchen table. As a learning tool, it’s priceless.
I hung it up when we moved from Texas to New England four years ago. My kids were 3 and 5, and I wanted to give them a sense of our journey. Over the years, we’ve used that map to play geography games and dream about future travels. We’ve marked where our relatives live, and when events hit the news, we point to where they happened.
I firmly believe that map-reading is not an outdated skill. It remains a key tool for building children’s spatial reasoning skills and helping them make sense of the world. Geography is about more than physical maps, though. It’s also about climate, land, animals and, of course, people and their diverse cultures.
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Deborah Farmer Kris is a senior parenting columnist at Intrepid Ed News. This piece was originally published on PBS KIDS on April 1, 2021. Click here to read the rest of the article.