Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fun activity for hiking kids: Different Maps

What is the best kind of map to use?
Generally, exploring and discovery is enough for kids, but sometimes even they can grow bored with that and become restless. Remember that they naturally have shorter attention spans than adults.

Fortunately, there are lots of tried and true activities you can do on the trail that’ll keep kids from getting bored. One them, which can help teach map reading and other navigation skills, is Different Maps. This activity works best is you have a group of kids hiking.

Collect a variety of paper maps that show your hiking trail. One might be a topographical map, another a relief map, another a hand-drawn/road-style map, another a satellite pic of the region, maybe one even a GPS reader. Give a different map to each child in the group. Have them follow the map throughout the hike and periodically check in with each child to see if he can point out on the map where you are. At each rest stop, have the children discuss the good and points of their maps and then switch their maps. Once the hike ends, ask them to decide which map is best for navigating their trail.

Materials: Variety of maps

Ages: 10 and up

Learn about more than a hundred other hiking diversions for kids in Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities.