When we’re in the car, my son thinks going straight means we’re going north. Um … not quite. To help him understand cardinal directions, I decided he should use a compass and practice locating things on a map.
We don’t have a compass, so he made one! We followed the same directions that are posted here.
All you need is a cork, shallow dish/bowl, needle, water, and a magnet. This was surprisingly easy and fun, too!
My son kept moving the cork to watch the needle spin right back and point north again. Never having worked with a compass before, he was curious to see that it always pointed north.
He thought that it would point in whatever direction you were heading. I explained how once you knew which way was north, you could figure out the rest of the directions.
After our compass was made, I gave him a little activity I’d worked up to practice directions. Before he started, though, I pointed out two things on the makeshift map I’d made: the compass rose and the map scale.
|Download a PDF of this map and directions to find friends' locations here.|
Next, he read directions and followed them to find friends on the map (an example is below), either beginning at the start or using the clue in the first direction to determine the starting point.
After all eight friends were located, he picked the place he’d want to go and wrote the directions to it.
Of course, my son picked the ice cream shop (like father, like son)!