Whether you’ve got budding geographers, you’re a family that loves to travel, you’d like to make your classroom more global, or you just want to spark an interest in the world, these 5 map gifts will pique your curiosity as well as your children’s.
1. FAO Schwarz Big World Map. Kids and adults love to place the Velcro labels of continents, countries, animals and bodies of water onto this large, felt wall map. I love this idea: the huge, eye-level, colorful map draws kids in, and keeps them coming back for more. (here’s a video of my kids playing with it).
Product description from fao.com:
Keep the world at your fingertips with the FAO Schwarz Big World Map. This huge, colorful felt map includes more than 60 removable pieces to help you learn about different continents, countries, bodies of water, animals and more!
2. “Where I’ve Been” Scratch Map. Traveling families can showcase where they’ve been on their expeditions with this scratch-off map. Note to self: keep out of reach of the little graffiti artists armed with coins. My only complaint is that Antarctica is waaaaaay too big and out of proportion. But the concept is brilliant!
Product description from amazon.com:
Scratch Map is brilliant. Its the perfect way to show off where you’ve been travelling while livening up your wall with a colourful world map. Scratch Map is a amazingly high quality, uber massive wall map, featuring a gold top foil layer. Why. Because you get a unique, slick looking gold wall map to start with, and then scratch off all the places you’ve visited to reveal a whole new world below, featuring colour and geographical detail. The result is a totally unique and personalised world map. What a great gift. Comes packaged in a slick tube, the ultimate in Travel gifts.
3. World Map Murals. Turn heads with this global focal point. I have always wanted to put one of these into my kids’ rooms! Two huge caveats for me: Greenland cannot be as large as South America and the equator must be in the middle of the world. Beware of some North Hemisphere-centric maps, that skew the sizes of North America and Europe and minimize Africa, Latin America and Australia. Compare world map murals here to notice the difference, and choose appropriately. This one fits the bill:
Product description from worldmapsonline.com:
This detailed, brightly colored world map wall mural comes as a 4-panel mural that hangs on the wall like wallpaper. Mural measures approximately 106″x74″. Includes wallpaper paste.
4. Puzzle Globe. Who doesn’t love a good puzzle challenge? 3-D puzzles are all the rage, and this globe does not disappoint. The best part is not having to put it away when you’re finished putting it together! The 180 pieces are numbered on the back, so you can either puzzle by image or by number. This is a great family project, or bigger kids can even try it by themselves.
Product description from ravensburger.com:
Perfectly crafted, curved puzzle pieces allow for an exact fit and are easily assembled together to form a solid, smooth ball – with no glue required! Includes Base Stand.
5. Hugg-a-Planet. Start your budding geographers young with this soft, stuffed globe- a great present for all ages. I can think of dozens of activities to do with this educational pillow ball- how would you play with it? Teach toddlers their continents, toss it in the air and see where you pinkie lands, bring it on an airplane and follow your flight path, play “travel agency” and plan your dream vacation, say a place and have your kids try to find it, find where family and friends live, sit in a circle and toss it while saying a country or city (for older kids do them in ABC order)… the ideas are endless. My favorite part: comes in Spanish and French!
Product description from peacetoys.com:
• Place on the family couch or on the bed for easy hands on reference. •Over 600 places labeled on the Hugg-A-Planet, Earth. 12″ in diameter. A real globe but soft. • Helps our children learn about caring for Planet Earth.
I did not receive any free products nor compensation from these companies; these are my honest opinions:).
Do you own any of these maps and love them? Did I miss any of your favorite maps? Let me know in the comments!