Despite the fact that we live in an age of GPS navigation and Google Maps, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for old-fashioned, fold-‘em-up-and-stick-‘em-in-the-glove-compartment paper maps. I’ve raised my kids to know them and appreciate these travel aids. Call me a dinosaur. I don’t care.
This archaic obsession of mine has prompted us to keep the folks at our local AAA office busy with requests before big road trips (or, I guess, big international air trips).
It also is the reason for my rabid love for The Kidsmap, from German cartographer Simon Schuetz and his company, Awesome Maps.
This map—which (it’s important to note) exists in physical, not virtual, form—comprises three main parts: A super-simple base map showing nothing other than continents, deserts and major mountain ranges; sheets of re-attachable stickers depicting natural wonders and indigenous animal species from around the world; and a deck of quiz cards with questions about different sites and people and lands.
Because the map has both stickers and cards, it can be used as a sticker map, or as a full-on geography game.
Of course if you’re like me, you also can use it to teach your kids about which landmasses are where.
The most delicious irony: This map isn’t available yet, and only will be available later this year if Schuetz can get the project funded through his Kickstarter campaign to do so. (In case you’re wondering, I don’t know this guy at all; I just think his project is REALLY REALLY kick-ass. And, yes, I’ve contributed.)
Schuetz is no stranger to cool maps. In 2013—also through a Kickstarter campaign—he created the bucketlistmap, a map that depicted most of the must-see places in countries all over the globe. As part of that project, he also created world maps featuring all of the best places to surf, take snow trips, and see football/soccer matches.
IMHO, this latest map—the one for kids—is by far the most awesome of the maps from Awesome Maps. In this house, we’ll stop at nothing to incorporate geography (and cartography) into the stuff we teach our girls every day. The Kidsmap is a great tool to do just that.