I grew up an Army Brat. My father was in the military, and moving was just a way of life. I was born in North Carolina, spent some time in Georgia, then Texas, followed by Germany, a short stint in Kansas, a few more years in Belgium, until finally finishing high school in Pennsylvania. When living overseas, weekends and school breaks were spent sightseeing: A castle one weekend, a medieval cathedral another, maybe a fjord or two over spring break. Needless to say, I spent a lot of my childhood in the backseat of the family car. Don’t get me wrong! I appreciate and value my traveling experiences; however, traveling is hard when you’re a kid. I hope my own children get to experience different parts of the world personally, but until they are old enough to control their bladders, we’ll be limiting our travels to a 10-hour-max-driving-time-radius from our home. Thanks to our iPad, though, I can still take my kids on trips to castles and far-away monuments all from the comfort of our home. I call this Beyond The App installment Map It!
How To Play
Less a game and more a learning and story-telling experience, Map It! requires nothing more than your iPad, the default Maps app, a comfy seat, and an attentive child. Talk together about places they have heard about, whether on TV or in books or from family stories. My 5-year-old has been talking a lot lately about Disney thanks to fellow playmates who have recently been. We started Map It! by opening the Maps app and typing in Disneyland. From there, it only took a minute to explain to her the different map views and how to zoom in and out. In no time at all, she found it:
From there, we “visited” real castles I had been to as a child, the houses Daddy and I lived in before she was born, and all the grandparents’ homes. Since we’ve played, she has thought of more places she would like to “visit” and we have added them to our travel list.
Map It! is a low-key activity packed with learning and bonding potential. If you try Map It! with your children, please share your experience with us in the comments section. We would love to hear of all the places you go!