Maps have become an obsession of my sons’. He is high-functioning autistic and is brilliant in learning maps and directions to certain places. So much that all of us ask HIM where streets are and he is glad to tell us (and correct us). We’ve been using the standard maps app on the iPad for years now to find streets and get directions. My son loves looking at a map of our neighborhood. He memorized the streets in a matter of days. We’ve found a few more apps that have been super fun in learning about new countries and their locations on the world map.
We discovered the free Kid’s World Maps app by LJ Interactive that lets you see the physical and political views of a world map, as well as, includes cities, deserts, mountains, and rivers all over the world. It’s aimed for kids ages 5-9 and uses brightly colored maps with their level of information.
Stack the States is a game kids can use to learn about the 50 states. They can learn the capitals, state shape, abbreviations, bordering states, and state flags. The child answers questions about states and “stacks” them to earn new states. The visual and shape of states is very helpful for my son.
GeoChallenge is a free app that lets kiddoes learn flags and maps of the world. Kids love the puzzles, quizzes, and flashcards. Kids can even take a picture and create their own passport and gather stamps for each country they visit. Users can upgrade to the full app, as well.
Map Puzzles for Kids is an educational app for kids ages 0-6, where kiddoes can learn the shapes, names, and locations of countries and how to pronounce them. The drag-and-drop puzzle action is simple enough for young toddlers and preschool-aged kids to do.
We love Flat Stanley and just found the 50 States with Flatter World Inc.’s Flat Stanley app. The kids and Flat Stanley help deliver lost letters around the world. Kids can “slingshot” him to deliver the letters and as they’re delivering letters, they’re also learning the states and their capitals. Kids can play the spelling game to learn the correct spelling of each state. There is both a free version and an upgrade version available for $1.99.
Directions to Safety
We make sure our sons know their addresses and directions to their house, should they get lost. My youngest is more visual and benefits greatly from having maps of buildings, neighborhoods, and cities available for him to study. If he ever got lost, we tell him to remember his way home by talking through the street names that lead him to his street.
Reading a map is a skill that kids will benefit from for the rest of their lives. It opens up new countries and cultures to learn about and could also help them find their way home should they get lost. Try some of these apps with your kids and take a virtual vacation around the world!
Photo courtesy of: flickingerbrad