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Literacy-Based Craft: X Marks the Spot Maps

Many of our storytime families will be traveling this summer! Here’s a craft you can use with a Things that Go or Travelling storytime that starts with recycled maps.

Ask your staff or patrons if they have old maps they can bring in, or call your local AAA office to see if they have out-of-date maps they would be willing to donate.

Cut the maps into smaller pieces, and cut triangles and squares out of construction paper. If you have a diecut machine, you can use it to cut Xs, but if you don’t, skinny rectangle shapes can be glued criss-cross to make your own Xs.

Set out the construction paper shapes, Xs, and glue sticks, and give every child a piece of a map. They can make houses on their maps, and decide where to glue their X to “mark the spot.”

As they work, you can have the grownups point out letters and words on the maps to their children. They can talk about how we use the words and pictures on a map to help us figure out where to go.

You can also give out crayons for the children to draw directly on the maps. They can draw cars and trucks, or make dotted lines for paths to follow, or draw more houses, lakes, roads and parks on their maps.

After listening to The Big Trip in storytime,

one girl drew a hot air balloon on her map flying high above a lake!

How Is This Craft Literacy-Based?

Before they can be successful readers, children need to learn that print--those black squiggles on the page--has meaning, and that print is all around us. It's not just something that we do while reading books at bedtime, but when we are at the grocery store, in the car, at a restaurant, at the park. One way to build this awareness is to explore and talk about materials other than books that have print, like maps.