Let Avenza Maps Amuse You
These are unprecedented times and we are all looking for ways to amuse ourselves with many billions of people in the world currently told to keep close to home. While you are practicing social distancing try these activities with your kids to help them explore the wonderful world of maps, direction and navigation and have fun while doing so. The inspiration came from an Avenza Maps user who shared a story with us, of a colleague who was using the app in this way. All of the activities can be done in your backyard, or outside, near your home.
Explore the Area Around You
Find a map of your area by searching the Avenza Map Store from within the app or online. There are lots of free maps to choose from, covering North America, Europe, and Australia at different scales. Find the one that works best for you and download it. Show children how to locate themselves on the map using the blue dot and to compare what they see on the map to what they see around them. As you move around, see how the dot follows you! You can even turn on the GPS tracking to record and visualize your route.
Create a Scavenger Hunt
Open up a map of your area and plot a few placemarks on it. Have children safely find their way to the places on the map and either retrieve an object or take a picture at the location and record some information about the spot. This game teaches kids how to read maps and orient themselves. It can also get them thinking about their local environment and seeing things that they overlooked before. The first one to reach all of the spots and collects the objects or information wins!
Map Your House
Change the coordinate system displayed in the app to what3words and explore the words that describe the location of things near you. Draw a map of your backyard or your house (on paper) and use the app to find the 3-word address of each square on the grid. What’s the address of your front door? The big tree in your backyard? Your child’s bedroom? The kitchen table? Using only 3 words to describe a location is a great way to teach about spatial awareness.
Take a Historical Walk
The Avenza Map Store contains many historical maps that you can use to compare what you see around you today to what may have been there in the past. Find a historical map and go for a walk and explore. What has changed and what has stayed the same? You may be surprised!
Most people use the Avenza Maps app for work in remote areas for forestry, agriculture, and search and rescue, and many more use it for recreation when hiking, biking, fishing and camping. However, there are lots of fun ways that you can use Avenza Maps close to home for a little bit of educational fun. We are sure you’ll find creative ways and welcome you to share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.