School Logo

Welcome to the international Children's Mathematics Network

Google Translate

Children's early maps

Maps children choose to make for personal reasons. Their maps have personal meaning, enabling them to explore their thinking about location and direction, space, position, distance and size.


Tiyanni (3 years, 2 months) was in the garden,

looking a world map in an old diary. One of the

practitioners Melanie talked about the time

when Tiyanni went to Jamaica, and pointed out

Jamaica on the map. Tiyanni said "That's where

my Grandma and Grandad is."

    Melanie talked abut the beach in Jamaica

and picking up a blue pen, Tiyanni made

some marks and said, "This is swimming."

    Rather than making a map, her discussion of

the map with Melanie triggered Tiyanni's

memories of her grandparents, and swimming at the beach.

Dan (3 years, 7 months) drew a series of

ascending horizontal lines, adding some

curving lines and dots. He explained,

"Look at my track. It's for the train. We

went on a train to Cardiff." Then pointing

to one of the lines he announced, "Look,

there's Cardiff."

From his father, Isaac (4 years, 1 month) had

developed a  fascination with maps, and at

home his father had put some old, framed

maps on the walls. Isaac decided to draw his

own map for the wall, explaining it as

showing the route they drove from home to

the nursery. Isaac lives in a large city and

sometimes the route must have seemed

circuitous! Pointing to a place on the map

he explained, "And that's my nursery."

     Isaac was very interested in location and

direction and understood how to use a compass.

Visiting the forest on another day, Isaac told

an adult, “I think we’re going west […] That

way is south”. Then concerned that they might

be lost, Isaac asked, “Are we north or

south? This is a mystery path! I don’t want to go

south – it will go to Africa and my bedtime’s at six o’clock”. 




Max (4 years, 2 months) drew the location of

"Yoda's house" (Yoda is a character from the

film "Star Wars"). He has shown a route

indicating how to get to the house.









Robert (4 years, 9 months) has imagined a

car driven on a mountain route, the same car ascending each peak!

 Caitlin (5 years, 8 months) drew a detailed

map of the village where she lives, including

a roundabout, "the two hills", the village hall

and "my old house". In the distance she drew

the beach and the airport.