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Crafts with Maps Can Strengthen Geography Skills

One of the things that I love most about homeschooling is how you can use things that most people would call “extra-curricular” and integrate them into learning!

Really, it all fits nicely into our educational philosophy of having a lifestyle of learning. 😉

 

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Crafts With Maps

I’ve always been the craftsy type.  Back in my “BC” (before children) life, my hubby used to call me “the Craft Queen”.  Later on, my eldest daughter adopted the “Craft Princess” title, and she has, as I had always hoped, surpassed my efforts…

Which leads me to the message of today’s post: arts and crafts don’t have to be shouldn’t be relegated to the “hobby” classification! We have used classes like cooking and baking and paper crafts and sewing and scrapbooking…and heightened their educational value to “Home Ec” and “Life Skills” and “Career Exploration” class status. Tons of fun…tons of learning…

Plus, tons of inspiration! For example, our reigning “Craft Princess Queen” decided to combine her love of paper crafts (specifically, quilling) and travel into creating ALL the bouquets and boutonnieres she needed at her recent wedding. She cut strips out of old maps (and this would be a super-creative use of Bright Ideas’ Wondermaps) and followed a pattern she found online to make these beauties. Take a look: don’tcha think they were quite spectacular? (And yes, I understand I may have just a touch of bias ;-)! )

flowerswithmaps

bridal-bouquet-maps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doing craft projects with maps is really a wonderful way to bring symbolism and a personal touch to a project. They can incorporate a special place (such as one’s birth city or location of college), bring to mind a memory (the city where you met your spouse or grew up with your best friend), symbolize a dream or plan for someone’s future), or simply emphasize an interest (like one’s love of travel or a particular culture).

(And, since we’re talking homeschooling here, using them in any fun project is a great way to reinforce geography skills 😉 )

 

 

If weddings aren’t in your future, or you don’t have quite the motivation to accomplish the afore-mentioned floral feat…here’s another great Christmas/birthday/special occasion gift you can do with maps. Our friend and past contributor Kelly D’Ambrosio made these cute-as-a-button necklaces, using locations cut out from old maps. They were cities where she met her friend, or where she and her roomie went to school, or her hometown. Isn’t that sweet?

Memory-Necklace-graphic

 

And “this just in”… My sweet sister sent me this photo of a map craft I did with my eldest daughter years (and I’m talking 10-ish!) ago! We took maps of the cities where our female relatives lived and made little pins for them as Christmas presents. Boy did this bring back memories!!

map-pin

 

This next idea isn’t really a craft, per se, it might be considered more decor (at least for homeschoolers like us 😉 ). I put a world map up in our spare bedroom, which we use as a quiet study room, and added pins to locate the countries where we know/support some of our missionary friends. All strings, of course, start from our home…where our love and finances emanate from… 

world map of missionaries

Guess I must have caught the travel-bug from my daughter, ’cause I’m just obsessed with map crafts these days… While cleaning out my hubby’s office, I found a bunch of old road atlases and did some looking around for some project ideas. So far on my “to-do list” are these:

Give an old table a new place in the world!

I actually have my eye on 2 little side tables in our house that need a face-lift…

Always on the lookout for DIY Christmas gifts - vintage map coasters

Wouldn’t these make cute Christmas presents?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll see what happens, tho ;-)…

 

Don’t have maps lying around at your disposal? Ask around if friends or family members have any they’d be willing to part with. These days almost everyone can access a GPS from their phone, or even car dashboard, and may have an atlas or two in the trunk. If you’re really stuck, tho, you can find some beautiful world maps or road atlases on Amazon.

 

Sometimes I have to watch someone a bit, or at least have them walk me through it once, before I get the hang of a new craft. If you’re like that, take a look at your local Michael’s or Jo-Anne’s or Hobby-Lobby and see what classes they’re offering. Our local Lowe’s and Home Depot offer monthly classes for kids, and I’ll bet in a pinch you could find a child to take to a class that you might find interesting, too!

If you need some inspiration, head over to our Pinterest board…you’re liable to find SOMEthing there to get you going 😉

Follow PatAndCandy.com’s board Crafts with Maps on Pinterest.

 

Now even if you don’t have access to any live teachers, and don’t quite trust yourself to a super-ambitious project going it solo, don’t give up!  My daughter and I have enjoyed some online craft classes as part of her middle-school home ec studies ;-). If you’re not familiar with Craftsy (like I wasn’t!), do be curious and take a look at their library of FREE online DIY classes, with lifetime access! 

Craftsy

 

What are your favorite ways to use maps in your home and/or homeschool? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

WonderMaps by Bright Ideas Press

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Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
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5 Responses to Crafts with Maps Can Strengthen Geography Skills

  1. Marilyn Lesniak March 31, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

    I love this idea! It lets me repurpose my old and outdated maps. Pinned nd shared. Thanks for linking o #WonderfulWednesday. (I know where I am this time,)
    Marilyn Lesniak recently posted…Recipe Sharing Party #9My Profile

  2. Cathi Brandon March 22, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

    Map crafting is fun and educational. Many years ago I received a map pin in the shape of a VW Beetle with red buttons for wheels. Something that still brings a smile to my face as it was crafted by a very dear niece.

    • Pat March 23, 2016 at 6:45 am #

      Oh YES, I remember…I may have to add the picture you sent to this post! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, sis 😉 <3

  3. Pat Jones March 19, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    This is a terrific post!

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