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Make a Map

Create a big, colorful map together.


  • long, rectangular piece of cardboard
  • newspaper (if working inside)
  • blue, yellow, red, black, white paint
  • paper plates for mixing paints
  • paintbrushes
  • camera


Tell children they are going to create a large map together of their (city/town), like the one made by the children in the video.

  1. Spread the cardboard on the ground. (This activity works indoors or outdoors. Spread newspaper on the floor under the cardboard if working inside.) 
  2. Give children the painting supplies and let them make their map. Guide them in deciding what to feature: streets, sidewalks, houses, and trees—maybe a lake. They will need to mix colors to get the colors they want for their city or town. As they work, ask questions such as:
    • What colors could you use to make a sidewalk or street?
    • What colors are you going to use for the houses?
    • What colors are you going to use for the trees and the grass?

Take photographs of the children working on the map to show later.

Reflect and Share

Have the map and any photographs you took available so children can point to parts of it as you discuss. When the map is dry, put it in one of the learning centers and let children play on it with toy people, cars, and trucks.