Last week, as we discussed the Olympic torch relay, I discovered that not all my children know where we live in the UK. One thought that we lived two counties further down south. I can see how the mistake happened. We use phrases like “down South” and “being further south than…” We point at small maps, where our fingertips cover more than one county at a time. It is confusing.
A while back I bought a wall map of the UK, stuck it to a wall and ….well actually that was it. After the initial day, I don’t think I spent any time talking about it with the children. Hmm.
After the conversation, I moved the map into the kitchen. Next I found a ball of wool and brought up the map of the olympic torch relay on my laptop. I asked the children if they would like to follow the torch’s route and mark it with wool. I thought it might keep up some of the excitement of seeing the torch in Bath, last week. They then suggested changing the colour of the wool for each day. By the end of the first week, we had followed the torch’s progress through familiar territory. After that, they were looking for places on the map that were new to them.
BL made a little torch which they moved to the flame’s overnight stop. As they didn’t know these areas and adding the wool was becoming more of a chore than a pleasure, we decided just to move the paper torch each night. So now they search the map for the named overnight stop and place the torch there.
We are going to add photos of family and friends to the map as we reach where they live.
It is a very simple activity, but I’m not sure that we will get another chance to follow something so comprehensively around the country again, so not an opportunity to miss.
Hopefully after 70 days, they will have heard the names of more UK towns and cities. Maybe even roughly know where one or two of them are on the map. Most of all I hope that they will have a bit more understanding of the map.
End note: I must add that they can all point to where we live now. Phew!