Friday, February 25, 2011


My kids have been sick for what feels like weeks.  Really, it's probably only been a week, but the day one starts to feel better, the next one comes down with "the cough" (Just like Little House on the Prairie...."She's got the cough Pa!"). 

I don't think it would be particularly nice of me to bring the kids to Playworks to spread their germs so I've been trying to come up with indoor activities for us.  Namely.....forts.  Wednesday I got tired of constructing forts so at 8:30am we decided to hit up the zoo.  I was hoping the Tropics Trail would fool us all into thinking it was a beautiful sunny day.

When we got there each kid picked up map to find their way around.  Then within 30 seconds the maps were all piled into the stroller and forgotten about.  When we got home Riley immediately wanted her zoo map and even took it with her to bed.

On Thursday morning I was looking at the pile of maps and decided to summon my inner teacher and make a lesson of it.  I told all my pajama clad kids to come into the kitchen because we were making maps!

First we studied the zoo map to find out what types of things we can find on a map.  They took turns pointing out lakes, roads, words, pictures (symbols), and a train track.  Then I showed them the "key" and explained how it worked.  Then we used the key to locate all the bathrooms by looking for the restroom picture.

Then I gave each kid a piece of paper and some crayons and told them to draw their own maps.

My goodness it was quiet in our house for the next 15 minutes.  They all got right to work and drew out their maps.  They also wondered why I wasn't making one so I joined in on the fun.

Here's our results.


Her map was a map of Shakopee.  That black thing in the middle is a book and is representing the library.


Her map was a map of the zoo.  She was particularly focused on getting some lakes in there.


His map was a map to Grandma Runchey's house.  He said there were train tracks the car was following.  That curly headed person is Grandma Runchey, and the orange vertical line is the "tower" in West Bend (grain elevator).  And he used a label to tell me what the map was for.


My map was a map from our house to Target.

After Austin saw my key he went back to work.  He added a key to his first map.  Then they each wanted to make second and third maps.

In the end, we put my map to a test and drove to Target.  Austin was quick to show me everything along the way that I forgot to put on my map.  Including every speed limit sign he saw.

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