Here at The Adventurous Child we make lots of site plans for preschool playgrounds. We enjoy it and I bet your preschool children would too! Take clipboards with blank paper outside so the children can make maps of their playground. They can walk around and draw in the different equipment such as slides, sandboxes, art easels, musical instruments, or climbers. Don’t forget the natural landmarks like trees, rocks, logs, bushes, or flowers! It’s a great way for young children to start learning about geography and cartography. When making maps, children are also learning about spatial relationships, directions, distance, symbols, size, and all of the words that go along with these concepts (up, down, bigger, smaller, far away, close, next to, in-between, etc.).
This activity could easily be switched up and made into a treasure hunt. Make the drawings into treasure maps leading to a buried treasure! The sandbox is the perfect place to bury a few treasures, perhaps some small toys or a box with pennies in it. The children can draw in a dotted line to follow through the playground to lead them to the treasure (X marks the spot!). This further reinforces the concepts of direction and spatial relationships (plus, it’s fun!).
If you do this activity or have done something similar before, we’d love to hear how it went! Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheAdventurousChild and tell us about your children making maps of their preschool playground.