The Sandwich Generation granny nanny turned a giant map into a fun learning game for the grandkids

Twisting Around the Map As We Learn About Our World

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Rocks Mountains and Volcanoes

My grandkids have been learning about rocks, mountains, and volcanoes this month and we’ve been having a ton of fun together on just those topics. After our first set of volcanic eruptions, I went to Walmart and bought an inexpensive world map for less than $6. I taped some extra yellow and green poster board I had bought to the back of it to make it sturdier (great prices for this at both Michael’s and Dollar Tree. 🙂 ). This way, it laid flat but was much sturdier.

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny turned a giant map into a fun learning game for the grandkids

Learning the 7 Summits

I had spotted a wonderful idea at My Home Sweet Home Online for making models of the Seven Summits (the highest mountain in each continent) out of play-doh and having the grandkids place them on the map to learn where they were located as well as practice learning the names of each. We had a great learning time doing that.

Then the Sandwich Generation granny nanny and grandkids used playdoh to make small models of the Seven Summits

Teaching the Continents to Kids

Then my oldest grandchild came up with another fun idea for practicing these mountains with a variation of Twister. I would call out the mountain name and continent and they would scramble to put a hand or a foot on the correct location. Sometimes I would tell them what hand/foot to use, sometimes they’d just do their own, and all the time, they were laughing and having fun while, hopefully, sinking valuable information deeper in their brain. 🙂

Then my grandkids came up with the idea of playing twister as they figured out where each of the 7 mountains belonged - fun for Classical Conversations week 15 cycle 1

Tips to Name the Continents

My youngest grandchild and I even had fun figuring out tips to help him spot those continents faster:

  1. Asia – the biggest continent.
  2. Europe – look for the boot in the middle, which is Italy and that whole small area is Europe
  3. Africa – a giant elephant ear (we got that from GeoDash, an educational app from National Geographic that my grandkids love. It combines a fun game with animal “trading cards” full of interesting and often funny information about various animals and usually 1-3 jokes as well.)
  4. North America – we are pretty familiar with this one
  5. South America – attached to the bottom of North America
  6. Australia – The huge “island” on the far right of the map
  7. Antarctica – The big white continent at the “bottom” of the map

Not stupendously scientific, I know, but a lot of fun and they’re doing much better with finding the continents, so I’m happy.

More Ways of Teaching Continents to Kids

And speaking of the continents, I found some cool looking activities for grandparents and grandkids. Definitely some fun ideas for teaching about the continents to our kids and grandkids of various ages.

Enjoying 7 Summits and 7 Continents

Lots of fun for kids and grandkids while teaching the 7 summits and the 7 continents. For that matter, I’m getting better at finding my way around the map as well. That makes me happy too. Great brain exercise for us all. Even my senior mom has enjoyed watching the process!!!


P.S. Check out some more fun ideas.


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  1. Combining learning with fun makes the details stick. I mean who among us still remembers School of Rock shorts? Most of us, for sure!

  2. It is awesome when they can have so much fun that they don’t even realize they are learning good stuff, too! I love the idea of the Twister game. I know that I could benefit from some good geography lessons — many countries have changed their names since I was in school and I don’t feel comfortable that I know where places are around the globe anymore.

  3. What a fun way to teach your grandchildren these interesting facts! I love looking at maps and hope to encourage my grandchildren to enjoy looking at them, also, when they are older.

    • Barb
    • February 5, 2013

    What valuable information I can use with my own Grands, Kaye. I try to do fun learning games with mine, too. I’ll be returning for more of your tips!

    • Terry
    • February 5, 2013

    What a great idea! I will definitely be trying this with the grandkids!

  4. You come up with such great ideas for older grandkids. I love this. I must tell you: I tried the volcanoes with my grandsons last week and my oldest was SO disappointed. He expected RED LAVA to flow, which I never even considered. Too funny. Live and learn. 😀

    Thank you for sharing this in the GRAND Social! You are one smart grandma to emulate!

  5. What a fun idea. I love the idea of playing and learning a little geography. I find that most kids are not getting much of a geographic education.

    Stopping in from the GRAND Social.

  6. Thanks Vicki. I learned it all, then forgot it all. So I’m enjoying getting another go round re-learning it all right along with them. 🙂

  7. Thanks Barb 🙂

  8. What a great idea Pat 🙂

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