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This edition of ParenTalk has been contributed by Ekdali, explore the collection now!

Some of the greatest fantasy fictions of our time have been set on fictional lands. JRR Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings and George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones come to mind. If you are like the writer of this article, you probably skip the preface section and go straight into the chapters. 

The first chapter is for character building and you comfortably finish it . In the next chapter though, the author has decided to spend a good length of prose on the land in which the story is set.  The author describes rivers, river forks, mountains narrow necks in the chapter. Even the most book wormish readers among us start to drift, because our mind’s eye is not able to picture the landscape. What option are we left with?  Well, we go straight to the first few pages and look at the maps of the land drawn by the author.  Then the pieces start to fit together. You understand why a king sitting in the capital in the south needed his most loyal companion to be the Lord of the North?  Because, the landscape is forbidding and only some one who understands the lay of the land can help rule.

 The most important piece in making geography fun is visually representing it in a map.  Show the map to a kid and everything starts piecing together. If the map is colorful and illustrated in a kid friendly way, even better!!

 A deep understanding of Geography will help kids understand the place where the live. It also helps them in understanding history, climate, ecology, economics and world politics in a deeper way.

 Here are some cool and fun ways to teach Geography to kids:

 Display Maps :

Maps are one of the best ways to teach kids geography. Depending on what you are interested in teaching kids you can keep different types of maps like world map, India Map or State maps. 

Be sure to keep the maps at eye- level and spend some time daily with a portion of the map, till the kids get thorough.

There are some fun map games you can play as well.  “Spot the country “ is a great game for younger kids to play. You can ask the kid to point a place in a map. Example:  In the world map, you can ask the kid to point to Belgium. You can give clues like the continent in which the country is located or the colour in which it is marked in the map.

 Eat  food to learn Geography:

 Every region has its own specific food . History , culture , climate and geography all determine the food that people eat. Every month you can feature a different region and try cooking the food of that region together with the kid. 

 Make your own Maps:

Kids love arts and craft.  Take a country and read about it. Then ask kids to draw the map and draw all things they think are important about the country on the map. You can shrink or expand the depth of this activity based on age and interest of the kid.

For example: Lets take Peru. A younger kid could drawn the Lama and Andes Mountains. An older kid might also be able to mark cities and land marks like Lima and Machu Pichu

 Set up a few different clocks:

 You can make kids understand the geography of time zones by setting up a few clocks. Choose a variety of time zones and set up the clocks for those time zones.  Have discussions about this. For example , in the morning when you are having breakfast, you could discuss about how people in other time zones might be doing different things. You can also use the clocks to start explaining about time zones and longitudes.

 Map Character Journeys:

 When you read books, where the character travels, you can map the journey of the character on a map. 

 Map your own Locality:

 This is a great way to accustom kids to the locality in which they live. Ask kids to draw a map from their home to school. Kids can draw the map with directions and they can add Landmarks such as the Pharmacy, Big Banyan Tree or Grand Parent’s house on the map



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