Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mapping My Day by Julie Dillemuth, illustrated by Laura Wood

I’d always found that summertime was the perfect time for teaching my Kiddo some life skills in between the fun stuff as she got older - things like how to tie her sneakers, how to cross the street, how to find her way around. This was a tough one because it turned out, my Kiddo didn’t have a great sense of direction. How I wish we had had Mapping My Day to make things easier.

In Mapping My Day, kids can follow Flora, a girl who loves maps, from sun up to sun set and learn the basics for understanding how to read maps and how to make their own. Beginning with the basics, the cardinal directions north, south, east, and west, Flora maps out the floor plan of her house. In the yard, Flora shows how to make a buried treasure map in case kids want to hid their valued possessions from younger siblings, and most important, how to find their buried treasure.

Flora manages to make a map for everything she does during the day. And shows us the different routes her parents take when they drop Flora and her brother off at school. There is even a map of her aunt’s backyard obstacle course for her dog. Each map teaches something new to readers so that by the end of the book, they know all about map symbols, the concept of scale, the use of legends, how to use landmarks and map out a route, the significance of a compass rose, and the importance of cardinal directions.

Mapping My Day is a great way to teach kids concepts of spatial thinking and problem solving. This book makes these things so much easier to learn by bringing these ideas to a level that kids can understand - their own lives. One of the things I did when I taught this to my Kiddo was to buy her an nice big compass, and taught her how to read it in relation to all these other ideas (I actually bought a nice easy-to-read Girl Scout Compass). 

At the end of the book, there are four pages of activities for kids to practice their newly acquired mapping skills. If you make copies of the Draw Your Own Map activity, kids can really map their lives in the same way that Flora does. You can also download these activities HERE.

Did it pay to teach my Kiddo these mapping skills? You bet, she has managed to find her way around the block, but also around Britain, Europe and China, even when the map she’s using isn’t in a language she knows. 

I can't recommend this book highly enough. And just in case you need a little more convincing about importance of teaching kids about maps, HERE is a recent article from PBS Parents about just that subject.

This book is recommended for readers age 4+
This book was sent to me by the publisher, Magination Press


  1. I smiled when I read about your teaching your kiddo some life skills. I did the same with my own son, but I smiled because our grandson is staying with us at the moment, and I’ve been showing him how to iron his shirts and do a little basic cooking. He is signing up to the army soon, and I’m sure they will teach him all these things, but I wanted him to be one step ahead of the game!
    I really like the ideas behind ‘Mapping my day’ and wish it had been available when I was growing up, those kinds of skills are always useful.

    1. I remember my mom teaching my brother how to iron a shirt. Best of luck to your grandson in the army, though. I hope he stays safe.

  2. This sounds like my kind of book - entertaining AND educational. My students always loved mapping lessons, especially when we used found objects on the beach to be markers, seaweed for the ocean etc. Older kids always loved the pirate maps we made and using their mapping skills to add some "coolness".


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