We’ve gathered four booklets perfect for introducing and familiarizing your child with following directions and maps. The four booklets use visual cues to support your child’s understanding of directions, using prepositions of movements, seeing how each step works together with the others to further a project, and maps, introducing key words and ways of reading maps.
The booklets can be used individually or as a collection to build upon your child’s knowledge of reading directions and understanding maps.
A Day Out, the simplest book in the collection with two words on each page, follows two kids on their adventure through the city. While your child may not be rocket launching like the children in the book anytime soon, they certainly might be coming into contact with boat docks, bus lanes, or train stations! This book pairs expressive watercolor paintings with simple words that will introduce your child to some key-words that relate to environment and will help them to grasp the concept of seeing and naming a place without really being there. To reinforce this understanding, use these illustrations as inspiration for drawings they could make of the things they see on their walk home.
Follow along the process of cookie making in Bake It!, the next book in the collection. Simple directions (“Mix it!”) on each page are paired with a corresponding watercolor painting. These images reflect the directions, and visually show your child the steps that go into baking something. Use this as a jumping off point to talk about why following directions is important- can you roll cookies flat before adding any water or eggs? Would they be the same delicious cookies if you didn’t mix it at all? In the back of the book there is a recipe for almond shortbread that uses the same verbs in each step so you can make the same cookies as the character in the book, and talk about process in non-theoretical terms!
Each map in Maps features a distinct aspect- one map has bright red roofs, whereas another has cool blue water. You little one will be able to read the descriptions of the maps and then locate the feature on the following page- this ability to read a description (“This map has a blue dog.”) and then point to the blue dog on the next page strengthens their understanding of carefully scrutinizing maps and builds their confidence by presenting challenges without overwhelming them.
The final book in the collection, Let’s Play a Game combines several elements of the previous booklets. Each page has directions (“Let’s avoid a whirlpool.” followed by “Let’s cross the river.”) and a beautifully painted map on the page beside it. This means that not only will your early reader be following along with specific directions, they will also need to identify on the page what the directions are referring to and even problem solve ways to get through the game. This introduction to prepositions of movement is perfect for beginning readers working on basic literacy skills and more advanced readers ready for more challenging grammar.
Use these books with each other to build skills and confidence in your little one by introducing them to everyday tools like map and direction following!