With so many vehicles now having in-built satnav, and virtually all smart phones providing GPS, it’s safe to say that the art of map reading is one which is slowly fading away. Sure, we can have a printable world map PDF at our fingertips, but the simple fact remains that, if we’re unsure how to read it, it might as well not be there.


Being able to read a map, either on paper or on-screen, is very important for numerous reasons. To begin with it can help you get from A to B and to plan your journey, plus it could potentially one day save your life, if you do happen to be lost.

Because of this, more and more teachers are helping their students to learn how to read a map from a young age by using a variety of different strategies. From imaginative play to something as simple as using a PDF printable map of the United States, here are 3 useful ways to help kids read maps.

Read a Children’s Map Book

First and foremost, one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting kids to learn to read a map is to simply have them read a children’s map book.

These map books are great because they are designed for children so the info they contain is useful, but basic and easy for them to understand. There are few words used and plenty of bright and colourful pictures.

Using these map books will not only teach your students basic map-reading skills, it will also teach them basic geography too, which will also help them later on in life.

Download a Printable World Map PDF

Thanks to the wonders of PDFs, we can now download a whole host of different maps, often for free, and use them to teach our children basic map reading skills.

If you’re looking for a printable time zone map PDF, simply jump online and select the map that you want, download it, and then open it up with SwifDoo PDF editor. With so many great websites to use, such as, there’s plenty of choice out there for teachers and students alike.

The great thing about using SwifDoo PDF to open your PDF map is the fact that you can open it, and then use the software to edit the map. You can highlight certain maps of the map that you want your kids to study, such as their own town or city, and then go from there.  

Imaginative Play

If you happen to teach very young children, obviously they’ll be too young to download a PDF printable map of the United States, or anything similar, but this doesn’t mean that they cannot learn. Why not help them develop map skills through imaginative play?

Go ahead and create a basic map outline on the floor, include streets and buildings, and see if you can have them plot a route from one location to the next.

If you use toy buildings, toy cars, and maybe even a children’s play mat in the design of a town or city, the kids will have heaps of fun, and will also learn basic navigation skills in the process.



Simpson is from London, he is a professional columnist for certain fields of software,E-Commerce content writing. At SwifDoo Software, Simpson’s articles are usually about PDF software.

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