Your child is sitting at the table, engrossed by the new USA placemat you've just purchased...
Fantastic! We're not surprised. It's one of our most popular kids educational placemats. Learning the 50 states is a rite of passage for most children in the USA, so here are some suggestions on how to use this educational placemat to help them along:
1. Food fiesta!
America boasts a bounty of exceptional foods, so you may find it fun to cook some meals that feature signature dishes from different states and celebrate them with your kids.
Learning by association is fun and very effective. Just imagine - avocado toast (CA) topped with smoked salmon (AK) for breakfast, white clam pizza (CT) accompanied by a side of boiled peanuts (GA) for lunch and Buffalo wings (NY) followed by sugar cream pie (IN) for dinner and dessert... delicious! (Who would have thought kids placemats could inspire such delectable dining? :-)
2. Can you find... ?
Our USA placemat for kids shows the 50 states, state capitals, neighboring countries, surrounding bodies of water and key landmarks / features. Children find it fun to 'hunt' for specific details, often competing with one another to see who can find it on the placemat first!
3. The ultimate road trip
Let your child use their USA map placemat to plan an awesome roadtrip! Ask them to consider where they would start and finish the journey, what they'd see along the way, how many states and capitals they would visit and how long it might take. In this way, a kids placemat designed to teach geography also becomes a lesson in logistics, math and culture.
4. Mix 'n' Match
We use state quarters for this exercise, and have our kids match the quarters to every state on the USA map. Alternatively, you could print out a list of all the state abbreviations, signature foods (refer above) or famous landmarks, and play mix 'n' match in various different ways using the USA placemat for kids.
5. Trace, draw, color
Use your kids USA map placemat as a base to trace one, two or fifty states! Kids will love to color them in their own style, add drawings of their favorite landmarks, practice labeling them with state abbreviations or simply copy what's already there.
6. Compare the pair
What's it like in Michigan versus Florida? Which state would you prefer to visit and why? The USA educational placemat can be a starting point to get your kids comparing the states in terms of size, population, weather, geography or anything else you can think of (note: you may need to do a little research yourself!)
As with any kids placemat, the extent to which you use it is completely up to you! No matter which activity you choose (even if you don't, or make up your own) your child will love using the USA educational placemat, either as a visual aid during mealtime or as a reference tool on their desk.