Did you know paper maps can be used to not only help you learn important navigation skills but they help your brain grow? It's true, reading a map opens new cognitive pathways and facilitates skill development. Let’s take a deeper look into how maps help our brains.
Paper map require visualization of where things are located and where you are in respect to them. This causes you to subconsciously gather information about your surroundings. Then your brain makes connections between the two. According to National Geographic
❞𝑺𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒈𝒖𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑 𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒔❞. In addition spatial thinking has been linked to greater success in math, science, geography and navigation.
Maps are filled with symbols, roads, rivers, trails, direction etc. This requires the brain to recognize symbols in relation to the bigger picture. Symbolic thinking promotes reading and understanding which is a critical skill needed in many facets of education such as comprehension, math and navigation skills.
🗺𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐬 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬:
Reading a paper map requires you to navigate and follow a path. When you draw your route or trace it with your finger hand eye coordination is being developed. Then you need to actually physically navigate your route. By showing children how to do both they can grow their gross motor skills which have been shown to help in all areas of academic improvement.
Decision making and consequences are crucial skills needed in all aspects of our lives. We all succeed or fail based on our decisions. Maps encourage these skills by making you look at all your options then choosing a route. You are then required to act on that decision. It is through this you get hands on knowledge of mistakes and consequence. Did you end up at your intended location? If not what happened? Then you learn from your mistake and how to correct it.
Paper maps provides opportunity to unplug and be present. Digital devices can cause time mismanagement and distraction. By unplugging and using a paper map you promote a distraction-less environment. One where you can really focus on the task at hand. By not relying on digital means you have the opportunity to focus and connect with the world around you.
Albert Einstein said ❞𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒔𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒍𝒆𝒅𝒈𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆❞ Well guess what paper maps are REAL! They are tangible you can hold them, feel them, smell them. They show you real places that can be visited. By locating an area on a map then using the map to physically find it you create the opportunity to form a deeper connection. You get to not only see but to experience the communities, streets, landscapes etc. This all works to inform and develop a connection to a location.
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~map on everyone.