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Going Places? Make a Collage to Map Your Dreams

little girl focused on cutting pictures for collage

Going somewhere (even if it's just a day trip to a local lake)? Get kids jazzed with this simple collage project that all begins with a paper map. (Yes, there was a time before GPS.)

Little ones can practice scissor skills—or ripping and shredding, depending on their age—as you talk about all the new and fun things you’ll do (or might do) together on your trip.

No vacation on the books? No worries! Simply pick a cool destination somewhere in the world, or out of this world, and imagine your way there….

What You Will Need

  • Paper maps. If you don’t have them on hand, AAA or tourist bureaus are great resources, or you can print some pics from the web.
  • Old magazines. Ask friends or neighbors if they have any colorful ones to add to your own collection, or stop by a thrift store to look for some.
  • Foam core, heavy paper, or poster board
  • Scissors
  • Glue


1. Have your child cut or tear out a section of a map to fit within the borders of your foam core (or similar) and glue it on. You can encourage older children to cut along the road lines in maps to practice their scissor skills.

girl happily using scissors with supervision

2. Flip through the magazines together, looking for pictures of things you might see or do in your real or dream destination: palm trees, sky scrapers, sledding, swimming, etc.

3. Kids can cut or rip out their favorite images and paste them over the map. If you’re visiting someone special, like Grandma and Grandpa, consider printing up a photo to add to the mix.

little girl proudly showing her collage to mom

This project is a great way to gently introduce children to learning about geography, space and distance concepts, and different places around the world.

Note: There’s no right or wrong way to make your travel-inspired collage—feel free to embellish it with other art supplies if your child is so inclined. After all, every journey is better with a little glitter.

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