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A map game can help your child learn the important life skill of map reading. This fun activity combines following directions with map skills activities.

by Trisha

We at Kids Activities Blog love great kids activities like this that get kids moving while teaching them concepts they need to learn.


The goal of this map game is to work your way through the grid by following the directions given. Practice counting and using the words left, right, forward, and backward.

Create a numbered grid on your floor. I used a 6×6 grid because that’s what fit well in our room. Yarn, masking tape, and sticky notes were the supplies I chose. I know masking tape easily comes off of my carpet without harming it, but you might want to test a small unseen corner if you’re unsure. The longer you leave the tape down, the harder it is to remove.


I used my feet to mark off the grid. I taped the end of the yarn to the floor. Then, I placed the heel of one foot in front of the toes of the other foot as I walked 6 steps across the room. I tape down the yarn, turned and marked off another 6 steps. I continued until I had a square. I went back around the square and placed tape on top of the yarn after every step. Then I strung pieces of yarn from one side of the square to the other using the tape as a guide.


Have your child start at square one and walk through the grid following your directions. Have her face the same directions as the numbers if you use the directions I wrote. Stepping to the left or right would require a side step.


  • Take 3 steps forward.
  • Take 1 step to the left.
  • Take 2 steps backward and 2 steps to the left.
  • Take 1 step forward and 2 steps to the right.

Download a full set of directions for the Following Directions Grid Game. Print out the pdf and you can read off the directions. They will take you from square 1 to square 31.

My 3 year old thought this game was a ton of fun. He called it a maze because you had to follow a certain path to get out of the grid. Once he completed it, he started all over and asked for new directions. We also worked on numbers during the game. I would ask him to count how many steps it would take to get from number __ to number __. Sometimes he would take a roundabout path. He thought that was more fun!

My son did have a slight problem with facing the same direction the whole time. To go left, he would turn left. I just changed the directions to fit the way he was facing. He also didn’t quite understand “backward.” He could step forward, left, and right just fine, but didn’t quite get backward. I had to help him out.


Here are some more ways to use the map game:

  • If your children are readers, have them take turns reading and following directions. Have them write directions for themselves.
  • Take the game outside by creating a grid with cones.
  • Practice following directions by using grids drawn on paper.
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