Eric's Family Map

Our in-laws are spending next year in England and, in addition to regretting all the developmental milestones they'll miss, are worried that their young grandson will forget them. Lots of families are spread around the globe, but still finding ways to stay connected. Julia had a great idea to combine a world map with family photos to help her nearly two-year old son Eric, with family around the States, in France, Singapore, Malaysia and Brazil, understand his family connections.

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Here's Julia: It matters very much to us that Eric is able to understand that idea [of family spread around the globe] and also stay connected visually to his extended family members. So instead of just hanging the photos up in photo frames, I used the map. Of course, it is also educational too in terms of geography.

The map she hung is a quilt panel purchased on eBay (you can find it by searching "world map quilt" or "world map fabric"). To be able to easily attach photos, she stapled the map onto mat board. We think this is a clever way to strengthen a sense of family for kids and her method is very flexible for family members on the move (hopefully closer!). Thanks Julia!

Is your family far-flung? How do you explain this to your kids?

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As Apartment Therapy's Managing Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.