My mother just retired after many decades of teaching and I was reminiscing about the time I used to spend in her classroom after school waiting for a ride home. One of my favorite things to do was spin her globe and stop it with my finger on a random location and study it. Do it enough times and you can't help but start to absorb a little geography. Using maps in kids' rooms can have the same effect over time and encourage a child's natural curiosity about the world. And, maps can be as beautiful and interesting as any artwork you can find. Here, an inspiring gallery of twenty kid's rooms showcasing maps:
Most of these are world maps, but there are all kinds of maps out there: transit maps, star charts, topographic maps, etc. As you can see, maps can cover a whole room, a whole wall or just provide a focal point.
1. A vintage US map makes a big visual statement in Simon, Levi & Josie's shared bedroom.
2. There are maps galore in Wille's Room - pillows, wall art and a lampshade.
3. A canvas world map adds a splash of soft color in Sebastian's neutral nursery.
4. You may not be able to tell from the photo but this painted ceiling map is magnetic and becomes a game for kids to put animals in their proper country. It also is a great use of an awkward angled ceiling.
5. This colorful vintage map in Meg's playroom for her five kids ties in many of the bright colors around the room.
6. The map over William's bed was an estate sale find.
7 & 8. Ethan was a true partner when it came to decorating his room and, with his mom, they included two large maps and several globes.
9. Finn's room features two framed maps and done cheaply (Costco maps with Ikea frames).
10. Have family around the world? This family attached photos to a fabric map panel to help their son understand where his extended family lived.
11. The large map on Simon's wall also includes country flags and hanging globes add dimension.
12. Abbey rather ingeniously made this vintage map part of the pull-down window shade in her son Emmet's room.
13. This world map virtually covers an entire wall in young Sam's room.
14. This baby may not be ready to memorize country capitals, but the colors of this vintage map make it a beautiful stand-in for artwork.
15. Amanda of Impress Your Kids more than impressed us with her son's room - totally wallpapered in maps saved from National Geographic magazine. See more and her tips for doing this yourself here. You can see a similar look (and hanging globes) in a playroom staged for Land of Nod here.
16. Colleen of Fresh Vintage used two maps in her son Finn's room - one at traditional art height and one at child height. (And be sure to see how she used a huge map in her kitchen.)
17. Melissa of Trucks and Tutus installed this huge map in her son Will's room. It took the better part of a day (with two kids afoot) but worth it.
18. Oui, oui! We love this pastel map of Paris in this home tour on Made By Girl. The home belongs to Jackie of Sweetie Pie Style and you can poke around her home here.
19. This Design*Sponge Sneak Peek of Barbara Zorn's home showed off a few maps, this one in baby Louise's colorful room.
20. An alternative to displaying maps on the wall is to decoupage furniture like this memorable map headboard at Better Homes and Gardens.