This learning post brought to you in partnership with Fathead.
I’ve been looking for a really good quality United States map to hang in my living room so when I saw the interactive dry erase USA map on Fathead I KNEW we had to get it!!! There are SO many creative things you can do with it! AND they are MADE in the USA!
It’s no secret that I’m pretty travel obsessed so I am always scheming ways to create travel decor, adding travel items onto my wish lists, and dreaming up our next road trip. So it’s not surprising that I like to rub off my love of travel (and learning!) onto kids and encourage them to explore!
BEST GIFT EVER!
If you’ve never heard of Fathead they have the most incredible wall decals!! Not only are they known for their life-sized high quality decals but they have a huge variety. You’ll find life-sized sports figures, Disney characters, an AWESOME dry erase wall decal section (pssst – AWESOME for schools & businesses!), TV shops & movies, and even CUSTOM wall decals!
I had NO idea they had so many dry erase options! I found blank dry erase decals in various sizes, dry erase graph decals, thermometer decals, tracking charts, calendars, and more! For a quick overview of the variety you can find at Fathead look at the Fathead Gift Guide here.
AND super sized it is! This wall decal is HIGH quality and 100% worth every penny! I’ve used plenty of decals over the years but this one I received from Fathead is absolutely the highest quality. Look at that size – I really appreciated that the size was right on the side of the decal sheet so I could find it easily!
It was actually such an amazing large map that I really wanted to donate it to my children’s school so that all of the children and teachers could use it. I couldn’t help myself – I can always order myself another one!
Our Fathead decal came in a thick VERY sturdy shipping tube. It was a bit of a beast for me to open though so be careful and DO NOT poke any sharp objects through the tube because you will damage your decal! You can see above that the map comes with all of the USA states – you can move the state names all around the map! Everything is REUSABLE AND dry erase friendly!
(PST – make sure you save the decal backing so you have somewhere to store it if you want to move it! But don’t worry – you can always transfer it onto a vinyl shower curtain if you need.)
The interactive USA Map took almost the entire school hallway! Even though it looks all crumpled up and folded it will NOT look that way when you place it on the wall! It is such a thick decal that it looked fabulous once we put it on! It smoothed right out!
I highly recommend having two people work on your decal when applying. Our strategy was to try and smooth down the middle and then work outwards. Fathead included a smoothing tool which helped us get out those final bubbles. Because this map is interactive and will be used as a learning tool we made sure to place it on the wall near the floor so all heights can touch it!
We actually placed this right in the hallway near our 3rd-5th grade classrooms with the intent of organically encouraging students to touch and learn with this map! It will absolutely hold up to many hands using it and went over our very well-loved school walls just fine! Teachers can share the map since it’s in the hallway and take their students out there for learning sessions.
The first day we put the map up the kids went CRAZY! Every single one of them were drawn to the United States map and constantly “played” with it all day! I have a feeling the kids will be asking to “go to the bathroom” for a while now just so they can stop and use the map in the hallway! BEST gift ever though! Knowing how much use this map will have and the learning taking place is a gift to me as much as it is a gift to the kids!
Ways to Use an Interactive USA Map Decal:
Learn & Practice State Names & Locations:
EEK! Look at all those states just waiting to be applied to the map! One very obvious way to use the Fathead USA Map is of course to learn state names! You can use dry erase markers to outlines various regions as well.
You can use the map as a center activity, a group project, or a classroom game! Separate the class into teams of 4 and then time each group as they race to apply all of the state names on the map! Remember the state names are completely removable, readjustable and can be reused over and over again!
Or split the class into two groups and one player from each team must race to apply their state name called out to them to the map first. First team to finish their pieces in the map wins!
Practicing Colors & Learning Location:
For your youngest kiddos you can use the map to practice pointing out colors, and teach them how to locate the state they live in! You can teach basic concepts like what an island is, what a peninsula is, and how to find a lake and other bodies of water on a map. You can also use your dry erase marker to teach the concept of N, S, E, W.
Working on Motor Skills:
Because this map is so beautifully colorful and the state names can be moved around this makes it a great interactive tool for working on motor skills! Especially with those north eastern smaller states where names must be applied in a very specific location to fit on the map. You can also have children use dry erase markers to create mountains over various mountain chains!
Learn & Practice State Capitals:
Just like learning state names you can turn learning state capitals into a game or use as a center activity! Use dry erase markers to write directly onto the map – it swipes right off and leaves NO residue or marks! You can also use dry erase markers to draw the state flower, bird, flag, etc.
Learn Major Highways in U.S. History:
The United States Highway system is pretty amazing and there is oodles of history behind it! Have the students map out different major high way systems and learn how that affected trade routes and major landmarks in our country.
Learn Math & Tally Up State Visits:
You can also use your Fathead USA Map to practice math! Have the students place a tally mark on each state that they have visited. The class can then create a graph based on those answers. You can break this down into a ton of ways based on region, state, age, etc.
You’ll need a big wall at home for this USA Map! There are SO many ways that you can display your travel obsession on it! Draw on your own major highways, mountain chains, specific landmarks you have been to, etc. Write dates on each state to signify when you traveled there. Paint some extra wood and create a “frame” around it with LED lights and everything! There is no limit to how creative you can get with this map! Just make sure you measure out your area before you order!
I HIGHLY recommend checking out everything that Fathead has to offer! It will definitely be a gift that won’t be forgotten! I can guarantee you that yours kids would pretty quickly find several decals they would want for their rooms!