Grid Reference & Map Key Game

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A grid is laid out on the floor with rope/tape and paper with numbers to make a large version of a map's grid. This is used to teach how grid references work.
The children are then split into groups where they are shown a map of the local area and key, they identify what's in a leader supplied list of grid references as a race - which team can finish first!


Rope/tape and paper with large numbers.
Something to move around the grid.
Per team:
* 1 x map of the local area
* 1 x blank sheet of grid references
1 x list of answers for key using activity held by a leader to check the kid's answers against.


Before the night setup:
* Print off numbers for your large teaching grid
* Download the spreadsheet, fill in grid references with correct answers for your local area
* Print one crib sheet and 1 answer sheet per group

On the night setup:
Layout the grid and numbers on the floor, place your marker in a random square.

Explain that grid references allow things on a map to be located by easily communicated which 1kmx1km square they're in and teach how they work.
Demonstrate by getting the grid reference for your marker:
* Find the bottom left corner of its square
* Get the bottom number
* Get the side number
* Concatenate them
Move the marker and get the children to work out the grid reference as a group, provide as much reminding of the steps as needed.
When you're happy they've got it split them into groups for the game.

The Game:
Whilst the teaching is getting done by 1 leader the others have setup a table with an unfolded map, pencil/pen and blank answer sheet for each group you'll be splitting them into.
When their group arrives with them they will explain about the purpose of the key and explain that they'll be identifying the meaning of the symbol for each of the grid references on their sheet.
When they think they've got them all they'll take their sheet to a designated leader who will tell them how many they got right. When all teams have seen that leader at least once and a team has them all correct then the game is over.


  • Outdoor and Adventure
  • Team challenges

Badge Links

  • Navigator - 4-figure reference
  • Navigator - Key