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Best world map for kids

Which world maps for kids are best?

Studying geography unlocks a world of wonder, and for some kids, it may inspire future travel and exploration. To help budding globetrotters learn about countries of the world, buy them in a world map for kids. 

World maps for kids have approachable designs that make it easy to locate counties, capitals or topographical information. Some maps are available in the form of large classroom posters, whereas others are small enough to fit inside folders or binders. Top choice Swiftmaps World Classic Premier Wall Map Poster is a fixture in many classrooms for its colorful detail. 

What to know before you buy a world map for kids

Types of world maps

There are several types of world maps, some of which may be better for kids’ learning objectives than others. Political, physical and climate maps are among the most popular options.

Political maps feature country borders and capital cities. Physical maps depict topography, which includes representations of land formations and natural features like mountains, deserts or bodies of water. Climate maps display climate zones, ranging from tropical to tundra.

How to find the right map for different ages

World maps vary in design to appeal to different ages and grade levels. Here are common characteristics of world maps for kids:

Young children: World maps geared toward younger kids have simple designs with bright colors. They include thick, discernable lines for country borders. Sometimes, they feature cartoon-inspired images. Few of these maps feature capital cities. 

Grade school kids: World maps used by grade school kids are more detailed, yet they remain approachable with vibrant color schemes and kid-friendly fonts. They display countries, capitals and in-depth geographical information. Unfortunately, some of these maps are too juvenile for older grade school students.

Middle and high school kids: Highly detailed world maps are usually used by middle and high school students. They include a wealth of in-depth information including major cities, time zones, notable land formations or economic information. Given the detail, it may be challenging to read these maps unless you’re up close to them. 


If map size is a concern, consider how kids intend to use the map in order to choose the right one. Smaller maps that fit into folders or binders are made for personal reference or studying. Midsize maps are large enough to include a fair amount of detail, yet they’re small enough to fit in study spaces or bedrooms. Jumbo poster maps often include the most information, which means they’re geared toward classroom use. 

What to look for in a quality world map for kids

Approachable design

Most world maps for kids have approachable designs that feature vibrant color schemes and kid-friendly fonts. Some maps geared toward younger kids have cartoon-inspired details, including icons or images to convey information about a country or specific region. Additionally, many kids’ world maps include basic reference information, such as legends or latitude and longitude. 

Laminated world maps

In the past, world maps were made of paper that was prone to ripping or fading. Many of today’s world maps are laminated to increase their durability. Laminated maps are compatible with dry erase markers, making them usable for hands-on learning activities. It’s also easy to affix laminated maps to walls without damaging them by using tape or poster putty.

Dual-sided world maps

Some world maps for kids are dual-sided and feature both the United States and world maps. They’re versatile since they lend themselves to plenty of reference use throughout several grades and classes. These world maps are usually more durable than others because they’re handled more often. 

How much you can expect to spend on a world map for kids

Basic world maps for kids with limited information cost $10 and below. Most world maps for kids fall between $10-$25, many of which are high-quality and last through years of use. Specialty world maps manufactured by premium mapmaking brands may run from $30-$85.

World maps for kids FAQ

Should I frame a world map for kids?

A. Many people frame world maps to improve their aesthetic, especially when they’re displayed in the home. However, it’s better to use glass-free poster frames, as traditional frames with glass or plastic may produce a glare. 

Do world maps for kids label states and Canadian provinces?

A. Only a handful of detailed world maps will feature this information. If you need to see more geographical information about the U.S. and Canada, choose a kids’ map of North America instead. 

What’s the best world map for kids to buy?

Top world map for kids

Swiftmaps World Classic Premier Wall Map Poster

What you need to know: Suitable for classroom use, this 24 x 26-inch world map features vivid color detail and clear markings. 

What you’ll love: The map is fully laminated and it can be written on with dry-erase markers. It features 3D shaded relief that clearly illustrates terrain and land formations. The map is lightweight and can be mounted using tape or poster putty. 

What you should consider: Unless you’re up close, it’s difficult to read all the indications for countries and cities. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top world map for kids for the money

Lighthouse Geographics US and World Desk Map

What you need to know: This smaller world map is an affordable choice for homeschooling, tutoring or distance learning.

What you’ll love: The two-sided map features the U.S. on one side and world map on the other, as well as a zoomed-in map of Europe. Its colors are vibrant with good contrast so countries and states don’t blend together. The map also includes time zones across the top. 

What you should consider: Some countries aren’t as clearly labeled or easy to read as others.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Motivation Without Borders World Map for Kids

What you need to know: This world map is geared toward younger kids studying geography for the first time and it’s well-received for its approachable design. 

What you’ll love: The map measures 18 x 24 inches, labels countries clearly and includes notable detail near certain regions. The font is kid-friendly, but it remains clear and easy to read. A laminated design, it’s suitable to use with dry erase markers. 

What you should consider: The map doesn’t include world capitals, and there are mixed reviews regarding the map's timeliness.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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