It is not uncommon for a famiy friend to come out of our downstairs bathroom and ask “Why do you have a big map on your bathroom wall?” We laugh and then tell them that it is our New Teenage Driver Poster and it was made for one of our teenagers, who was a little “direction-ally impaired”.
I grew up in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, so my whole life I was surrounded by very visible, and very big directional helps. Mountains! My children have not been as lucky, so trying to give some of them directions on how to drive themselves somewhere for the first time has been a bit of a challenge.
I know that navigational apps are everywhere, but since I am a visual learner, I decided to make a big map of the area where my children most commonly drive, so that they could “see” the big picture, and see how points A and B are connected.
For my new teenage driver map, I decided to use Google Maps, so that I could customize the area for our poster. The area that my kids frequent is quite spread out, and I didn’t just want just a poster-size printout of a small map of that area–mainly because the larger area that is shown in Google Maps, the less details, and fewer street names you get.
1. First, I decided the most important area that I wanted to include on the poster, and the size I wanted it. I determined that a map 3 sheets of landscape paper x 3 sheets of landscaper paper would fit nicely onto my bathroom wall behind the door.
2. I then very roughly, just eye-balling visually, split my map area into 9 smaller sections, so that I knew how big each smaller map could be.
3. I zoomed in on my map to print off the first smaller map.
4. After printing off the first map, I just moved the map over to the next adjacent section to print off the next map. Make sure that you don’t adjust the map size, and remember a street or landmark that you can match up from one map screen to another.
5. After I printed out the 3 sheets across, I went back to my first map and realigned with what I originally printed out. Then I moved the map down a level, and printed out the next 3 pages of maps. Repeat until you have printed off all of your little maps.
6. Cut and paste the maps together. Match up the streets and landmarks as best as you can.
Have fun marking up the map and personalizing it for your new teenage driver. Friends have loved seeing their homes highlighted on our poster.