I completed this project about 15 years ago when I attended my daughter’s first grade orientation and heard that geography was last on the list (e.g: they might get to it on Thursday afternoons).
I had a wooden dining room table from a relative with water marks all over the top. So I adhered a National Geographic map to the top, then varnished the top (with what turned out to be old shellac – turned out yellowish, which makes the whole thing look like it belongs on a pirate ship: bonus!).
I used the wrong adhesive and there’s wrinkles-turned-into-holes over time…but the idea stands solid. And every parent who has seen it or heard about it seems enthralled, so I thought to share.
“My Educational Geography Plus Plan”: Start early in elementary with a map on the table and play games (e.g. I Spy, Hot/Cold location, etc.). Then move the table or switch chairs, so the focus is different. As a family, we ate three meals a day at the table and it’s a great way to bring geography and learning into the daily family chatter.