I’m a big fan of maps. We have a number of old maps from places that we’ve lived on our living room walls including India and Mexico. And when I say old maps, I don’t mean ratty tourist maps, rather antique maps detailing ancient city lines and old country borders. I’m fascinated by how cities, countries and even continents have evolved over time. I’m hoping that my love of maps will pass down to my kids and I’ve been searching for a map for each of the kids’ rooms. Given that they have zero interest in rare maps – and that I have no interest in splashing out on an antique for a 3-year-old – I wasn’t sure what to get them. Finally, however, I think I’ve found the answer.
I was recently contacted by Luckies of London who produce brilliant maps of the world to see if I’d like to try them out. These aren’t any old world maps however, these are maps that help you to remember your travels. Luckies are the original creators and producers of the Scratch Map, a simple but very clever idea that allows you to scratch off all the places you have visited from a wall map, providing a visual reminder of your travels.
We were given three maps to try out, which worked perfectly because then the kids could have one each. We received the Scratch Map Original, The Scratch Map Deluxe Edition and the Scratch Map Original travel version. I was also given the Travelogue Travel Journal, which comes with a 64 page notepad plus 8 miniature maps representing different regions of the world. It’s the perfect gift for someone who loves travel. The company also produce a range of other maps including an Oceans edition, a fun Hello edition (so you always know how to greet someone no matter where you are in the world) and a even an Ed Sheeran edition!
Luckies produced their first scratch off map in 2009 and have been creating them in the North of England ever since. They started with the Scratch Map Original, a world map on gloss paper with countries covered in gold foil. Using a coin, you scratch off the countries that you have been to, revealing a rainbow of colours beneath (each continent is colour coded). Since then, they have also produced the Scratch Map Deluxe Edition that comes with gold foil printed on matte finish black paper. I really like both because the colours used for the countries are fun and lively and because the country borders are that bit more visible. As with the original scratch off map, the Deluxe version features info-graphics along the bottom, detailing fascinating facts about the world.
The posters arrive in a sturdy cardboard tube to protect them and inside the map is covered in a thin sheet of tissue paper to protect the gold tin foil from getting scratched. Using a coin each, the kids quickly set to work scratching and revealing places they have lived and travelled to. They all started with the country where they were born (Australia, India and Mexico) followed by London (UK) where we live now. Then it was question of remember all the places we have been. Given that we love to travel as much as possible, the kids have been to a lot of places! There’s definitely an element of competition with these maps as the kids competed to see just who had been to the most places (clue: it wasn’t Sam who at 3.5-years-old can’t quite match his globetotting brother and sister! Not yet anyway).
The maps are easy to use with borders clearly delineated – particularly on the Deluxe Version. Boundaries appear as a white border against the coloured background as you scratch off neighbouring countries of a particular area. The only thing you need to work out is, do you scratch off the whole country, for example Canada, if you’ve only been to British Columbia? The answer, if you’re a competitive nine-year-old, is a resounding ‘yes’!
The kids had a lot of fun with these maps and we’re planning to hang them on their bedroom walls so that they can continue to document their travels. The one thing they did all agree on, is that there are still so many places that they want to visit, which is music to my ears.
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Disclosure: This feature is an advertorial in collaboration with Luckies of London. All views are my own.