DIY Compass Rose & Compass Rose Template Printable with Map


To help my kids learn the cardinal directions I created this compass rose craft for learning fun.  All three of my boys have loved learning map skills.   Both my husband and mom are map enthusiasts, so it appears that genetics may play a role in their excitement.

compass rose craft for kids - making a compass roseRhett(5) and I have been working on map basics – North, South, East and West – and the compass rose.

What is a Compass Rose?

A compass rose displays the cardinal directions {North, South, East & West} and the intermediate directions on a map, chart or compass.  It is often seen in the corner of geographical maps.  Other names include windrose or rose of the winds. 

Kids Learning Cardinal Directions

I thought it might be helpful to make a Compass Rose worksheet to help Rhett learn directions.   It is always helpful to have something that he can pull out on his own and work on without my undivided attention.

Compass rose project materialsI started with several pieces of scrapbook paper an Exacto knife and a pair of scissors.

I Googled “Compass Rose Images” and found one that I liked to use as a template.  We created two compas rose online versions for you to download and print for a compass rose worksheet:

How to Make a Compass Rose from Template

The image was cut and used to cut the scrapbook paper into one large and one small four-point shape.   The larger one was used for N, S, E & W and the smaller one for the intermediate directions NE, SW, SE & NW.

They were glued onto a sheet of paper as a base.

At each point a bit of Velcro was fastened.

8 squares were cut and each was labeled with a direction.

learning directionsThe direction squares can be removed and replaced by little fingers whenever desired.

One thing that I learned when completing this project is that I would decrease the size of the Velcro used.   It is VERY sticky and a smaller square/circle would make it easier to remove.

Once the directions are learned, this Compass Rose could be used for “life size” map projects within a room or in our backyard.

This is a really fun compass craft or map craft for kids of all ages.

I feel a treasure hunt coming on…

DIY Treasure Map Activity

Using the printable map worksheet (great for preschool, Kindergarten, elementary school & middle school because the instructions are customizable) included in the printable compass rose pages above.  You can create a fun map learning activity that works great at home or in the classroom to teach cardinal directions.

Treasure Map Activity for Compass Rose

Have the kids create a compass rose and then use it to navigate the treasure map with a pencil or crayon.  This could be as complicated or as simple as is age-appropriate.

Come up with a sequence of directional instructions that are delivered to one or more students at a time.

Here is a sample set – the goal is to have a continuous lined path between map destinations when the compass rose is pointing up as North:

  1. Start at the ship and go North stopping at the first plant.
  2. Then go East until you run into a pond.
  3. Go South to the first animal.
  4. Then head Northwest until you meet a crab.
  5. Go further Northwest until you meet two sharks.
  6. Head East or Southeast until you find treasure.

More Learning Activities for Kids


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