top of page
  • Writer's pictureAngelina Moehlmann


MAP MATS is a tool for elementary classrooms that promotes joyful, meaningful, and play-based learning. The MAP MATS activities are STEM based and enhance existing elementary school curriculum.

What is it? 

MAP MATS: Playful Adventures in math and science is a set of activities that supports joyful, meaningful, play-based learning. The activities use the following materials: 

  • Three large floor MAP MATS

  • LEGO Education DUPLO Kits: My XL World, Steam Park, and People

  • A downloadable activity guide with colorful, clear directions for 25 different activities focused on play-based learning for math, engineering, and science

How does it work?

Children work in pairs or small groups around one of the three MAP MATS on the classroom floor. The mats are colorful representations of environments familiar to children such as a playground, roadway, and beach. 

Using one of the recommended LEGO Education DUPLO kits, teachers will facilitate one of the 25 activities which foster play-based learning in math, engineering, and science.  For example, children can practice spatial and pattern recognition, numeracy, and measuring skills, or learn how the coordinate system works. 

Activities are designed for 30-minute to one-hour lessons. 

How do the MAP MATS promote learning through play? 

The centerpiece of the kits are three vinyl mats which are 54” X 40”.  The mats include numbers and letters on each axis representing the coordinate system. 

The mats provide context and a defined area that triggers children’s imagination and creativity when working with the LEGO bricks as the children carry out the activities. They also create a shared immersive environment to support classroom discussions and common representations. Finally, they build community through collaborative fun, imaginative storytelling, and hands-on problem-solving of STEM-based challenges.  While doing the many creative activities, teachers encourage children to invent, iterate, try things out, and fail!  

How do I access these kits?

Here are the DOWNLOAD Instructions:

  • Download this printable PDF of the activity Guide.

  • Full MAP MATS can be ordered through this source or a similar company (54×40 inches on 13oz vinyl, no edge finish).

  • Use the Downloadable PDFs of each MAP MAT to display on an interactive whiteboard to introduce MAP MATS activities.

The Playground

The Beach

The Roadway

You can purchase the STEAM Park, My XL World, and People DUPLO kits from the LEGO Education website.

How did this project come about?

MAP MATS: Playful adventures in math and science were created by Karen Engelkenjohn of Maryville University as part of the grant-supported project, Supporting and Amplifying Local Organizations Engaged in Playful Engineering-Based Learning Post-COVID. This grant funded by the LEGO Foundation and awarded to Tufts Center for Engineering and Education Outreach supports a diverse group of outreach organizations. One of those organizations, Center for Access and Achievement at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri, spearheaded this project.


For questions, comments, and stories to share regarding MAP MATS please contact us at

To learn more and see videos of the MAP MATS in action, click here.

27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page