Most educational research indicates that children learn best when they are fully engaged with the material. Reading a book or listening to a lecture can be effective if the child already has an interest in the subject matter. Getting them to interact physically, mentally, and emotionally is a much better tactic. This can be easily seen by looking at how kids interact with maps.
A World Wall Map may provide a good perspective on the size and scope of the planet, but most kids will treat it as decoration or something to gaze at. Ask them questions about the map in order to get them interested. Making a game out of who gets the most answers or who can locate something fastest is a good way to start. Letting the kids mark up the map with notations of places they’ve studied or places they’d like to visit can also make it more meaningful to them.
Another option is to let them build their own games. Kids are amazingly creative and can make up not just games, but entire stories based on very little. Sit them down in front of a Hawaii Wall Map and they are likely to spin tales about pirates and natives or they may come up with surprising information about the history and culture of the islands. They may even decide to cut the map into pieces to create their own giant puzzle. This sort of creativity should be encouraged as it will help them learn faster and retain information longer.