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Toddlers map out the future;Conference briefs;;British Association festival of science

PRE-SCHOOL children are much better at using maps and aerial photographs than adults give them credit for. And tactile maps -- used to help blind children orientate themselves - could be used at a much earlier age, Dr Christopher Spencer, of Sheffield University, told delegates at the conference.

He said: "Our studies have shown that use of appropriate tactile maps not only speeds route learning but gives the child the opportunity to integrate separate routes into an overall spatial understanding of the neighbourhood."

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