An adult can help a kid read a compass by teaching him how to interpret directions on a map. When kids ride in cars, the driver should help the children develop a sense of location by verbally explaining the directions to them. Children can learn to read compasses easier by learning with wristwatches, or by creating their own natural compasses.
A wristwatch can act as a compass if it is held directly in front of a person's face, with the number twelve directly in front of him. The adult should have the child use a toothpick or blade of grass to create a shadow on the edge of the face of the watch. The person should turn the watch so that the shadow divides the hour hand and "12" in half. The child will see that the twelve points south, whereas the "6" points north.
A compass can be drawn as a large circle in the dirt with a line in the center that faces the sun. This line represents the hour hand. A line should be drawn to represent the number "12." A person should stand in between these two lines and point toward the south. Children should be aware that a compass always points north.