Geography for Babies -- Familiar Places Basket
Nora is at the perfect age for Montessori treasure baskets. These baskets allow for exploration of particular topic or sensory experience. To start to explore the concept of geography with her, I decided to make a discovery basket using familiar places from our home.
To make these cards, I took pictures of a few of the rooms in our house. Instead of using my perspective, I got on the floor and took them from Nora's view. I labeled each picture with the names we commonly call each area. I only included areas that Nora frequently hangs out in -- our living room, dining room, Henry's room, Nora's room, our tot school classroom, and our play area.
I presented these cards in a small basket. As Nora picked up a picture, I said the name of the room aloud. Then, I just let her explore the laminated paper. I was surprised to see her really concentrating on the pictures, as well as exploring the paper. They also provided some good exercise for her as they scattered around the room.
If you want to make these cards, keep the images and words simple. I didn't want them to be overstimulating. Also, laminate! Not only did lamination provide an awesome texture, it keeps them safe. I'm always impressed with how fast Nora can destroy paper. Finally, round the corners. This kept them safe as Nora brought the cards to her face, and when she threw them around the room.
Even Henry loved the cards. I shouldn't be surprised since Henry is obsessed with geography -- see his Montessori geography work in this post. He was happy to sit and tell Nora which room was which. He was also happy to line them up and just look at them. Plus, I learned that he thought the dining room was just called the living room (they are adjacent), so a little super-local geography learning took place with him too!
My goal for these cards was purely to engage Nora's senses with familiar pictures. She enjoyed a new texture of the paper and the basket. And, similar to reading, they provided some language stimulation. Over time, I hope the cards help to add a sense of place to her vocabulary.
And, most importantly, they were just plain fun!
12 Months of Montessori Learning!
This post was brought to you as part of the 12 Months to Montessori series. Each month a great group of bloggers brings you posts on a particular topic. This month's topic was geography. Check out these amazing Montessori bloggers for more geography-inspired posts!