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October 10, 2017

Our Favorite Geography DIYs

If you have been reading this blog for a long time, then you know that Henry is obsessed with geography. Since he was 3-years-old, geography has had his heart. Even now at 6.5-years-old, he still loves to examine maps, and to use Montessori geography materials. At 3-years-old, Nora's interest isn't quite as intense, but she has still come home from school talking about the world, land and continents. 

Our favorite Montessori geography DIYs -- easy projects for kids that like geography

Because Henry has had such an intense interest, we do have some DIY Montessori geography work at home. Here is a look at our favorites! 

Continent Globe 

The continent globe is a staple in Montessori classrooms, it shows a simplified version of the globe by highlighting each continent in a single color. For this simple DIY, you'll need: 
  • Acrylic Paint 
  • An Old Globe 
Simply use the paint to cover the entire continent in it's assigned color. The traditional colors are: orange for North America, pink for South America, red for Europe, green for Africa, yellow for Asia, brown for Australia, and white for Antarctica. I didn't seal it in any way and it's lasted nicely for years! 

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To be honest, this is so popular and beautiful, that it just sits in our playroom as decoration. It's not unusual for one of the kids to quietly contemplate the globe in between choosing work. 

Felt World Puzzle Map

This is another one that we have had for a very long time. I made it when Henry was 3 and it is still very popular today. Here the entire world map is made from felt. I used the template found at Imagine Our Life and made some basic changes. Instead of using two colors, I used one and hand embroidered the outside of the continents in their corresponding colors. 

There are so many things that we have done with this map. It can be used as a simple puzzle, we've matched animals to the map, we've matched landmarks to the map, we have labeled the map, labeled the oceans, labeled the seas. Basically, we have done all the things for years with this! Hands down my favorite and the most used of our geography materials. 

Air, Land, Water Sorting

This is another super easy, super fun way to explore geography. Before, really understanding what a continent is, young children can explore the basic elements that make up the world. They do this by exploring what is land, air, and water. To make this work, you'll need: 
  • 3 small jars of some kind 
  • a little dirt and a little water 
  • some sort of manipulative to sort {pictures, stickers, figures} that can be found on land/sea/air

To make this, you simply place dirt in one jar, water in another, and leave one empty. Bonus points if you make this with your child and talk about what each is! Then, your child can sort the objects that belong in each category! You can change the objects over time to keep this fresh and interesting. Nora really has enjoyed this a lot lately. 

Puzzle Map Extensions

These are Henry's absolute favorites right now! To do these, you could use the felt puzzle pieces, or we also have a traditional Montessori puzzle map at home. Either way, there are so many fun ways to explore the continents. Some things Henry/Nora has done has included:

  • Tracing each puzzle piece to make a large continent drawing
  • Tracing each piece on colored paper and pin punching it out to make a large continent 
  • Tracing each piece on fabric and sewing the continents 
  • Sorting the continents by size 
  • Matching continent pieces to our continent globe 
I'm sure Henry will think of {or be shown at school} other  creative uses for the map! He just can't get enough! And, I can't either, Henry's first pin punched map proudly hangs framed in our kitchen! 

Our favorite Montessori geography DIYs -- easy projects for kids that like geography

Do your kids like geography? Do you have any fun DIYs? 

12 Months of Montessori

This post was brought to you as part of the 12 Months of Montessori series. This month's theme is geography! Don't miss these fantastic Montessori and Montessori inspired geography posts! 

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