Our next topic was Geography. For this topic I had to prepare lots of materials, so today I wanted to share the details about one of them: felt continent map. The wonderful idea for this map came from montessorimakers group in Yahoo – thanks to Lisa and Sarah for an inspiration!!!
Materials that I used:
- Hard felt in different colors
- Blue marker
- Map file: there are plenty on the web, but I used this one – Large World Map. I actually created few smaller files that were easier to print on regular 8×11 paper:
I found these very easy and not even too time consuming!
- In our local Michaels I found hard felt in different colors.
- I printed the map of the world on a regular paper, traced, cut it out from felt. Tip: cutting the paper AND felt at the same time (no need to glue or trace, just hold it really tight) gave me much better detail then cutting it from paper first, tracing on felt and then cutting again. Cutting them together gave such great results, that I even cut the old shapes later again to get finer details.
- It was hard to decide what islands to cut off, which ones to keep. So, I just filled in some “water” with a blue marker to indicate that Japan and UK are actually islands, not parts of the mainland. This step is entirely optional.
- I printed continent names.
- Optional: I printed out other titles: North, South, Africa, Equator, etc.
- Little string for the equator… and a gorgeous hand-made map of the world is available for the exploration!
Note: If you join montessorimakers yahoo group, there is a file that contains three part cards with shapes of the continents and their labels (Geography files in Montessori Makers). I used that as well but after this project there are enough “left-overs” to quickly put them together by yourself:
- Print a world map on a small card and use it as a sample-control card for your kid. I guess this one can be used: World Map.
- You can also reuse the original paper cutouts that you were “tracing” onto felt – glue it onto the colored paper, signn continent names underneath, and you have two part cards that can be used in conjunction with a map of the world control card!
- How do you use these? As your kid is laying out the felt continents, he can add labels (continent names) and check himself by looking at those cards that you just created, where he has a continent shape and its name. Or he can just match the felt shape to the card. Or… you can come up with more ideas!