Montessori continent map work is a great way to help children understand more about our world and their place on it. It’s helpful for children to understand the earth and their place on it if they are going to help care for the earth.
Earth Day activities work especially well with a study of the earth. I already had a post with Montessori-Inspired Earth Day Activities. Today, I have links to some continent activities and DIY continent maps, presentation ideas, and extensions that would add to a study of the earth in preparation for Earth Day (or any time).
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Ideally, you would introduce the Montessori land and water globe and Montessori continents globe (see DIY globes post) before the mapwork. In a homeschool, you might not have those globes available. You could also start with the Montessori continent map work. The Montessori world (continent) map is an important part of the Montessori geography curriculum.
Although there are beautiful continent map materials available for purchase, many teachers as well as homeschoolers prefer to make their own. Fortunately, there are some great DIY continent map tutorials available online.
Making a Continent Map
The Felt Continents Map in the photo is from United Montessori Association. This activity is a DIY version of the Montessori continent map. It can be made with wool felt and doesn’t require carpentry skills. It could be mounted on a wooden board. Foam board would work well also.
Imagine Our Life has free patterns and downloads for making a continents wall map and quietbook.
The Homeschool Den has a free printable world map.
Child and Me also has directions for making a Felt Continent Map.
For this continent map and labels, I used the Free Montessori world map from The Homeschool Den. I used the Globe, Continent, and Ocean Labels and labels from the World Continents – Pin Map Flags and Maps from the Free Printable Montessori Materials from Montessori Print Shop. I reduced the size of the Montessori Print Shop labels to fit better on the world map from The Homeschool Den. I also like the size of the mini labels as a nice practical-life component to the activity.
Montessori Print Shop has a number of labels ranging from color-coded labels to plain labels with words only. I used the labels with color-coded pictures of the continents and color-coded labels for the continents and oceans. That way, even a 3 year old could match the continent images, and a non-reader who could match letters/words could match the color-coded continent and ocean labels.
If you want a large map, you could print out one from Your Child Learns. The map can be printed out in whatever size you wish and the continents cut out to use as patterns.
Inexpensive World Map
If you’d like an inexpensive alternative to the Montessori continents map, check out the Teach My Continents and Animals on Amazon. It isn’t wood, but it uses the Montessori colors for continents and has a 30-piece puzzle, animal cards, and a board book for a super-reasonable price.
Instructions for Introducing the Continents
If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll receive a free copy of the wonderful Montessori geography album from Karen Tyler at KHT Montessori. The 177-page geography album gives detailed directions for using the Montessori world map along with the entire Montessori geography curriculum for ages 2½-early elementary.
Montessori Album has simple instructions for using the world map.
Wikisori has some basic instructions for introducing the names of the continents using a continents globe.
My Montessori Works has presentations along with ideas for making a felt map and pin punch map, using a continents map:
More Extensions of the Continent Map Work
A popular Montessori work is to punch out the continent shapes with a tool like Montessori Services’ wood handled puncher.
Crayola has a free map of the world coloring page.
Carrots Are Orange has continent coloring work.
Another extension would be to add animals of the continents to the felt continents map as in this photo by Amy Kuhl Cox.
I have a post with an easy-to-prepare animals of the continents activity.
I have another post for extending the continents and animals work.
You’ll find lots of ideas for Montessori continent box work in my roundup post.
I also have a roundup of creative ides for Montessori continent boxes from around the world.
Does your child have a favorite activity to help learn about the earth?
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