Whether you’re teaching at home or school, you can add Montessori activities for a geography unit on land and water forms. Not only are there hands-on materials children can work with, but there’s even a Montessori-inspired treat for an end-of-unit celebration.
In Montessori education, land and water forms typically include island and lake, peninsula and gulf, cape and bay, system of lakes and archipelago, and isthmus and strait. Children begin working with hands-on land and water forms from ages 2½ and up.
You can purchase ready-made land and water forms from one of the Montessori material suppliers, or you can make your own.
DIY Montessori Land and Water Forms
Here’s a very helpful post from What Did We Do All Day? about what not to do and what works in making your own landforms: How NOT to Make Your Own Geography Materials Part Three, Landforms (again).
Montessori Print Shop also has very helpful information and a free download: Make Land and Water Forms.
Here’s another set of homemade land and water forms from Shannon’s Sharings: Landforms
To make your own land and water forms, you’ll probably want to read each post and decide which way would work best for you.
Land and Water Form Extensions and Directions
Montessori Materials has some great land and water form downloads. Note: The land form cards donated by Tiffany are the 3-part cards I printed out and used for the photo.
Info Montessori has an introduction to Montessori geography, which includes how to present land and water form trays and cards.
Leptir has helpful photos and printable cards for land and water forms. (Note: Use the Google Translate widget at Leptir to switch back to the original language – Croatian – if you want to download the cards.)
Montessori Print Shop has inexpensive land and water form cards and books.
Here’s an article by Andrea Coventry with Montessori land and water form definitions.
Still Parenting made land and water form cards from old coasters and foam board.
Here’s a video with images of land and water forms [with labels]:
Here’s the link to a land and water form presentation on YouTube.
Here’s another video presentation for land and water forms:
For the most thorough description of how to introduce land and water forms and activities to extend the study of land and water forms, sign up for my mailing list to receive the free American Montessori Society Geography Album by Karen Tyler. It’s a 177-page album covering Montessori geography activities for ages 2½-6.
When you’re finished with your unit on land and water forms, you can celebrate with a fun Montessori-inspired activity I found at Ashland Montessori School: creating land and water forms on graham crackers using blue icing. If you’d like a more natural version of the icing, blend together 8 ounces of cream cheese, ¼ cup honey, and ½ tsp. vanilla. Add blue food coloring, either purchased or a natural, homemade food dye.
I have a roundup post of easy DIY land and water forms.
You’ll find lots of ideas for Montessori land and water activities at Montessori on a Budget.
Live and Learn Farm has a sandpaper land and water study with lots of land and water form resources.
Montessori By Mom has land and water forms matching included in their Land, Water, Air Toolbox!
Have fun with Montessori-inspired geography!
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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