In a Montessori 3-6-year-old environment, children through sensory experience and stories, learn about the physical world around them. They can touch a sphere and compare its shape to the globe or a ball they are used to play with. They build landforms using play dough and fill water forms with water. Montessori puzzle 🗺️ maps are a fun and interactive way to introduce geography as children are developing their spacial skills as well as fine-motor. Geography puzzles are meant to be taken apart and put back together again and again as children develop an understanding of continents, oceans, and their respective positioning. Montessori Geography hands-on activities build child's long-term memory by physically engaging and stimulating the hand.
In an early Montessori Geography curriculum, a child first learns about his place on Earth through exploring a globe: beginning with the Sandpaper globe (buy here), followed by the Colored 🌈 Continent 🌎Globe (buy here). Once the child is comfortable with the concept of Earth as a sphere, you will move on to introduce the Earth more abstractly ~ flat, as represented on the Map.
Montessori World Puzzle Map (buy here) requires a precise pincer-grip, and fitting the puzzle-pieces back into the puzzle board requires exactness and meticulousness due to its irregular shape. So, a child will first learn the continents and their positioning on the Globe, and only then you will introduce the World Puzzle Map. Below, Adrian at 33 months is 🎤 singing his favorite Montessori Continent Song, but this time matching the puzzle pieces while using a flat puzzle map.
🎤 “North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa. Don’t forget Australia and please don't forget Antarctica.”
Adrian first sang this same song at 29 months, using the Colored 🌈 Continent 🌎Globe (see 📽 a video of him singing it here).
I also traced the continent puzzle pieces on a white cardstock paper, wrote continents' name under each shape, and laminated for durability.
You may also present a 3️⃣🌠Three-Period Lesson. 1️⃣Period, you will show your child how to match each continent puzzle piece to its shadow, while reading its name. 2️⃣Period, ask a child "Will you show me ❤️Europe, for example, and match it to its shadow?" Finally, as a 3️⃣Period, ask a child: "What continent is this?" A child 👶🏼 has completed the 3 🌠Period Lesson if s/he can tell you the name of the continent.
A fun game to further facilitate the continent name recognition is to hide any one continent behind your back and ask a child which continent is missing? Julia and Adrian love taking turns hiding the continents and shouting which one is missing.
For more on the transition from a sphere to a flat map, read a post here World Continent Puzzle 🗺️ Map -Making the Earth Flat – Why 2 Antarcticas? post.
You can see a video of 🎤an Ocean Song here in "Learning 🌊 Oceans with a 🎶 Song" post, where Julia made up a song to help her brother memorize the names and positioning of the oceans.