salt dough maps

Australia by child age 3 1/2

salt dough recipe: equal parts water, sea salt, and (a little more) whole wheat flour
(day 1)
prepared salt dough
small containers for prepared salt dough
prepared pieces of thick cardboard (not the cereal box type) with outlline of the continent or land mass
tool to spread salt dough; examples: tongue depressors, plastic butter knife, plastic spoon.
blue paint for water on the map
paint brushes
small container to hold blue paint
(day 2)
paint (corresponding to the montessori continent maps)
paint brushes
small paint containers

2 day process:
Prepare this activity well in advance. Decide whatever land mass you want to focus on. Prepare the children for this activity by showing them where the continent or land mass is located on the globe and/or the hemispheres map. Invite the children to make their own maps. "Would you like to make your own map?"

DAY 1:
  1. Have a piece of cardboard with a traced outline of the continent prepared for each child. Have the child write their name on the back of their peice of cardboard before you start.
  2. Show the child where and how they will be spreading the salt dough. "When you spread the salt dough on the map, make sure you stay inside the lines. This will be the land part of the map. When they are done spreading the salt dough all over the inside of the black outline allow them to clean up their work area to prepare for the naxt step of the process. Allow them to take their time and make sure that all the salt dough is washed off of the tools and wiped off of the surface of the table.
  3. Next, show them how you will be painting the outside of your landmass - siginifying water or "ocean".
  4. Watch but do not hover to make sure that they are not painting the wet land mass.
  5. Have the child place their map in a safe and clear area to dry over night.
  6. have the child wash their tools and return the materials to their storage area.
DAY 2:
  1. After the salt dough map has been drying for 24 hours the salt dough should be dry enough the paint over. Check when on your own (when the children are not around) by poking the salt dough with your finger or a toothpick to make sure the dough is fully dry.
  2. Paint the continent the color it is on the continent map :

Continent/Geography shelf: Step (1) tray set up; one person job


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