Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to post about my failure trying to implement a Montessori-type education at home. Someday. But for now, here is a Montessori activity that has worked for us. Montessori pin maps are an excellent tool for learning geography. And these are easy to make! I puchased these pin map flags from The Learning Ark. I printed the country/capital labels on coloured paper (according to the colours on the traditional Montessori maps). I printed the flags on regular paper as she suggests to make it easier to put the pins in. I don’t have all the different colour pins, I used yellow for the labels and white for the flags. The paper on the flags has begun to curl, if I were to do it over I would try it on cardstock. I store the pins on styrofoam pieces in a klipo box.
I used the maps from Montessori for Everyone, but really any maps would do. This World Maps Bundle from Montessori Print Shop would be perfect if you want to use Montessori colours for your maps but you don’t want to be the entire continent kits. I laminated the maps and put the flag key in a sheet protector. These all go into a continent folder, there is one for each continent. These folders contain other goodies too, pictures from the continent, fact sheets, etc.
I have some square bulletin board pieces that are not in any kind of frame. We use our unlabeled, laminated map and pin this to the bulletin board. Then we refer to the labelled map to locate the country and the flag key to locate the flag. For a challenge, locate your countries without referring to the labelled map. If you know your flags well you can try it without the flag key as well.
The only problem I’ve had is that she was so thorough in creating her pin map labels & flags that many of the countries (mostly small island countries) aren’t on our maps! I’ve removed those flags and placed them in a separate box. Right now all I expect Skeeterbug to learn are the countries on the maps we are using.
The front of the country labels has the country name. The back has the capital city. You just fold them in half and pin.
Montessori Print Shop also sells printable pin map flags. I also used our Montessori For Everyone maps to create this book. It’s laminated and we use wet-erase markers to practice labeling the maps. I got this idea here. I don’t expect Skeeterbug to get the spelling right when he isn’t referring to a labelled map. Once he has had some practice and has the countries down we move to reviewing it orally.