Continent Boxes are a fun DIY Montessori project and they’re something that can always be growing and changing. You can keep adding new things to them. If people go on a trip, ask them to bring back a little knick knack to add to it and bring back your own when your family travels. I’m not finished all my Continent Boxes yet. I still have Europe and Africa left to make and right now they’re pretty minimal, mainly just Toob figures and pictures to match. So when I came across this idea in the Montessori Homeschooling Facebook group, I was really excited. It was so simple and inexpensive.
The flag stickers are from this book.
I already had the little wood rectangles from a long time ago. I got them from this etsy store. The book has two sets of each sticker, a larger one and a smaller one. I put the larger one on the wood rectangles. Since the stickers are reusable, they’re not very sticky so I sealed them with two coats of a glue finish (note, do a very thin coat first or the stickers bubble). I only sealed the top, not the whole wood piece.
The book came with lovely labelled world maps. The smaller stickers I stuck on the maps. Then I put them in page protectors and a duotang so that it can be used as a reference. I plan to get some little draw string bags to keep the flags in.
Flags are not something that’s generally taught in school, but I find them fun to learn, especially in engaging ways like with the Pin Map and these little tokens. Also, you’ll be surprised how often you see flags. I was very proud when I could identify the flags flying at the factor near the grocery store and the other day Pumpkin 1 and I were at KW surplus and they had a ton of flags hanging up. I was surprised when she told me the one which I couldn’t remember was the Newfoundland and Labrador flag.
I first saw these here and thought it was a great idea but forgot about it until I saw them again. The M&D nesting boxes aren’t very expensive on amazon.ca. You could probably find them even cheaper at a yard sale or maybe some friends have a set they don’t want any more.
I first painted the boxes black. Then found the pictures on the internet and pasted them in Publisher and formatted them to fit the box measurements. I attached them with a paper glue/finish (kinda like Modge Podge not so sticky when dry). I sealed everything with two coats of the finish. The boxes are from biggest to smallest – Universe, Milky Way Galaxy, Solar System, Earth, North America, Canada, Ontario, Our City, Our House and then a little peg person.
They’re a great way to help a child understand how everything fits together when it comes to the world and countries and where their place is in it all.
These shapes from Learning Resources are a great alternative to the rather costly Montessori Constructive Triangles. They don’t have all the same shapes but they have other ones (circles and 1/2 and 1/4 circles) and enough shapes that I think the few missing ones aren’t a big deal. You could make them yourself with laminated paper or cut them from heavy plastic of some sort. The quality is great (nice and thick) and they don’t have sharp edges
These have the added bonus of being able to use them with a light table and they can be used as a sort of tanagram to make pictures with. Tanagrams have been shown to improve a chid’s math thinking.