Friday, February 12, 2016

Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds

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Step 1: Wall Map 


We started with putting up a nice big wall map sticker at my 4 year old’s eye level, so he could draw etc on it with dry erase markers. This answered some questions:

  Which country were you born in? 


  Which country are you from? 

  Which country do you live in?

  Which countries are your class mates and friends from?

  Which language is spoken where?

  Why do India & Chile has opposite weathers?

  Which is that largest country?

  What are the names of continents?

  Where do penguins live?


The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds



Step 2: Globe


After a few months, we got him a globe (oops, that was Santa, sorry)
Light a torch on the globe and spin in around to know about day & night. 


  Why we have opposite weathers in different hemispheres?


  Why is earth inhabitable while the other planets aren’t?


  Why does Earth take 1 year while Jupiter takes 12 years to circle the Sun?


  Why do we need to recycle?


  Why should we save energy? 


  What is Global Warming?

The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds

That’s the beauty of what Maria Montessori calls The Absorbent Mind. While I was taught these “complicated" concepts when I was perhaps 13, my 4 year old gets it quickly. 



  

Step 3: Map Puzzle


Then we got him a puzzle for “biggest countries in the world” and as soon as he opened it excitedly, he promptly put Russia, Canada, India, Peru and Argentina in place (a proud mama moment!). I got this pack from India for only $4 (which is what I miss about my country the most, you could get awesome stuff at reasonable prices!). 



The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds

The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds

The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
After putting together the map, he put number stickers on each country on the basis of  size ranking. 



Step 4: Monuments, Birds, Animals & Houses


Then we got him 4 Map Activities by Imagimake: Construction sets of 13 Monuments, 13 Birds, 13 Animals & 13 Houses. First make each of them and then place em where they're found on the map!

The best part is making them! Each bird/animal/monument/house comes in a little packet with foam parts & an instruction slip. We do it together, since he's just 4 ( I think it a 5+ year old will have the fine motor skills be able to do it independently) 

I am usually big on "open ended" stuff, but this was great from engineering point of view (The E in STEM!). He isn't a big fan of legos, so to actually put together parts by following pictorial instructions was actually fantastic. 

We have a 3 item rule, i.e. making only 3 a day, so 52 items shall take a good 2-3 weeks. 






The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
A map puzzle + Tiny bags of construction sets + Glue

The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
The Taj Mahal- India
The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
Christ The Redeemer- Brazil
The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
Polar Bears- Greenland
The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
Octopus- Pacific Ocean
The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
Giraffe- Africa

The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
Boat House- Thailand

The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds
Māori House- New Zealand

Step 5: Tying Map Activities to Books 


If I ever come across a city, country, monument etc anywhere, esp books, I make him spot in on the globe. I mean is there really a point teaching little children *anything* unless it has some relevance to the fascinating things they encounter in the world around them?

I got him a book from the I Wonder Why series (Which is wonderful I must say!) "Why were Pyramids Built" and he knows where’s Egypt, why were tombs built and why were the dead bodies of pharaohs wrapped into mummies. We read "A Lion in Paris" and he now knows where Paris & The Eiffel Tower is.

If we read about mountains, there's a map showing where are the world's highest mountains. If we read about Sharks, there's a map showing where are shark attacks common. 


The Practical Mom: Maps & Globes: Essential Tools for 4 year olds


He met someone from the States a few days back, who spoke fluent English. So he asked her where she's from. I said, can you guess? 

  He: Are you from an English Speaking country?

  Her: Yes! Which countries speak English?


  Him: hmm... Australia, Canada, UK...and ...


  Me: Which one is below Canada on the map?


  Him: US! Are you from the US?


  Her: Yes!


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39 comments:

  1. I love these map activities, especially the world monuments one...wondering how crazy-expensive it would be to have them shipped to the USA...

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    1. Not really, I just found a link on amazon.com, it's not crazy expensive (although it's def cheaper on amazon.in) here it is (& I should prob put that link in the post too):
      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=imagimake

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  2. Very inspiring! I need to do more in this area with our four-year old too. Happy to see you on the PreK & K Community!

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  3. I love that map puzzle! My four year old is often asking questions about countries so we (Santa) got him a world map for Christmas. He would love that puzzle, though. #BloggersClubUK

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  4. Wow this is fantastic learning! I love how many different ways you are teaching with a map - the questions you ask & the creating the pieces to go on the map. It's really impressive. Thanks so much for linking up with #bloggerclubuk x

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  5. These are fantastic ideas. Fun too! Have to grab some of these ideas for my classroom. Thanks for sharing at Party at My Place.

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  6. This is wonderful! It is never to early to start learning. Children are VERY capable of learning and not even realizing it!Thanks so much for sharing this on our Monday of Many Blessings Link Up!!I hope you will share more great posts like this in the future with us!! http://ourhomeofmanyblessings.com/

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    1. & It's so easy when there isn't an agenda or tests! thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Great activities for map and globe learning! Thank you for taking the time to share at Snickerdoodle Sunday! I'm sure your son enjoyed every minute of it! Pinning and tweeting to share! Have a wonderful week!
    ~Laurie

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  8. Those Imagimake creations are so neat! Great component to add to geographical unit studies! I love maps, globes and anything that gets my kids learning about the world.

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    1. I know! it's engineering, crafts, social science all in one!

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  9. This is such a good idea! This would really implant in our kids a love for learning and for the world, really :) So glad you shared these ideas.

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  10. Love these ideas I can see me doing these with Monkey in a few months time :) will be pinning. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week x

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  11. What fantastic resources! Will have to remember these for next time I do this topic.

    #fartglitter

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  12. Another fun one to add is to look at the labels on your clothing and see where what you are wearing was made. I used to do a lesson about clothing, family cars, family trees with my middle school students.

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  13. There's a great Montessori board book that I used to teach my daughter the continents, too.

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  14. Such helpful ideas! Thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog Hop!

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  15. Was just discussing northern hemisphere vs. southern hemisphere seasons today with the boys. Some fantastic resources, thanks! (Visiting from the mkb blog hop)

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  16. You shared some really great resources and ideas. Thank you! My oldest is almost 4 and not *quite* ready for this type of work yet - we've touched on geography in everyday conversations and he's not really interested right now - but I expect it won't be much longer before he's ready for it practically overnight. I'll be saving some of these ideas for that day. :) (Visiting from the MKB blog hop.)

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    1. follow the child is what I believe in... I did all this only becuz he seemed so eager! somethings just click, some don't until later!

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  17. Hi! This Jae of Pinay Homeschooler. I love your work here and featured your post in our Learn & Play Link Up this week. Thank you for sharing and hope you join us again. Thank you!

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  18. Hi, this is a wonderful post. Would you please advise the names of the last 2 books? The one with mountains and the other.
    This is very helpful for me as a homeschooler with 3 and 2 yearolds and a 6 year old.

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    1. Hi Pete-Tam!

      The one on the left is "I WONDER WHY- Mountains have snow on top" (I wonder why is a good series - we have 3 of their books, all very helpful and easy little kids to understand)

      The one on the right is "USBORNE DISCOVERY - Sharks" (We have 10+ books from the Usborne Series, again, all very helpful and easy to understand!)

      Glad to be of help:)

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  19. Love the way you make learning about the world so completely hands on and the wonderful questions you pose to children! We made sure to link to your post on our own post about connecting children to the world through sound and music.

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