Montessori Continent Studies for Preschoolers — DIY Montessori Continent Globe

Ok, so we studied the Solar System, the planets, and are now focusing on Earth.  Montessori classrooms have a very specific way of introducing the continents, so I wanted to replicate that in our classroom.  Montessori continent globes are rather expensive, so I knew I wanted to make my own.  Was it worth it?  That’s debatable.  I’ll share more on that later.  For now, here’s how you make it yourself:


A cheap globe — find one at a yard sale or use one you already have

Acrylic paints — you’ll need blue, red, yellow, green, orange, pink, white, and brown

1 fine-tipped paintbrush

1 thicker paintbrush

About a week’s worth of wine.

Each continent is traditionally assigned a specific color for teaching purposes:  Europe is red, Asia is yellow, Africa is green, North America is orange, South America is pink, Antarctica is white, and Australia is brown.

I started with the ocean (blue) — I used the fine-tipped paintbrush to do around all the continents, then filled it in with the thicker paintbrush.  You may need more than one coat.  Then I did each continent in the same manner.

And now, the debate about whether or not this DIY Montessori globe was worth it over just buying one:  It took a full week.  That may have been because the globe I started with was BLACK.  Not the best choice.  I had to do at least 4 coats of all the colors.  I painted for about an hour and a half each night, and my back was killing me every morning.  So.  I did it myself, and saved about $20 because I used a globe I already had [this does not include wine costs, because let’s be honest — I’d be drinking it anyway].  Arguably, the week it took me to make it may match up to the amount of time I would wait to have it shipped to my house.  But the labor?  I’m just not sure it was worth it for me.  So you can buy one here.


Now that you’ve made this beautiful Montessori continent globe, what do you do with it?  First, point out the difference between land and water.  Then name each continent.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how fond I am of using insanely catchy [read: annoying] songs to help remember new things.  So of course I have one for you to learn the names of the continents!  We sing this while pointing to each continent:

[to the tune of Frere Jacques — I put the original lyrics below so you can see how it lines up with the tune]

Europe, Asia, Africa.  Europe, Asia, Africa.

(Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques)

North America.  South America.

(Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?)

Then there is Antarctica,

(Sonnez les matines!)

Don’t forget Australia.

(Sonnez les matines!)

Seven Continents.  Seven Continents.

(Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.)

L became quite obsessed with this song and would sing it day and night.  So will you.  🙂