When you are about to begin studying something as complex as THE WHOLE WORLD, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start and what to include. I have partnered with Oriental Trading to share a few different activities for beginning continent studies for children from toddlers to preschoolers.
My youngest daughter is not yet two, but there are still ways that she can be involved in the continent studies we do for our homeschool preschool. One Montessori-inspired work that she can complete is this flag matching activity — I spread out some pictures of flags from different countries around the world, then gave N a bucket full of mini world flags. I showed her how to match one of the mini flags to the picture, and then she quickly did the rest. While you’re looking at flags, be sure to discuss the colors, shapes, and patterns that you see on them. Notice similarities and differences. I feel a bit like Sheldon Cooper [any Big Bang Theory fans here???], but the possibilities for learning with flags are endless!
Another part of continent studies is learning about the people who live there. I knew this set of books would be the perfect addition to our curriculum because it looks at the ways people live all over the world. Nora loves looking at all the beautiful pictures, which are photographs of real people and their families, games, clothes, homes, shopping, and schools.
Looking at pictures of people from around the world has really opened L’s eyes to the differences in skin color that she sees. To build upon her questions about race, we have been using some multicultural colored pencils for coloring as well as to match with the skin colors we see in our books.
Preschool-aged children can also combine some of these products with traditional Montessori continent studies materials as an extension that requires a little more work. We used the Plush Label Me Globe along with our Montessori Continents Globe and our Continents 3-Part Cards. First we set out the 3-part cards and matched the removable continents from the plush globe to the correct continent cards. Then we matched the removable labels to the cards. Finally, we used the Montessori continents globe as a guide while we put the removable continents and labels back on the plush globe.
You can find all of the Oriental Trading products discussed in this post [and more!] right HERE! What else would you choose to begin continent studies with your toddler or preschooler?