Thursday, March 3, 2011

ASIA: my first continent box!

I finally started my Continent Boxes for our Geography Center! Asia is now DONE!  I am so excited about this as I know the dear children are going to really thrive with their exploration. My inspiration comes from the VERY Creative and industrious Theresa of
Montessori encouraged teachers to use objects when studying geography (hand-on experiences). They stimulate a child’s interest and imagination and  I think boxes like these are a great way to organize geography materials, and make it fun and easy to study each continent. I am hoping to fill each one up with engaging, self-directed learning tools that will keep little minds and hands working and learning independently. However, finding things from each continent can be difficult as I just found out!! I had to text, email and ring a good few friends to see if they could help me. I know that some blogs organise swaps among themselves and maybe this will be my next move. Unless I win the geography kit  Montessori for everyone is kindly giving away to a lucky winner. 
 Fingers crossed.
Anyway. Enough with my ramblings. This is what I came up with. Keep in mind that I will continue to add to them as the year progresses and as I discover new things to include.  So here is my Asia Box.

Looking at it now, I DO have a good few bits and pieces (mainly thanks to Montessori for Everyone where I donwloaded the Asia geography kit!)
We have plastic animals, a silk purse, chopsticks, fans, chinese spoons, spices, booklets etc..

On top of our box, I have taped the map of Asia. The box I am using is just a plain shoe box I saved. I covered it with a sticky-backed vinyl type of paper I got from Woodies. I didn't follow the color code of Montessori World Map. Why? I thought it would be more fun to decorate it. I tried to find a lotus type of design but that's all I found. This will do!

A few facts about Asia taped inside the lid.

I made paper puppets. I printed pictures of children around the world, coloured them, laminated them, cut them out and used a wooden lollipop stick to make the puppets. I am looking for a Russian character to add to the collection.
I have added spices from Asia for the children to look at .. and to smell. We have cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic and curry. I will soon be adding coriander and ginger too. 

These little smelling tubes are a good addition to the Asian plants cards provided by Montessori for Everyone.

I have bonded the cards I downloaded from with split pins to make little booklets. It is an easy way to keep them together and the children like browsing through them.

So that's is for now. I hope you like it. And please if you have any suggestions, leave a comment to let me know. I promise I will get back to you.