Montessori North America Maps Activities

Let’s explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

If you are a member of the HOKA Club, you already have access to all of these printables, as well as our full set of North America Resources in the North America Section.

Montessori activities - ideas for working with maps - North America themed activities for kindergarten

This is a big theme with many activities that we will cover.

Introduction Of North America

To present a specific continent, Montessori classrooms have continent boxes. Orange is consistently used to represent North America, and therefore our box is also orange. You will see orange used consistently on puzzles and maps for North America.

Introduce a new continent by showing the children a globe. Point out where North America is located.

If you have the Montessori continent puzzle, ask the child to select the North America piece. Next, they can look for that piece on the Montessori globe.

Montessori activities - ideas for working with maps - North America themed activities for kindergarten

Continent Pin Poking

Another activity we like to do is DIY pin poking! Present the following materials to the child.

You will need:

  • Montessori Continent Puzzle piece – North America
  • (Orange) Paper
  • Coloured pencil
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Bowl for pencil shavings
  • Pin poker Foam mat

Ask the child to trace the puzzle piece with the pencil. Next, they can use the pin poker to punch out a continent of North America.

Montessori activities - ideas for working with maps - North America themed activities for kindergarten

Ask the child to trace the puzzle piece with the pencil. Next, they can use the pin poker to punch out a continent of North America.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

If you don’t have the continent puzzles, you can use our Maps of North America printables.

Montessori activities - ideas for working with maps - North America themed activities for kindergarten

The child can hold the image up to the light to see if there are gaps between the holes.

Montessori activities - ideas for working with maps - North America themed activities for kindergarten. North America pin poking

After the children have punched out the continent, you can store it for later use. Eventually, the children can punch out a map of the world. They can glue all of the individual continents onto a large piece of blue construction paper.

Punch Out The Countries

Make it more difficult by offering the pin poking map that features the countries of North America separately. The children can punch out each country, glue them onto a piece of paper, and then make labels for each country.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

Safety note: Whenever I present pin poking works, I always use a larger, jumbo stylus. This is because there have been cases of children swallowing small ones.

Please, please, please never leave your students/children unattended when using such materials.

Also, I only recommend using a large punch. You can get them here.

Countries Of North America

The children can label a map of North America.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

The Maps of North America Printables Pack contains coloured maps that match the Montessori North America puzzle colours or a black and white map is provided.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

Extension: Ask the child to work with the North America puzzle. You can get it here. The child can make their own labels.

Get the printables by clicking the link below:

Biomes Of North America

Introduce the different biomes that are present in North America. You can study the biome map provided in the Maps of North America Pack. The children can study the coloured map, and then make their own.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

Provide the black and white map to the children. They can colour the map. Make sure you offer a pencil sharpener and bowl for the shavings.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

To take the study further, you can ask the children to select a biome to explore further. For example, you can see a desert “model” and labels that we made to study the desert biome. Children can make their own labels.

Get your own set of North America Map printables by clicking the link here.

Sewing North America

Sewing is such a phenomenal activity! You can usually find sewing work in Montessori classrooms. This is because of all of the amazing benefits that sewing has for children:

  • Coordination
  • Concentration
  • Fine motor skills
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Finger dexterity
Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

A work like this will require a great deal of concentration and patience. Children will tend to work meticulously to pull the string through each hole.

A sewing – or rather stringing – activity like this is a precursor to sewing using material. The holes punched on our North America template are fairly large. They are indicators for where the needle needs to go.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

To make this activity, I printed the lacing map from my Maps of North America Printables. I punched holes along the border.

We used a larger, plastic needle and orange yarn. Even though the tip is not sharp, we still practice keeping the point away from the fingers and how to use the needle safely.

You can use a hole puncher to make each of the indicated holes. Additionally, I would laminate the template for prolonged use.

(The image is not laminated for this photo due to the glare produced on the camera. The one on our shelves at home is usually laminated.)

Advanced Sewing

For children who have practiced sewing previously and are able to use a needle and thread, you can present a more advanced sewing work.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!
Prepare the Pieces
  1. Print one of the maps from the Maps of North America Printables to use as a template.
  2. Cut out the paper map.
  3. Secure the paper map to a piece of orange felt.
  4. Using fabric scissors, cut out the continent.
  5. Repeat again so that you have two felt North Americas.
Montessori activities - ideas for working with maps - North America themed activities for kindergarten
Montessori activities - ideas for working with maps - North America themed activities for kindergarten

Present the two continents, stuffing, sewing clips, needle, and orange thread to the children. Sewing clips can be very helpful to keeping the two pieces in place.

Montessori activities - ideas for working with maps - North America themed activities for kindergarten - sewing North America

It is important to keep the needle in a safe place if you have a work like this on your shelves. If you are homeschooling, keep such a tray out of reach of younger children.

First the child should sew the continents together most of the way.

Leave a gap at the top to add some stuffing.

Afterwards, the child can finish sewing the rest of the continent shut.

… and the final result! My son worked so hard on his North America. We are collecting all of the continents, which are proudly on display in our messy living room!

Map Art Work

There are many fun ways to use a simple map! Let’s explore several activities that are LOW prep!

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

Place a map in a page protector or laminate it for long term use. Offer orange clay. The child can place the clay in the shape of the continent.

If you are using salt dough or air dry clay, you can leave it the continent to harden.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

Another option is to glue pieces of paper onto the map. To prepare this activity, you can offer strips of paper. The child should tear them into smaller pieces. Tearing paper in this way is a fantastic activity for strengthening hand muscles.

The small clear bowl contains glue with a popsicle stick for spreading it.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

Of course, you can offer paint instead! The children can paint their own North America!

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

If you have some expired orange lentils, you can repurpose them for a craft! Glue the lentils onto the paper to create a textured map.

Don’t want to use food? You can use orange sand instead.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

Get the printables by visiting the link below:

Practical Life: Transferring

For these activities, we used expired lentils. Again, swap food for sand if you prefer.

This is a classic Montessori activity. The goal here is for the child to transfer objects from the left bowl to the right bowl. For this activity, I have provided a spoon.

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

Children really enjoy work like this. This activity will help to develop their concentration, as well as hand-eye coordination. It is really lovely to watch a young child concentrate as they work to move a full spoon carefully to the other bowl.

It is amazing how much care and attention will go into a work like this. As simple as it is – these types of activities are so beneficial for the development of the child!

Dry Pouring

Pouring work is very versatile. You can present a dry pouring work (ie- rice, lentils, etc.) or a wet pouring work (ie- orange water). There are so many variations of these activities!

A child can pour from one cup to another.

For a more challenging work, offer a pitcher and two identical cups. Make sure the cups have fill lines (a small line drawn on the cup to show the child how far to fill the cups).

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!
Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

As the lentils continue to empty from the cup they are holding, the weight of that cup will also change. They will feel this, and will need to continue to hold it steady to avoid spilling.

Depending on the filler (rice in this case, but beans, water, etc can also be used), there will be a different sound that the child will hear as the material is transferred.

While to adults, the child is “just” pouring rice, there really is so much more going on for the child.

More North America Printables

Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!
Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!
Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!
Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!
Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!
Use these Montessori North America maps printables to create hands-on geography activities.  Montessori North America Unit. Let's explore different ways we can study the geography of North America! We will have a look at map activities, biomes, and more!

DISCOVER THE HOKA COMMUNITY

Please do note: the full North America theme and resources are available to HOKA Club members, including our guide that will help to break down the month. Our guide also has several tutorials showing you how to add hands-on activities to this unit study. You can learn more about the HOKA programme here.

For now, you can download some of the materials included in this article above.

“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”

Maria Montessori

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