This week, we’ve asked Deb Chitwood of LivingMontessoriNow.com to share the fun and educational ways that you can use Little Passports with preschoolers. Read on to see examples of her creative ideas!
It’s fun and rewarding to incorporate Little Passports packages into a Montessori-inspired geography curriculum. I’m sharing some ideas using Montessori principles that show ways you can use the Little Passports World Edition packages with preschoolers.
Preparatory Work with Globes, Maps, and Continent Boxes
The activities below work well if you homeschool your child or your child attends a Montessori school. You just need to choose the activities that work best for your own child and family.
The Montessori preschool geography curriculum introduces the Montessori land and water globe and continent globe before the world continent map. You could make DIY Montessori globes, or just point out the concepts of land and water and the seven continents on your globe at home.
Continent map work is easier to prepare. While starting with a globe is best, you could start with a Montessori continent map to introduce the continents at home.
I designed a continent map tray that was prepared by using free printables. This is helpful to have on your shelf throughout the year. I recommend introducing the continents before your child receives the first Little Passports package.
Montessori continent boxes (or continent baskets or trays) give preschoolers a hands-on way of experiencing each continent. I like to include hands-on continent activities before studying the individual countries. You’ll find lots of ideas for hands-on continent activities in my continent box posts.
If you have a homeschool, you’ll find it helpful to introduce some continent box activities before introducing the related Little Passports country package. If your child attends a Montessori school, you might find that you only need to emphasize the name of the continent related to your current Little Passports package.
Montessori-Inspired Little Passports Activities
At Living Montessori Now, I’ve prepared Montessori-inspired activities to go with the Little Passports World Edition packages. You’ll find links to activities for each of the first-year subscription packages in my Montessori-Inspired Little Passports Global Adventure post. I’m gradually including activities for each of the second-year packages, too.
As an example, for the Little Passports France package (package four) I prepared some map work, a photo-booklet-making activity using the Little Passports online Boarding Zone resources, and two activities extending the camera/photo focus from the package. The activities used free printables I found online (with links included in my posts).
Montessori-Inspired Global Adventure Pinterest Board and Related Continent Resource Boards
Be sure to check out the Montessori-Inspired Global Adventure Pinterest Board and each of the related continent educational resource boards (which include resources for the related countries included in the Little Passports World Edition packages). The Pinterest boards contain ideas and activities that can be used to create continent boxes and complete unit studies for a variety of ages to go with your Little Passports packages. I add geography resources to Pinterest each month.
Here are links to each of the Pinterest boards in the order the continents are introduced through Little Passports:
- Montessori-Inspired Global Adventure (introductory geography resources and 7-continents activities)
- South America Educational Resources
- Asia Educational Resources
- Europe Educational Resources
- Africa Educational Resources
- Australia Educational Resources
- North America Educational Resources
- Antarctica Educational Resources
Little Passports Early Explorers and Montessori-Inspired Activities
I’m excited about the new Early Explorers packages for children ages 3-5! The activities I’ve prepared for the World Edition work well for preschoolers and are a great way to include preschoolers in a homeschool unit study of a particular country. The Early Explorers packages focus on themes that are different from the World Edition packages. Early Explorers packages can also be used to create activity trays and can be used instead of or in addition to the World Edition activities I’ve shared.
The Need for Repetition
Montessori education emphasizes the young child’s need for repetition to meet the needs of sensitive periods. By making activity trays with the Little Passports materials, your child can enjoy doing the activities over and over and maximizing the educational benefits of Little Passports. One of the best benefits is that Little Passports combined with Montessori ideas can give your child a lifelong love of geography.
About Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego.
On her blog at LivingMontessoriNow.com, she writes about Montessori activities and ideas, homeschooling, and parenting. She also helps parents and teachers feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12 in her eBook, Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy (2013, Spring Snow Publications). You can connect with Deb on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.