Quick DIY Geography Project

This is one of those things that I have had on my to-do list for a looooooong time.  Instead of purchasing puzzle maps and pin maps, we have the blank control maps (on poster board) and the labels from Montessori Outlet.  As much as I would love a gorgeous map cabinet I know that it is not a practical expense for our homeschool. I have nowhere to put it and we usually only work with one or two maps at a time anyways (we do have the world puzzle map).

This project is pretty self explanitory, but it relies heavily on my favorite material making product....sticky back Velcro dots.

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 I have always bought them from the fabric store for $5 for a package of 15 sets so while I had a long list of things I thought they would be useful for, I never wanted to spend that much on the dots.  Then I found that Discount School Supply sells sets of 100 pairs for about $12 .... much better!  Some of the things that I have used dots for include Caleb's picture schedule, assignment/chore boards, file folder games, and other manipulative/schoolwork things.

For this project I took our blank maps, laid out the labels, and then simply put the dots on the back.  You could do this with any sturdy map/label set, I simply used the purchased ones we already had for ease.

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In some cases (Central America and the Caribbean Islands, for example), I used a black permanent marker to draw lines between the dots and the correct country.

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Since we usually work on one map at a time, I actually hung the first map on the wall using poster tack.  As long as the kids hold the map when they pull off the labels the tack is strong enough to hold the poster, even with all the labels on.  None of the tape I tried was strong enough.

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You can see the Belize label disappeared somewhere.  I suppose I could have made a nice printed label that matched but I didn't have any card stock for my printer, but I did have some smaller pieces laying around to handwrite a label.

I am a big believer in using the atlas as the control map, so if the boys can't check their work with each other (which is what I encourage), we use the Usborne Internet-Linked Children's World Atlas.

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