Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Continent Boxes - North America

Its been a while since I posted.  We've been busy working and progressing steadily in all areas.  I've been busy making quite a few new materials, definitely another post!  For now, I thought I would post (show off :)) the contents of our North America Continent Box.

One of the awesome ideas from the Montessori world is the Geography box.  It is the coolest too! I've been dying to make these ever since I heard about it!  In the 3-6 age range, when everything is about rich sensorial experiences, what better way to introduce Geography than immerse the children in a wide variety of cultures!  Geography boxes provide an awesome way to begin the experience.  The child gets to hold, feel, taste items from the various continents and get introduced to the various cultures.  I also love the fact that everybody's continent box will be unique.  Each box can be tailored to suit the needs of their children's interests!

Before I get into the details, I want to mention what I did for the boxes.  I wanted a sturdy but inexpensive option.  I looked and looked and finally found these awesome, good sized paper boxes at IKEA.  They had the various colors that were needed for the boxes, but they come in packs of two of the same color.  Then I would end up buying 7 of these and what do I do with the extra box?  So, I decided to get 4 packs of the white boxes and do my own decorations.

Here I present our first box, the North America box.  This is the heaviest box and the fullest.  We owned most of the items in this box the rest I got from the cultural exchange we participated in.

Here is our box.  I just pasted some orange (Montessori color for North America) paper on the front of the box and top of the lid.  I decorated it with some stickers we received as part of the cultural exchange.  I love how it turned out, simple and no sweat!

These are the flags that we own, just Canada, USA and Mexico.  I also made some cards for the flags that can be used for 3-part work, but for now we have plenty to explore in the box, so I left it out.

We have the North America Map that I got from here.  The Mexican map was from the cultural exchange.

In the box are the portraits of D and M that were made by an artist at the Pike Place Market.  We visited Seattle earlier this year and this was one of the memorable things that we did there.

Postcards that depict people, landscape, animal or artifact, that we've collected over the years from various places we visited across USA and Canada. We also received a couple from the cultural exchange.

Art by some of the artists local to the area depicting places or people.  We bought these at the places we visited.

Currency, coins and stamps.  We got that little girl holding the tiny coconut at Punta Cana when we vacationed there with D.

Some items from Mexico.  We got the Mayan, the Mayan Calendar and a replica of the Chichen Itza when we visited there.  The rest are items we received from the cultural exchange we participated.

These items are Canadian, things we collected when we visited a few places there.  From left to right, Inuksuk, CN Tower that changes color, Totem Pole at Stanley Park in Vancouver.  We received the little Canada Lite flashlight from the cultural exchange.

We got this Tlingit doll when we visited Alaska.  The little leather pouch holds some Muskox fur from a farm in Alaska.

Dream Catcher and a few goodies we received from the cultural exchange.  The forget-me-not seeds are from Alaska to represent the state's flower.  We are planning to plant these next spring.

We got these little replicas of brown and black bear, the totem pole, mammoth ivory fossil and a little gold rush stone (fake!) from Alaska.

Paper dolls of Alaskan and Mexican children.  These are available at Amazon.

The US presidents and US animals flashcards, I got from the Target Dollar Spot.  The wooden US  puzzle map is from the dollar store.

Some Travel brochures and maps from the places we've visited.

Some books we own that will be used for research when D is ready to get into the details.  I got these at the various sales at our local library for really cheap.

I made a set each with pictures of the landmarks, food, houses and people (especially children) of North America.  I was sure to include, pictures of places we visited together so D can get a kick out of those! Same for food!  D loves the pictures of Starbucks coffee and pizza!  I made these pictures by getting the  images off google, will be unable to share these, sorry!

We received these Spanish flash cards, pictures from Mexico and some Spanish music (not pictured here) from the cultural exchange.

I also have the candies and food items that we received from the cultural exchange, but I've put those away for now.  We will use them later when we get into detailed studies of the continents.  Also, as you can see, I haven't included the beautiful letters we received from the cultural exchange in the box, the reason being that this box is full and already quite heavy.  When we get into studying each country I will surely pull those letters out.  

Hope you enjoyed this installment of our Continent Box! 


  1. This is very cool! I've never seen such a thing & I love it & am ready to go make my own. Thanks for liking up to TGIF LInky Party! I sharing this with my readers at -!/pages/Living-Life-Intentionally/261252997248957
    Beth =-)

  2. Love it!!! We are still collecting things whenever daddy is traveling around the world and have the duty of bringing lots of little tresures for us. I just need to look where to organize everything. Where did you get your box? It looks big enough to hold all the things together. Awesome! Take care!

  3. AWESOME continent box! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page. I have a post about Montessori Continent Boxes at When the cultural exchanges are all finished for this season, I'll have to do a part 2 of my Montessori Continent Boxes post with all your activities added!

  4. Thanks all for stopping by and posting a comment! Makes my day to read those!

    I got the boxes from ikea and the link to the product is in the post. Yes, it is large enough to store all the goodies!

  5. This is so amazing...filled with treasures to discover...I LOVE it!!!!!

  6. Very Beautiful North American Box!


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