How To Make A Land Water Air Mat In Less Than 5 Minutes

Here is a simple tutorial to make a Montessori-inspired Land, Water, and Air Felt Mat in less than 5 minutes. This is a fun sorting activity to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to geography.

A simple tutorial to make a Montessori-inspired Land, Water and Air Felt Mat in less than 5 minutes. This is a fun sorting activity to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to geography.

A few weeks ago my parents went back to Colombia after visiting us here in Germany for a couple of months.

Before leaving the explained to my almost 3-year-old daughter why they had to go, where they were going and how they were going.

They told her they had to take a train to go to the airport and then they had to take two airplanes to arrive home. She listened carefully every time they described their trip. And she learned that the airplane had to flight across the ocean to arrive to Colombia and they would take several hours to arrive home.

A Sudden Interest In Geography

It is not the first time that my parents come to visit and definitely not the first time that Tutu hears everything about the trip.

But for the first time, she wanted to know where Colombia was and why we could not just go there every day.

So I took a children’s maps book that I bought her last year and was saving until she was a bit older.

I showed her where we lived and where Colombia was. I told her about the ocean that separates the two continents. And I talked with her about the differences between Colombia and Germany.

She was so interested in the maps that we spent a good hour checking the book.

I was really surprised that she was already interested in Geography.

How to make a Montessori Land, Water, and Air Felt Mat. This is a fun sorting activity to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to geography.

DIY Land Water Air Sorting Mat For Toddlers And Preschoolers

So I decided to follow my little girl and start introducing geography to her.

In Montessori education, the first introduction to geography is given by explaining children the most basic concept: the earth is made of land, water, and air.

A fun way to explain children the difference between land, water and air is by letting them sort animals.

How To Make A Montessori-inspired Land Water Air Felt Sorting Mat

Supplies to make a Montessori Land, Water, and Air Felt Mat. This is a fun sorting activity to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to geography.

To make your own sorting mat you will only need:

  • Felt Sheets (I used two kinds of blue, two kinds of green, brown and white)
  • Scissors (I realy like these)
  • For the sorting activities, we used three Safari Ltd TOOBS: exotic birds, coral reef, and the land down under (I love them because they have a huge selection of animal figurines and each TOOB comes with several figurines)

See how I made the mat in this video:

Sorting Animal Figurines By Land, Water, and Earth

My daughter always enjoyed sorting and matching. Some of her favorite activities have been our crawly creatures picture to object matching and our sorting color balls in the summer.

I knew she would like this activity but I never imagined to which extent.

How to present this activity:

Put together the mat and the Safari Ltd figurines in a tray or basket. Then, show your toddler or preschooler how to put together the mat and make a brief demonstration on how to sort the animals. Finally, invite your child to sort and play.

I made this mat when Tutu was taking her nap and brought it to her when she woke up.

This basket has not even made it to our shelves because she wants to play with it every day before she goes to bed and when she wakes up. So we have been keeping the tray next to bed.

I haven’t seen her so interested in an activity in a long time. I am really happy that I decided to follow her interest!

Benefits:

  • Early introduction to geography.
  • Language development (tell your child the name of the animals they are sorting).
  • Development of rational skills as they learn to sort the animal figurines by land, water, and air.

 

Want More?

Bilingual montessori inspired land water and air transportation 3 part cards for toddlers and preschoolers

Check my Land, Water And Air Transportation 3 Part Cards on teachers pay teachers: In English, Spanish and Bilingual.

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Your Turn

How do you introduce geography to your kids? Share your ideas in the comments bellow.

Note: The activities on this page should be done under parental supervision and discretion should be used to determine if this activity is age appropriate for your child.

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