Teaching Land and Water Forms to Preschoolers Through Play

Friday, March 17, 2017

Vito is 40 months old.


In line with our Earth Science activities, I decided to introduce Vito to land and water forms using the Montessori Sandpaper Land & Water Form Cards and the Safari Toob vehicles.  I came up with this idea because a few weeks ago, Vito was really hooked with our land, water and air transportation figures from Safari Toobs


For days, both Mavi and Vito were crazy over our Safari Toob vehicles, cards and books.  As I mentioned in this post, it was a total hit and Vito would always work on matching the mini figures to that on the cards.  If your kids are in this current state, I highly suggest that you use this opportunity to introduce simple concepts of land and water formations.  Vehicles are one perfect example of learning toys that can be instrumental in demonstrating such geographical features.


I told Vito we’re going to play a game, and I showed him the land form cards.  I did have a brief presentation of the Montessori land and water sandpaper cards.  It was merely more on introducing the land area, the water area and the form these two created (curve, straight, circular). Though I identified each of the cards, I didn’t really focused much on the names of each cards, it’s more of just grasping the simplest concept rather than memorizing each land/water forms.    Afterwhich, the boys immediately placed their vehicles in the cards.  I can’t even describe how excited they were in designing their “land”.


When they filled their cards, Mavi realized that he can connect the landforms to form a bigger land mass so they can extend their play pretend.  This is what Mavi came up with.


With the new set up,the boys were able to do some play pretend.  I encouraged Mavi to use the names in describing the landforms like “lake, island, peninsula” etc. to expose Vito to the vocabulary words. I’m actually surprised that Vito started to use some of those terminologies later on in their play.

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I loved how this effectively taught Vito to distinguish land and water formation.  Play based learning works for Vito who’s always reluctant to do the typical Montessori way of learning (3 period lesson).  Mavi was my 3 period lesson kid but Vito is quite different and I adapt to his needs.   I will reserve that 3 lesson period once he’s a little bit older, but for now he is more than happy and at ease when he’s playing.


And I think one of the most effective ways to learn is to have a big brother around, who loves to teach and guide you through.


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