Monday, April 25, 2011

Continent Boxes: South America

Our continent boxes have been off the shelf for a long time due to the house showings, the move, and the return to the "basics" on the shelves in the new school room. We have finally reached a moment when it suits us to bring them back out again.

We are starting with South America. Even though they have a lot of experience with most of the other boxes the boys have actually not worked with a South America box before. They actually haven't worked with a North America box either (although they are getting some quality first-hand experiences with that continent). I never actually MADE the South America box until last week. That might have something to do with it.

You see, when I originally put together my continent boxes I got a big boost because I was involved in a swap originating over at A Bit of This and a Bit of That. It was fantastic. That is, except for the part where our South America partner took everyone's contributions and dropped off the face of the Earth without sending anything. It can be a lot of work to put these together and after assembling seven Africa boxes I just didn't have another one in me.

I'm back in the saddle again and finally put together the South America box last week. I took pictures so that I can show you almost everything that can be in the box at one time or another. These things are NOT all in the box at the same time. I switch these out whenever the boys need something to refresh their interest.

All of my continent boxes are in colored photo boxes that match the content's color on the Montessori globe. I pin punched the continent in sandpaper for the tops.

Each of my continent boxes has a book from a series on the continents.

They also each have a cd of music from the continent. I found music for these at one of the Montessori Yahoo groups. However, I can't remember which one and can't find them now. Figures. You can also download nice music for each continent on Amazon or Itunes.

Another thing that is common to every box is a paper doll that can be dressed in clothing from that continent. I have a set of paper dolls from this continent that I found on Amazon. Unfortunately they aren't going into our box right away because they are mislaid from the move. I remember where they were in our OLD house and all of the items that were grouped together with them are also missing. I'm sure they will turn up. In the meantime, I'll include the Amazon image with the link .

I have collected brass figurines of many international landmarks. For South America we have O Cristo Redentor. I think I might also have a Mayan pyramid but couldn't put my hands on it today.

The Safari LTD Rainforest Toob is an obvious fit. As always, I made a photo glossary of the animals that go in this box so that the boys can easily sort them into the correct box if things get crazy in the school room and the boxes get mixed together.

Landmarks cards (from Target).

Flags for our flags map.

Flags cards (Target again).

South American coins.

Cards picturing South American landscapes (Target again).

Three-part cards picturing South American foods from the Montessori Print Shop.

5 X 7 images of South American landscapes, people, and places from the Montessori Print Shop.

The materials that follow were all made from files shared generously on the Yahoo group Montessori by Hand.

We have four different strip puzzles:

I think these are VERY neat. The very generous contributor on Montessori by Hand made matching cards that require the use of a magnifying glass to view a very small image of a South American animal and match it to a larger image.

She also made three-part cards for a piranha and a parrot. These could be nice way to freshen your "parts-of" works in biology and tie the two curriculum areas together. She also made three-part cards of artworks depicting South American scenes by Henri Rousseau.

It is a lot of work to put a continent box together. All-in-all I am happy with what I was able to pull together. What I am missing are more tangible souvenir-like objects for the box. I have a ton of great objects from Central America that would fit nicely, but Central America is going to get its own box in our house (more on that at a later date).

Other Posts in this Series:


  1. Your box is awesome! I know how much work they are! I made some a few months age and I made all my own cards! That is what being on a budget does to you! I am missing the souviners too. Let me know if you find a good place to get some!

  2. I love your continent box posts and have been referring back to them as I make my continent boxes. Thanks also for the great penguin toob post. The other Saturday night I had and exciting "repaint" the penguin night!
    I have made up some S. American instrument three part cards. I can email them to you if you like.

  3. We are doing a separate Central America box too. It's way too different in culture from North America to lump it in with NA. I love everything you've put in your box.

  4. You got the music from Montessori by's under the Links section. Or at least, that's where you said you were getting your music back when you did your initial continent boxes post. :)

  5. I love posts about other countries and continents. While reading them, I learn about the various things that I did not know until now.
    I love your continent boxes :-)

  6. Lookin good, we just started our continent boxes over here...Thanks for sharing!

  7. Ditto for the music. It is in the yahoo group of MBH. I know there was some issues about downloading material at some point, but it was working a few days ago

    HTH :)

  8. What a terrific job you did on your SA box. They can be REALLY time consuming to make - but you found some lovely treasures for your children! Your control sheet for the small animals is an excellent idea. BTW, thank you for the link-up for the Continent cards.

  9. Sheryll,

    I'm glad ONE of us remembers stuff I say. It clearly isn't me :)

    Montessori Print Shop,

    You're welcome, I'm actually posting a review and pics of them in action later today.

    Thanks everyone!

  10. This is a great idea. I've seen these before and still haven't made some myself, but this post re-inspired me.

  11. Fabulous! I'm going to order those food cards for our boxes; my boys will love them. :)