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Puzzle Maps

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Puzzle map of the world:
A wooden puzzle with two hemispheres that are separate circles.
Oceans are painted blue; continents are insets with knobs.
Continents are painted the same colors as on the Colored Globe:

North America – Orange
South America – Pink
Africa – Green
Europe – Red
Asia – Yellow
Australia – Brown
Antarctica – White

Puzzle maps of continents and countries:
Six wooden puzzle maps of the continents (excluding Antarctica).
Each puzzle is divided into countries.
Wooden puzzle map of the child’s country.
Maps of many countries are available, divided into states/provinces.

Labels for all puzzle pieces (countries, states, oceans).


  1. Invite the child to lay out a rug and to carefully place the colored globe on the rug.
  2. Show the child the map cabinet, demonstrate how to carefully pull the “map of the world” puzzle out of the cabinet, demonstrate how to lift and hold it, and carefully demonstrate how to put the puzzle back onto the runners and into the cabinet.
  3. Invite the child to remove the puzzle and place it on the rug to the right of the globe.
  4. Take out just a few noncontiguous pieces from the puzzle, one at a time, show the child where the puzzle pieces corresponds to the continent on the globe. Randomize the pieces then place the pieces back. Show the child corresponding oceans on the globe as well.
  5. Invite the child to take out a few more pieces from the puzzle and to find them on the globe, then invite the child to randomize the pieces and to put them back into the puzzle. Have the child repeat this for all the continents.
  6. Perform a three-period lesson with all the continents, using just a few pieces/continents at a time.


Exercise 1: Map of the World
Exercise 2: Child’s Own Continent
Exercise 3: Child’s Own Country
Exercise 4: Map Making.
Exercise 5: Labels


Names of puzzle pieces, such as continents, countries, states, and territories.

Control of Error

Atlas/Control Map

Direct Purpose

Familiarity with physical geography and names, as well as political geography and their corresponding names.


3 1/2 to 6


Be sure to use noncontiguous pieces at first to not confuse the child with large vacant gaps in the puzzle frame. Certain geography can be confusing such as Africa and South America, try to use these continents in separate three period lessons from each other. You may need two rugs for map making.

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