This salt map activity is messy, but not at all difficult and can easily be adapted for different ages. If your child has sensory issues, it can also be an opportunity to work on breaking down some of those barriers as well.
For this project you will need the following:
1. A piece of stiff cardboard, foam, or poster board
2. Salt ( 3/4 a cup)
3. Flour (1/4 cup)
5. 1 tsp. cream of tartar (optional)
6. Print out of the Earth
7. Food coloring (optional)
First, glue your print out of the earth onto your piece of poster board. I ran out of poster board, so I used the top of a gift box, which worked great. My print out is a little sad, but Charlie’s not picky, so we jut went with it.
The next step is to make your salt map paste. Combine the salt and flour and cream of tartar in a bowl and then slowly add water until you have a paste-like substance. The cream of tartar is supposed to help with the consistency, but if you don’t have any, you’ll just have a chunkier paste. Add drops of food coloring if you’d like your map to have a color other than white–we used green.
Take your paste and then spread it over the land areas of your map. You can be as precise as you like depending on the age of your child. Charlie was about three when we did this, so we were just glopping the paste onto the land parts of our salt map. As I’ve mentioned in the past, he also has some sensory issues (which are improving!), so he wasn’t thrilled about touching the paste. I ended up being the paster for the most part. If your child doesn’t mind, encourage them to create mountains, valleys, and maybe a river channel. For older children, you can find a topographic map and encourage them to match it as much as possible.
Allow the paste to air dry and you’ll have a three-dimensional map. After it was dry, Charlie loved his map and spent a lot of time checking it out (some with his mouth I will confess). Might not have been exactly what I envisioned, but if he enjoys it, then who am I to judge?
What a great idea!!! My son just loves geography, globes, maps, etc. We need to do this project this summer!
Love love love this!!! But…please tell me where you found the map you printed above! I can’t find one like anywhere! Thanks!
Rae – Katy who authored this just had her twins so it might take a while for her to respond, I will try to find it for you too! ~Allie
Sounds good! Thanks for the quick response! Looking forward to doing this with a big playdate group!!! 🙂
This is similar : http://livingmontessorinow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Earth_RoyaltyFreePublicDomainClipArt.jpg
I will try to do this craft drawing and painting the earth I will be using instead of using a printout. My salt map of the earth will surely look more colorful if I will make use of the food coloring. Thanks for this idea!