I started our continent boxes last week. My son and I have been working on them and Bella has been helping with the pin punching of the continents. She can pin punch all day and be happy!!!!
The first thing I did was find items we already had. I went to our attic, pulled out old memorabilia boxes that my husband and I had and found all kinds of items from our travels. My husband was on a navy submarine for four years and traveled all around the world. On our honeymoon we traveled to Europe and growing up my family and I traveled to many states in the United States and I made several road trips after college. Since we are in Texas we get many gifts from students who are from Central and South America so our boxes started out plentiful!!
The second thing I did was send out an e-mail to my mom's group explaining what I was doing and asked if they had any items they would like to donate to our project. I received a BEAUTIFUL package from a Mom who traveled to Africa. She had sand, coins, post cards and art items. She also added some coins from Canada, India, and art work from India.
My husband got into it and sent a message on Facebook regarding our project. My husband is a high school teacher at a Talented and Gifted High School. A very small high school where everyone keeps in touch. Many alums are on Facebook and have gathered items for our boxes.
Pictured above is our first box. We of course started with North America. This was really a great lesson for my husband, son and I because we had not noticed before that Central America is part of North America the Continent. We are so used to saying North America, Central America and South America. This was a Geography Lesson for everyone.
The box is a photo storage box, on the front it says North America and on the inside of the lid is the pin punch of North America that Bella made with the name of the continent under it.
The coins are stored in envelopes that match the Montessori color of the continent. North America is Orange. I wrote the country of the coins on the envelope. I placed the paper money in clear plastic baggies (sandwich bags). Most of the paper money was old and delicate so this will keep it from getting torn.
Things I still want to add to this box toothpick flags (I've got them but have not sorted them) and a book or two.
Our next box that is almost done is from Asia. I'll post about that one next.
Here are some websites with other examples of Continent Boxes.
Montessori for Everyone
LaPaz Home Learning
Heart of the Matter
4Real Forums: Geography
If you know of other websites that discuss continent boxes, please post!