Saturday, November 10, 2007

DIY Humungo World Map: Culural learning tool

DIY World Map. Large felt map with velcro backed pieces for learning different cultural dress, flags, native animals, landmarks, history, etc. 6 X 3 feet
Appropriate Age: 3 to 9
Sewing skill: Beginner
Materials needed: 2 yds blue felt, 1 yd olive or green felt, 6 different brightly colored threads, printer, clear contact paper, sticky back HOOK velcro - 1 yd. Large paper for continent patterns. OPTIONAL: Green/blue cotton for border, grommets, setter, and ribbon for hanging.


To draw your own world: Print a flat map. Grid to be an increment of 6 across to 3 high.

Then grid your large paper, one continent at a time, and hand draw the continents. I can also send my original patterns for $25, but due to their size cannot upload them for free. Draw each continent this way, enlarging, and then cut them out.

Cut your blue felt 6 feet long by 3 feet high. Then trace your continent patterns onto the green felt. Cut each one out and position onto your blue felt, matching borders when neccessary (like asia and europe).

Pin allover because it will be moved around a bit to maneuver through the sewing machine. Then stitch ( a close zig zag if you have it for optimal display)each continent in a different color.

After stitching each continent and removing pins, sew on your binding. This is optional, but recommended for a finished look. You can bind however you wish. What I did was cut strips of cotton twill in a green/blue paisley to the length of each side, press under each edge, as well as the center seam, and just sewed it on! Sorry no pics of this but feel free to ask if you are confused by this step.

FOR THE PIECES: I wanted interesting stick ons that Mia could play with as well as learn about the region and history while playing. Originally, I wanted to hand sew flags and little dolls out of felt. Well, the flags were too hard, and the dolls were even harder (at 2 inches each) and the dolls got their heads ripped off in 5 minutes.

I modified my vision for the best and printed paper dolls dressed in ethnic clothing and country flags, and interesting landmarks and animals. I printed on cardstock, then laminated with a heavy duty clear contact paper for sure durability. They turned out great!

What I did was take free clipart, put it into an art program where I had them all on one page and could resize them all, then print, cut out, sandwich between the contact paper, cut out with a 1/4" border or so, then stuck a tiny 1/2" piece of sticky back hook velcro on the back. I also threw in some mermaids and octopi and stuff for ocean fun...

I also created a book to go along with this, as some of the things I wanted to teach Mia about, I had only a vague idea of! I made a list of my 24 main flags, people, animals, and landmarks. I numbered each one, then wrote that number on the back of the corresponding stick on piece. I then used a really valuable site called to print out related activity sheets for EACH area, animal, culture, etc...I cannot say enough about that site!

As well as the list and numbers, I printed a blank map and put each number in the right place to use as a control key....mostly for when Mia gets older and can learn more on her own. (and for myself) :)

Here are a few of the fun things I included in my map...this can totally be personalized, too!

The Pyramids of Giza near Ciaro Egypt
The rainforests of South America and the Toucan bird
The American Buffalo
The totem poles made by the Tlingit Indian tribes of NW America
The South American Flag
The culteral dress of Scandinavia
The Korean traditional dress
The Giant Panda of China

and more!

Enjoy and please feel free to contact me if you need help or would like me to mail copies of my printouts (for a small fee).

Happy Mappy!

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