Hands-on Geography for Teens

A few weeks ago, I read a review from my friend Kris, about a set of maps that she was using in her homeschool. I was so intrigued by the maps (especially the fact that her older kids enjoyed them) that I added the link to my Pinterest board of things I am going to buy for our homeschool.

Since we are currently studying explorers, I’ve been heavily incorporating maps (even more than usual) into our history lessons. My son remembered the salt dough map that we made four years ago and suggested we make another one.

World Map Explorers made from salt dough

This map was pretty big, a lot of work, and after about 2 years, I threw it away.
After painting the salt dough continents, we used different colored pipe cleaners
to trace the routes of the famous explorers and also created little boats with sails
that contained their names.

We were both a little bored with paper maps and wanted something different. Suddenly I remembered the Pin It! Maps from Kris’ review and made a note to buy them the next day after I got my son’s opinion in the morning.

God works in mysterious ways, people! I woke up to an email from Sara, the owner of Pin It! Maps, asking if I’d like to review a set! I told her of course, I’d be honored.

Pin It! Maps are self-explanatory, inexpensive, comprehensive, and very easy to use. Each map set contains the following:

  • a large (18 x 24″) sturdy, laminated map (see here for the Europe example)
  • a sheet of thick Styrofoam that serves as the backing for the map
  • a set of 4 plastic corners to hold the map and foam together (these corners are extremely helpful!)
  • all the flags and labels you could possibly need (already pre-cut and sorted into little bags)
  • poles and bases for each flag and label (if you end up losing some, she does sell replacements)
  • transparent tape (can you believe she even includes tape!)

Pin It! Maps

How to put your label and flags together. Just 5 steps! The only item that Sara does not include are the 1-3/4″ straight pins. You can purchase these at Amazon or any craft store. I went to Hobby Lobby and used my 40% off one-item coupon.

Pin It! Maps

Here are some of the finished pins, ready to be placed on our world map to show off the routes of European explorers.

Pin It! Maps

A close up of the plastic corners that keep the map and foam securely together. Sara thought of everything when it comes to making these maps mom and kid friendly.

Pin It! Maps

The Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of Africa, reached in 1488 by the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias. Did you know that its original name, given by Dias, was Cape of Storms, but King John knew that wouldn’t go over well with potential future explorers, so he changed it.

Pin It! Maps

The islands of the Caribbean, reached in 1492 by Christopher Columbus.

You may have noticed that the labels have various colors. I told you, Sara thought of everything.  The countries are green, cities are red, landforms are yellow, and bodies of water are blue.

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

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