Monday, April 16, 2007

Salt Maps

Recently we did the chapter in Story of the World 3 called, "The End of Napoleon," about his exile to the island of St. Helena. It was fascintating to learn how he spent his last days, and to learn about St. Helena, which I had never known existed! The activity listed in the activity book was to make a salt dough map, which my son thoroughly enjoyed. As God so often does, He wove our studies together, as my daughter's assigned Sonlight reading was Betsy and the Emperor, about a little girl who knew Napoleon during his time on St. Helena. She is doing a separate, Texas History text this year, but on my plans for her co-op I had planned to end the year doing a salt map of Texas. So, our history worlds collided!

Here is the salt dough recipe we used (from the SOTW Activity Guide):

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup warm water

I found that it worked a bit better than recipes we had done from the Kid Concoctions book. (A favorite resource! Full of great ideas!)

Mixing up the dough

Drawing the continents, then placing the dough on the posterboard

Ready to dry. (See the tiny dot in the middle of the Atlantic? St. Helena!)

Not-so-tiny Texas, using the topography map in the text.

Texas, painted according to the NASA map, with the bordering states and Mexico added.

This week for co-op (now that the paint's dry) the girls will finish labeling the neighboring states, add borders, and paint Texas' major rivers. Kyle will paint the Atlantic. It took a good week or so for the salt dough to completely dry, especially where the Texas mountains (yes, mountains!) are. So, it's been a good project to do in stages.

If you've not tried salt maps before, I encourage you to. The kids have loved it. In fact, with some of his left over dough, my son even created an island for some of his tiny ships, so it doesn't even have to be for geography, it can be just for fun!


Jen and family said...

how cool we might try this
Jen at

Jenny in Ca said...

what a neat craft, and what a great job. I haven't attempted anything like this..but seeing what you are doing makes me think I should try sometime.

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Thank you!! Your pictures are great. I'm going to bookmark this and try it with Zane!

playingschool said...

Looks like fun! I've been meaning to try a salt map, just haven't gotten around to it. I need to just do it! Thanks for sharing the photos.


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