DJ has been doing a lot of new continent work the past couple of weeks. He received the Montessori Map Work book for Christmas (thank you, Grandpa). I have been collecting Safari Toobs for awhile now so I had most of the miniature animals included in the book and I had a few animal cards that matched too.
This is a fairly simple board book that presents three animals from each continent. I like that aspect of it because it helps to expand the work DJ has already done with his world map puzzle in a very simple way. But, you can already see from the cover that the book doesn't use the standard Montessori colors for the continents. South America is correct, but Asia should be yellow and Africa should be green.
Why is that important? As DJ is learning to match the animals in the book to his puzzle, he is confused by the color. He sees the orange continent in the book (Asia) and wants to put the panda on the orange continent of his puzzle (North America). *sigh*. That is exactly why Montessori is so precise about the smallest details for materials. In most cases, I wouldn't judge the book, but it clearly says "Montessori" down the side of it. If you're going to call your book Montessori, please get the colors right.
I love Safari Toobs! Each set has 10-14 miniatures, mostly animals. I've purchased at least a dozen of the sets. They really bring this lesson alive for a child. I didn't have a bull from a Safari, so I pulled one from DJ's farm. He recognized it right away and had to add the "mommy bull and baby bull" to the collection as well. Hah.
I believe I found these cards in the Target store dollar section. The front has a good size color picture and the back has some basic facts. These will be used for years to come as DJ learns to read.
DJ has done this project about three times since I set it out. I hadn't expected to get the book for Christmas but I'm beginning to see the benefits of my planning over the past year as I was able to pull all the other pieces together in an evening.