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How to Teach Preschoolers About Continents

by Jennie Dalcour

The world is a huge, exciting place for preschoolers. As your child grows beyond the toddler stage, she's ready for some simple and fun lessons in basic geography. Build on your child’s natural curiosity and help her discover the answers to her questions. By teaching her the seven continents, you'll broaden her horizons and prepare her for school. And when she drives you crazy, she'll understand when you tell her to pack her bags for Antarctica.

Give your preschooler a lesson in scale by showing her pictures of the two of you together. Preschoolers often struggle to grasp the concept of a map representing large land masses. Point out that the picture of her is much smaller than she is, but the picture represents her. Pose like the picture to show how the picture is representative. She'll giggle at your best diva pose as she learns what maps represent.

Show your child a globe. Point to where you live so that your preschooler knows where she is in the world. Explain to her that the globe is like a photograph; it is a tiny representation of the entire world.

Point to the land masses and tell her that they are called continents. Have your preschooler repeat each continent's name. Direct your child to trace the outline of each continent.

Make your own globe. Print out the outlines of the continents for your child to color. After she colors them, cut out each continent and glue the pieces to an inflated blue balloon. Use a globe as a guide so you can place the continents in the right places on the balloon. The combination of glue, scissors, preschooler, and something that loudly pops may make you cringe, but your young one will love this hands-on craft.

Give your preschooler information about the continents. Show pictures on the Internet or from a book. Talk about the climate and animals found on each.

Items you will need
  • Family photographs
  • Globe
  • Printouts of the continents
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Blue balloon
  • Pictures of the continents from internet or books

Tip

  • Use your homemade globe to remind your preschooler of the continents every few days. She will slowly memorize the continents' name and location.

Photo Credits

  • Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images