Montessori Land & Water Forms are used to increase a child's knowledge of geographical land and water forms that exist in the world. This is first presented to a child by way of a sensorial experience - the child pouring water into the land and water form trays.
The geography materials that are typically presented before land and water forms are:
There are several other geography materials that can be presented around the same time as the land and water forms:
Options for Montessori Land and Water Forms
1. You can purchase them "shelf-ready", but you may find they are quite expensive, depending on the quality of the tray, and if it has a corner pouring spout or not.
2. You can purchase them as 'economy' materials and complete the painting yourself.
We have used this economy method and have been very pleased with the results. This is a photo of our project when we were about half way through. We could have simply left the land the original brown color, but it wasn't quite dark enough for our liking. Just make sure you use paint that will adhere to the plastic tray.
What's fantastic about these particular trays
3. You can make your own Land and Water Forms. We've seen them made with a variety of plastic trays, hard foam, clay, plaster, plasticine, and playdough. There are so many methods and materials that can be used to make them. Before deciding on the materials you're going to use, think about the number of children using them (for school or homeschool), and how long you'd like them to last. Some ideas:
Instructions for Making Montessori Land and Water Forms
And last but not least ... directions on how to make your own, very durable (school strength), set of Land and Water Forms. Download this free set of instructions.