I was wanting to cement some of the kids knowledge about the map of Europe but I wanted to avoid the typical write the countries name on a label type activity just because it is something that I knew we were going to have to do a few times. Plus he always learns better when he is doing something, using his hands, even if it is as simple as pinning labels onto our cork board.
So I printed out the blank coloured map of Europe from the Activity Village site, pinned it onto cork board and wrote out the countries names onto little strips of card.
We started by just sticking with the countries that the kids were already familiar with and focused on those and then as they grew more confident we added more.
Very simple idea. The kids select the names and then pin it onto the correct place on the map.
And yes some sections get a bit squashed and there is overlap but that actually turned into a good thing because as soon as the labels were getting squashed he was commenting on how he had to squeeze a certain country between two others, which actually just reinforced the relationship between the countries that border each other.
And yes the more the kids did get more and more confident with where the countries are and who borders who.
I also noticed that even when I did not include a countries label in the mix of countries we were working on he would often point to a country and either ask me about it or tell me which country he thought it was.
It really was easy to set up and it has worked really well with both kids. I do think the pinning the labels on the map just makes a nice break from written worksheets and my daughter has already asked if we can do the same activity for Asia.