Friday, June 11, 2010

Salt Dough Map of Cali.

In order to reinforce some of the geography we have studied recently, and because I needed to be a "fun Mom" with a hands on activity I decided to make a salt dough map of California. I remember doing this when I was younger. I think I made the whole USA for a school project one of those elementary years. I got the recipe and basic directions from Jimmie's Squido lens about the project they did. I think the recipe she gives makes a lot more dough than we needed (unless your map is going to be really big!) so I would half it next time.

Salt Dough Recipe

4 cups of flour
2 cups of salt
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar

Mix with your hands (that's the fun part) until the consistency of playdough. Add more water or flour as necessary.

The kids had fun making the dough all by themselves. When else are you ever going to use almost a whole box/cylinder of Salt?!

I drew the outline of California onto the cardboard and then the kids filled it in with the dough.

Then the kids got busy putting in the mountains and the long central valley by pushing and poking the dough around. I am sure they aren't that accurate but they certainly look pretty good. Henry put in a very tall Mt. Whitney and Sophie pressed the dough very thin  for Death Valley.

We had to wait a day before painting. I can't believe it but they waited two days. We finally got around to painting it today. 
 We used a lot of blue, brown, green and some yellow. The kids really loved it when I gave them some gold paint too so they added in a few dots of gold all around the state to show where you can/could find gold.

We haven't put the cities in yet. I think we are going to label a number of important places once it dries completely. My boys especially noticed that we didn't put in the Channel Islands, off the coast of our map of California. I guess we are going to have to draw them in. I am so surprised that they really loved the Island of the Blue Dolphin book so much. They talk about it all the time. I guess it also helps that we are going to be going to the Island of Catalina soon. These kids are so excited for the cruise.

I don't know how we are ever going to part with it. My kids are under the impression that this piece of artwork is going to be on display for years to come.

I am glad they had a good time.


Bibliophile said...

I think their map of California is rather accurate from the photos. They did a good job. The Mojave Desert certainly stands out! Be sure to add our town when you put in the important cities....

Sleep-Deprived said...

Does the salt-dough automatically stick to the cardboard? I'm just curious if you were to display it upright, would it eventually slide off?

I think their relief map looks fantastic! Great idea to add the gold!!