Montessori Globes: Making Geography a Sensory Delight for Kids

The Montessori globe is an essential part of childhood education. Crafted from high-quality wood, this beautifully designed tool helps children engage with the world around them, inspiring a love for learning and a fascination for our planet. In this article, we’ll explore the unique features that make Montessori globes stand out, as well as various activities that can be carried out using this remarkable educational resource.

What is a Montessori Globe?

colored globe montessori

The Montessori globe is not just any ordinary globe. It’s a carefully designed educational tool that invites children to explore the world through touch and sight. With a diameter typically around six inches, it’s perfectly sized for little hands to grasp, turn, and explore. The calming blue color represents the vast oceans, while the continents are often presented in various distinct colors, aiding in recognition.

Designed for Learning and Play

Crafted with precision, the Montessori globe serves a dual purpose. In the classroom, it’s an invaluable tool for introducing young learners to the basics of geography. At home, it can double as a decorative piece, fitting seamlessly into various room themes, especially those inspired by nature or travel. The materials used in its construction are chosen not just for their aesthetic appeal but also for durability, ensuring that the globe can withstand the curious explorations of young learners.

Montessori Globes Components and Features

The Montessori globe is more than just a spherical representation of our planet. It’s a thoughtfully designed educational tool that emphasizes sensory learning:

  • Color-Coding: Each continent is represented with a specific Montessori color, aiding in recognition and memory retention. For instance, North America might be orange, while Asia is yellow.
  • Texture: The sandpaper globe introduces children to the concepts of land and water through touch. The rough texture of the sandpaper represents land, while the smooth areas symbolize water.

Unveiling the Sensorial Curriculum

The purpose of the Montessori globe goes beyond imparting basic geographical information. It also serves as a key component of the sensorial curriculum which forms an integral aspect of Montessori education. By isolating specific concepts such as shape, size, or color, this dynamic teaching aid assists children in developing a deeper understanding of the world and its various interrelated components.

Integrating Concrete Objects

This ingenious device harnesses attractive concrete objects to support abstract learning. For instance, incorporating topographic features or using country shapes on the globe serves as an effective means of teaching geography and encouraging a child’s spatial awareness. Even language skills can be introduced with practices such as using captions for certain countries during Spanish immersion Montessori classroom sessions.

Colored Montessori Globe vs. Sandpaper Montessori Globe

sandpaper montessori globe

The Montessori method is renowned for its focus on hands-on and sensory-based learning. This approach shines through in its educational materials, especially in the two primary types of Montessori globes, the colored globe and the sandpaper globe.

Feature Colored Montessori Globe Sandpaper Montessori Globe
Primary Purpose Introduce continents Introduce land & water
Design Color-coded continents Sandpaper continents
Sensory Focus Visual Tactile
Age of Introduction Typically before Sandpaper Globe After Colored Globe
Associated Activities Naming continents, color association Feeling the difference between land and water, tracing continents

Colored Montessori Globe

The Colored Montessori Globe is designed to introduce children to the continents of the world. Each continent is painted in a specific, distinct color, making it easier for children to identify and remember them. This globe provides a visual representation of the different continents and is typically introduced before the Sandpaper Globe.


  • Purpose: Introduces children to the continents.
  • Design: Each continent is painted in a specific color.
  • Usage: Helps children visually identify and differentiate between continents.

Sandpaper Montessori Globe

The Sandpaper Montessori Globe focuses on the tactile difference between land and water. The continents are covered in rough sandpaper, while the water bodies remain smooth. This design allows children to feel the difference between land and water, providing a sensory learning experience.


  • Purpose: Introduces children to the concepts of land and water.
  • Design: Continents are made of rough sandpaper, while water bodies are smooth.
  • Usage: Helps children understand the geographical distinction between land and water through touch.

Diverse Educational Activities Featuring Montessori Globes

The Montessori globe, with its interactive design, offers children a captivating way to explore the world. Here’s how you can harness its potential for a range of educational activities:

  • Identifying Continents and Oceans: A fundamental lesson in geography involves acquainting children with the seven continents and five oceans that make up our planet. This spinning wooden globe offers a tangible visual aid to help students better retain and recall this information.
  • Tactile Exploration with Sandpaper Globe: The sandpaper globe, with its rough (land) and smooth (water) textures, allows children to feel the difference between landmasses and water bodies. Guide the child’s hand over different areas, emphasizing the texture difference.
  • Color Recognition with Colored Globe: The colored globe helps children identify continents based on specific colors. Ask the child to match continent names with their respective colors on the globe.
  • Mapping Countries: From placing stickers over prominent locations to tracking ancestral origins, the Montessori globe presents endless opportunities to delve into diverse cultures and expand one’s global perspective.
  • Studying Landforms: The globe can be used to highlight various geographical features, such as deserts, mountains, or valleys. This helps learners grasp the diverse landscapes and terrains that our planet boasts.
  • Learning Longitude and Latitude: This spinning earth globe facilitates a detailed introduction to these essential geographical coordinates, which are indispensable in navigating from one point to another on the planet.
  • Interactive Activities: Encourage activities like tracing the continents, labeling them, or even placing small flags on major countries or landmarks. This reinforces their learning and makes the experience interactive.

Montessori Globes and Their Connection to Montessori Geography

montessori globe and geography material

The Montessori approach emphasizes a cohesive learning journey, where each tool enhances the other. The Montessori globe is a cornerstone in this journey, seamlessly integrating with other geography materials:

  • Montessori Puzzle Maps: Wooden maps with color-coded pieces representing geographical entities. They allow children to delve deeper into continents, countries, and regions, reinforcing geographical boundaries.
  • Montessori Pin Maps: For advanced learners, these maps come with pins for marking specific locations, enhancing detailed geographical exploration.
  • Land and Water Form Trays: Post introduction to the sandpaper globe’s land-water concept, these trays further explore geographical formations like islands and peninsulas.
  • Montessori Globes: The sandpaper globe focuses on land and water, while the colored globe color-codes continents, aiding in deeper understanding.
  • Three-Part Cards: Paired with other materials, these cards bolster vocabulary and concept retention, like matching African countries to their shapes.

Enhance Your Teaching Resources with Montessori Globes

Incorporating this exceptional Montessori sensorial material into your child’s learning inventory will undeniably foster their curiosity about our world while simultaneously nurturing essential skills like patience, observation, and critical thinking. As a must-have asset for every classroom or home, ensure you harness the transformative impact of the Montessori globe on your young learner’s academic journey.

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