Sandpaper Globe

From Montessori Album
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Sandpaper Globe
Social Studies - Geography
Sandpaper globe.JPG
Age3 +
MaterialsSandpaper Globe
small object(s) that represents a larger one

Also called the Land and Water Globe.
This material introduces the child to the concept of the globe as a representation of the earth.


The small object (or objects) to go with the globe could be just about anything. In this example, we'll use a toy plane.

  1. Show the child the correct way to carry the globe. One hand should hold the base underneath and the other hand should be on top.
  2. Take the Sandpaper Globe and the toy plane to a mat or table.
  3. Show the child the toy car.
    "What is this?" ("A plane." or "A toy plane.")
  4. "Is this the same size as a real plane?" ("No, it's smaller.")
  5. "Right. This isn't a real plane. It can't really fly, and it's way too small for people to ride in it. It's a model that represents the real thing."
  6. Set the plane down and point to the globe.
    "This globe is a model of our planet earth. It's much, much smaller, but it represents the real thing."
  7. "The smooth blue areas represent the water."
    Let the child feel the smooth areas.
  8. "The rough brown areas represent the land."
    Let the child feel the rough areas.

Points of Interest

  • touching the rough and small areas
  • the idea of a smaller thing representing a larger one

Control of Error

Variations and Extensions


The small object to help introduce the globe could be:
a toy plane, a toy car, a toy animal, a toy house, etc.

Make Your Own

  • You could get an old globe from a thrift store (one of those that still has the USSR on it) and paint it blue and brown. Then put glue on the brown land areas and sprinkle on sand.
  • If you'd like to make a Land and Water Globe pillow, there is a lovely fabric available from Spoonflower designed by a Montessori homeschool mom. The finished globe is around 7"-8" (depending on how full you stuff it). The fabric is $12 with shipping.

Land water globe pillow.jpg Land water globe pieces.jpg
Source: Walk Beside Me

Where to Buy

Prices and links checked: 23 January 2022

Sandpaper Globe
Store Price
Adena $33.88
Affordable Montessori $39.00
not sandpaper
Alison's $60.00
Bruins $93.00
E & O $67.50
IFIT $32.00
Lord Company $25.00
The Materials Co. of Boston $24.00
Montessori Concepts $33.00
Nienhuis $74.20
Thinkamajigs $38.95
Alison's $36.75

Further Reading