Nienhuis Montessori Geography
With the Nienhuis Montessori Geography materials, the child is given the facts of his physical world – that it is a sphere, that this sphere is composed of land masses and bodies of water, that these have different forms and that these forms have names.
From the age of 3 to 6 years old the child is introduced to the different cultures around the world and how they relate to their own culture, community and world. In addition to maps and landforms, various differences between the world’s vast cultures are explored.
The child at this age is also in a sensitive period for order, and the geography materials provide him with the opportunity for exploring the many levels of order established through the ages as we perceived and classified our earth – the countries, provinces, states – each with their own particular shapes, intriguing names, their capitals and their flags.
Being at this time in the plane of intellectual development, the child often asks why, when, where, of all things. The facts learned and absorbed through the sensorial exploration provide a solid foundation for him to rediscover that which he already knows, and to further integrate it into his life. He can grasp and understand the characteristics of the land and the water, can begin to understand human affairs past and present that evolved, and is becoming aware of man’s dependency on, and responsibility for, the habitat he shares with a myriad of other forms of life.
After having understood the world, why it is the way it is and why certain phenomena happen when they happen the child begins exploring the universe between the age of 6 and 12 years old. This cosmic education begins with the whole picture and the creation of the universe. From there, some of the qualities of the elements, the sun and the earth are explored.