My son has been binge-watching a show on Netflix this week.
It’s The 72 Deadliest Creatures of Latin America, because of course it is. It’s right up his 12-year-old boy alley. Animals and danger, mixed with a few gag-worthy shots of what happens to someone’s leg when they are bit by a venomous Fer de Lance?
Hours of viewing pleasure around here.
Because he was fascinated by this show, it opened up a little bit of interest-led learning for us this week. We had several conversations about desert vs. rain forest terrain and native animals.
He also wasn’t aware that Latin America refers to Mexico, Central America and South America. We studied our globe and wall map. We talked about the Panama Canal and how explorers used to have to sail all the way around Cape Horn to get to the west coast.
And then, we decided to make our own explorer’s map of Latin America. (Thank you to Netflix and the creators of 72 Deadliest Creatures for this week’s Fun Friday Activity!)
Friday Fun-Days: 52 Weeks of Easy Hands-On Activities
Although we decided to do Latin America, this activity works well for any type of project that requires old-looking, parchment type paper. Pirate treasure maps, writing letters with feather quills and practicing old Egyptian hieroglyphs are all ways that we have used this type of paper in the past.
Here’s what you’ll need for this week’s activity –
A large white piece of construction paper
Coffee and grounds (plenty of that around here)
Sunlight or Oven (if it’s too cold where you live)
Pencil or Pen
Colored Pencils (if desired)
Easy Antique Map Making Activity
Step 1: Soak the construction paper in coffee grounds overnight. A cookie tray works well for this.
Step 2: Dry the paper in the sun or, if sun is not an option right now, leave the paper on a dry cookie sheet in the oven on the lowest setting for approx. two hours or until dry. The paper will be crispy and be noticeably “older” in look and feel.
Step 3: Begin drawing your map. I recommend using pencil first, but if your child makes a mistake, help with the erasing. A giant eraser hole in the middle of paper it took you two days to make is enough to cause all of us to meltdown around here!
Step 4: Trace over pencil line with pen or colored pencils.
Step 5: Label and color map as much or as little as desired.
This was a great activity for us this week. Because my son was so into the Latin America theme, it made sense for us to create a map of it. I want to encourage you to think about whatever your kids are interested in right now, and then use this “antique paper” activity to help fuel their passion.
It makes it easier to get and keep our children’s attention, and it’s a lot more fun!
Looking for more easy, hands-on activities?
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.