Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Salt Dough Map of America

Inspired by Hodgepodge's Salt Dough Map, we decided to make one of America. We used the same recipe for the salt dough they used, which can be found at Cooks.com.
Salt and Flour Dough For Maps
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup or less of water
Mix together flour and salt and add 1/2 cup water. Add additional water 1/8-1/4 of a cup at a time until it reaches desired consistency. This should be a very thick dough. If you get it too sticky, you can add more flour as needed.

We rolled out the dough on top of the cardboard we were using for its base.
I printed out a map of the US from Owl and Mouse and cut it out. I laid this cutout on the dough and then we cut away the dough we didn't want with a butter knife.
We cut in the groves for the major rivers and the boys made mountains for the ranges. They added these mountains to the map by wetting them a little. They got a little out of hand with the mountains, making them bigger and bigger as they went along, but they had a lot of fun with it.
Now we had to be patient and let it dry before we could paint it.
 A few days later, we got out the brown, green and blue to paint the major features.
 If your kids are older, you can get them to paint the elevations different shades, but we were happy with just the three colors.
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This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest,
to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me
lyrics by Woody Guthrie

 After the paint dried, we labeled the rivers with a fine point marker.
 Quentin painted Mt. Saint Helens as if it was erupting, 
{and just for Debbie, here is a view of the Columbia River.} : )


  1. These turned out great - I think we need to do this.

  2. Anonymous27.2.12

    I love it! :)

  3. They did a great job! A little artistic license on the mountains improved the overall dramatic effect. :)

    And thanks for getting the song stuck in my head...it got Whitney Houston out, finally! A great improvement.

    1. That's fantastic - even if you can't eat it :) It reminds me of the maps the kids make in Claudia Mills "7x9=Trouble" Your youngest might like that book, too.

  4. Love it! Thanks for including the salt dough recipe!

  5. Their maps turned out great. I had to chuckle a little over the mountains here in our region...and was wondering where the Columbia River is. This is a great idea.

  6. I have to do this one of these days...looks great!

  7. Absolutely marvelous!! And I can tell you all had such fun making it!

  8. I love this!! We did something like that for the Australia Unit.

  9. What a great idea! We've made salt dough ornaments, and it never occurred to me to use it for map-making. I'm sure this will come up a lot as my kids grow older.

  10. Do you know we have NEVER made a salt map. I think I should be booted out of the Homeschool Moms group! I love this and I am going to see if Keilee wants to do this soon. We both have the flu and this has been a yucky week but I just "Pinned" this awesome idea.

  11. Thanks for linking this up at Look! What We Did! :) It really is a great project!

  12. Anonymous3.3.12

    thanks for linking up! We have made salt dough maps for a few different things--and I loved it!

  13. Somehow I missed this post. I love the fact that he painted Mount St. Helens as if it were erupting! Still laughing over the Columbia River.


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