Salt dough maps are a classic homeschool project that have become a staple for us as we studied world history this year.  They are a creative and hands-on way to explore geography, but they are also incredibly simple to make with things you already have at home!

You will need:

  • A cardboard scrap for your map base. (I find that the flaps of a medium sized cardboard shipping box are just about the perfect size.)
  • A traceable template of your country or continent (template linked below)
  • A relief map to refer to when shaping and painting the dried dough
  • Scissors
  • 2 Cups of flour
  • 1 Cup of salt
  • 1 Cup of warm water
  • Blue, green and tan paint
1.) Using your template, trace the outline of your country or continent onto the cardboard. (We printed ours here.)
Salt Dough Map Tutorial
2.)  To make the dough you will need equal parts flour, salt and warm water.  The ratios in this recipe give you enough for a map with a little left over.  Mix these ingredients together until you get a play dough-like consistency.
The Easiest Salt Dough Recipe
3.)  Place the dough on top of your traced map.  Use a physical map to refer to as you mold the topography.  I find it easiest to pull up a map on my laptop or iPad. (We got ours here on Wikipedia).  We focused our map on major mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, and surrounding islands.
How to Make a Salt Dough Map Homeschool

4.)  Once your masterpiece is complete, the maps can be laid in a safe place to dry for 24-48 hours.  If you want to speed up the process, you can place it on a cookie sheet inside an 200 degree oven for 2-3 hours.

5.) When the dough has hardened, you’re ready to paint! We use washable tempura paints for this part (I recommend these!)  When you are finished, use a black felt tip pen (like these) to label your map.

Salt Dough Map Tutoral Homeschool

How to Make a Salt Dough Map

Once you try this you’ll want to make more! I hope you have found a little beauty to inspire and encourage you as you homeschool well today!

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You can find all of our favorite homeschool resources including curriculum and must-have supplies listed here! 

How to Make a Salt Dough Map

To see all of my homeschooling posts in one spot, click here.

You can also find more of my handcrafts and projects in the following books by Harper Collins:

Wild and Free Nature: 25 Outdoor Adventures for Kids to Explore, Discover, and Awaken Their Curiosity

Wild and Free Handcrafts: 32 Activities to Build Confidence, Creativity and Skill