Salt Dough Maps

The PERFECT way to extend any lesson is with a salt dough map.  I love ’em!  Sonlight (the curriculum I use) is particularly geography heavy from Bible to history to science, so extending the lesson by making large maps with hands on salt dough is great for helping the lesson ‘stick’.  My boys enjoyed it like crazy.  This explanation is going to to be quick and simple:

Salt Dough Map


1.  Make the Salt Dough

  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar

Mix until well combined and store in a zipper baggie.  It keeps in the pantry for a while.  Don’t ask me what a while means.  With 4 little boys any play dough like substance doesn’t survive long in my house.

2.  Print a map.

Who has time to free hand a map?  NOT ME!  Use this’s awesome:  Your Child Learns

3.  Cut out the map you printed.  I glued mine straight to a large piece of cardboard and placed the salt dough right over the printer paper.  It worked fine.  It was one less step of cutting out the map and gluing it on.

4.  Shape the dough onto the map.  Ours didn’t turn out super perfect…but a 4 and 6 year old were in charge.

5.  Let it dry 1-3 days.

6.  Paint it.  We pulled up a Google map and painted based on fertile or desert areas.  We formed mountains and the Nile river as well.  However, you could do elevation, or ancient historical sites (which I totally intend to add to this one next week).

7.  Display it!  These things aren’t the cleanest to keep around, but my boys are so proud, we’ll be propping it up somewhere in our school room.  I’d like to do all 7 continents this year.

how to make salt dough

How to make salt dough maps DSC_0051

Happy Salt Doughing!


  1. Thanks for the ideas! I am so going to try this… just need some salt and cream of tarter… 🙂

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