Make geography fun by
creating a textured map
of your favorite place!
Makes approximately 3-1/2
cups of dough, which is
good for one map.
What You Will Need:
What You Do:
- 1 cup Salt
- 2 cups Flour
- 2 teaspoons Alum (Cream of Tartar)
- 1 cup Water
- Mixing Bowl
- Mixing Spoon
- Wood or Cardboard Base (we like to use new pizza boxes)
- Paints and Paintbrushes
- Pictures of Contour Maps
- Geography Information Sheet (optional) - Click here to download our exclusive form.
- Determine which country, continent, state, etc. that you want to model your map after. Draw the contours onto a piece of cardboard or wood base to use as a guide.
- Make your dough by mixing salt, flour, and alum together in a mixing bowl. Slowly add water to form a stiff dough, then knead the dough until it is smooth and soft.
- Place your dough onto your model surface. Dough can be rolled and coiled to form the contours, or pushed and pulled to form the shapes you need. Smooth out the dough to form rivers, oceans, or other features.
- Once your contour map model is completed, allow the dough to dry thoroughly. (NOTE: This can take several days, depending on the thickness of the dough).
- Once the dough has dried, paint your map.
- We like to use clean pizza boxes to hold our maps. The contour map can be placed in the bottom of the pizza box, and then an atlas picture of the map can be glued to the inside cover to act as a display stand. Add important notes about the map you created, such as population, elevation, crops, industry... anything you have learned about the place your map is modeled after.
- If you prefer, add paint to your dough mixture instead of painting the map after the dough has dried.
- This dough can be used for more than just maps! Use it to make holiday decorations, models of inventions, figures... let your imagination go!
- This recipe makes a very smooth dough. If you like more texture, you can add more salt or use a coarse salt. The Alum also makes this recipe dry quicker than other salt dough recipes.
- Dough can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The dough can be kept for several days this way without drying out.
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