Montessori Monday: Land, Water and Air Jars

 It is Montessori Monday and I am going to share with you one of the classic Geography lesson set ups in the Montessori classroom for preschool children. It is a fun and hands-on Geography lesson that will help child to understand concept of land, water and air. After presenting Sandpaper Globe to Mia, which helps the child to develop a concept of shape of the earth, and gain understanding of the distribution of land and water over the earth, the child is ready to work with Land, Water and Air activity.

When presenting this activity to my two and half years old daughter I offer her a tray with:

three empty jars:

– one with lid and bottom painted brown for land

– one with lid and bottom painted blue for water

– one as is for air (white or transparent)

a container for soil

a spoon for soil

a small water jur

a sponge

a large tray

Set of pictures of scenes that highlight some aspects of:

– the air (e.g. clouds)

– water (e.g. the sea, lakes, river, rain)

– land (e.g. mountains, fields, desert).

I’ve got mine from Montessori Print Shop.

Ask the child to put a little soil into the brown jar and look at it. Explain that land in the world is made of soil and rock. Talk a little about the land and discuss what we can find and land and who lives and grows on it.

After that I’ve asked Mia to put a little water in the jar. As she looked at it, we talked about water, about all the places where we find water, and how living things need water to survive.

Finally, we have looked at the air box, and explained that although it looks empty there is air in it. Air is invisible and normally we do not even feel it. You can feel the air move when the wind blows. We need air to breath. I let Mia to blow inside the jar and close it.

In the end we’ve looked in the pictures of air, water and land and together sort and match them to the filled jars. This activity is very easy to set up at home and my daughter really enjoyed it.

That’s it!




  • Shannon


    This is a great idea. My Little Miss would love pouring water into jars. Thanks for the ideas!

    • Leky83

      I’m sure she would. Thanks Shannon.

  • Meg


    I love this. I especially love how blowing in the jar makes something almost intangible (air) more real for littles. Great activity!

    • Leky83

      So true! Thanks Meg!

  • Julie


    These look so fun! Using jars to learn about land, water, and air is a great idea! My girls would definitely have a lot of fun with this science lesson.

    • Leky83

      Thanks Julie.

  • Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy


    What a wonderful activity!

    • Leky83

      Thank you Danielle!

  • Julie Hood


    Lelia, this is such a great idea!!! I love what you Montessori teachers come up with!!

    • Leky83

      Thank you Julie!

  • Kristin's Peppermints and Cherries


    I love the hands-on Montessori style of teaching and learning! It is so good for children to experience what they are learning and not just see things in books. Your baby girl is precious!

    • Leky83

      Thank you so much Kristin!

  • Justine @ Little Dove


    What a great idea, I’d love to incorporated this into our home school lesson plan!

    • Leky83

      It is very easy to set up this activity at home. x

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