I started with an old map that had been stuffed in between old Clue Jr. books and leftover craft supplies from a mission Skylar made back in 6th grade. I cut out each state as carefully as I could. Unfortunately a lot of Cities and rivers were sacrificed in the process. But, I figured that would be another fun project to do for the kids later. ;)
Once they were all cut out I used clear packing tape to sort of laminate each piece. This will protect them from the many hands that will be touching them.
I am a New Proud Owner of my very own laminating machine!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! But, the packing tape worked Beautifully, it was cheap and very fast. I would probably still use it for little projects. I do believe having things laminated makes them 10 times more sturdy then just using packing tape. But, if you don't have a laminating machine the packing tape will protect, keep the item clean from messy hands and give the item some sturdiness.
After I cut out all the taped or "laminated" states I cut small pieces of Velcro and attached it to the middle of each state. I was going to attach it to a poster board, but my map was way bigger then any poster board or cardboard I had. So, the next best thing was the wall. I tested and the sticky part of the Velcro did come off and not cause any damage to the wall, so I went with it.
Kaden and Mahala have honestly taken all the pieces down and back up a hundred times in the past 2 weeks. I was not expecting them to have as much fun with it, but it is a pleasant surprise.
Our next step it to add bodies of water out of blue poster board, cities with labels, capitals with star stickers and time lines made with yarn. They make up their own games and race each other to complete it correctly. Then they try to beat their last time.
Kaden has even made his Own United States of Kaden! HAHAHAHAHA
I think we will definitely do this with some of the other countries my kids seem really interested in as we work on World Geography.....I'll keep you all posted. Let me know if you choose to do this with your kids I would love to see pics!!!!