If I remain a stay at home mom, my entire house will surely be replaced by cardboard. Where there was once a vintage side chair and marble side table, here is another corner of my dining room that is now occupied by a cardboard structure. I created "The Learning Treehouse" so my kids could have a special place to play with their Melissa & Doug educational puzzles, their Alphie Robot and a world map.
Underneath the window, on the inside of the treehouse I placed two cardboard boxes (stuffed with Styrofoam packing peanuts for strength) for the kids to stand on and feel like they're "really high up".
As with "The Reading Castle" I involved my children in the creative process by letting them help me paint the trees and leaves and gluing them on.
On the corner wall inside the treehouse, I taped a world map that I use to teach Delilah and Justin where their favorite cartoon characters live and come from. I also included a picture of the kids so they know where they live in relation to everyone else. You can write the answers on the backs of the pictures.
To make the pictures stay on the wall, I placed tape on the backs so the kids could place them right onto the map where they belong. (Tip: to prevent the tape from ripping the paper of the map I placed the tape onto a piece of clothing first. This makes the tape "less sticky" and not so permanent.) When I get a chance, I'll transfer the whole thing to magnetic sheeting.
Here are some of the cartoon characters I used if you'd like to re-create the same project for your kids or as a gift to one. (BTW: Not sure of all the origins so I guessed at some of them like Dora, who I put in Mexico). I also printed out some polar bears for the North Pole but I'm still missing someone who comes from Canada. Do you know of any?
Ariel - Off the coast of Europe
Belle - France
Bubble Guppies - Atlantic Ocean
Diego - South America
Dora - Mexico
Max and Ruby - Mid West, USA
Mulan - Eastern China
Nemo - The Great Barrier Reef
Olivia - Western, USA
Peppa Pig - England
Feifel - Moscow
Happy Feet - South Pole
Kai Lan - Western China
Lilo and Stitch - Hawaii
Madagascar - this is a hard one
Prince of Egypt - guess?
Simba - Australia