I happen to have been given a piece of fabric with a complete world map on it. It has country names as well as capitals, latitudinal and longitudinal lines, bright colors and very legible print for Eve, who is doing really well reading.
All I had to do was a rolled hem around all the edges, and tack it up on the wall. It’s a great conversational piece for the whole family, and it leads to some fun questions from Eve. She loves learning about what places are hot or cold, where there are mountains or rivers, and so on.
They’re not perfect, and we’ll be making more, but here they are!
The real trick to making “branch blocks” or “natural log blocks” or whatever these are, is curing the wood. “Curing” the wood really means heating and drying it out to kill bugs/bug eggs, as well as to prevent warping and mildew.
To cure the wood, you can either bake your wood in the oven at 175˚F – 200˚F for a few hours. I hear you can also microwave the wood for 1 minute. I preferred the oven, because that meant I didn’t have to cut the blocks while the wood was still moist and green, so I just put a couple logs in the oven to cure before they became blocks.