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Monday, May 20, 2013
This month Around the World in 12 Dishes takes us to Finland. We had big plans to try lots of different recipes for this month, but our plans didn't work out completely. We did however enjoy making a wonderful Finnish breakfast called pannukakku. Our recipe came from the wonderful book, Easy Breakfasts from Around the World by Sheila Griffin Llanas. What I like most about the book is that it gives a little information about the country the recipe comes from as well as a bit about the recipe.
From this book we learned that Lapland, Finland's northern province is above the Arctic Circle, so in the summer the sun never sets and in the winter it never rises. Some Laplanders herd reindeer. We also learned that the capital city, Helinski is in southern Finland, but is the most northern capital city in Europe.
Pannukakku is described by the book as a baked pancake. It puffs up in the oven and sinks as it cools. It is often served with fresh fruit, whipped cream and powdered sugar. We ate it with fresh fruit since that is what we had at home. Steve described it tasting like a custard pie.
Pannukakku is an easy recipe using butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, flour and milk. I was tempted to add some cinnamon because we add it to everything, but wanted to stay traditional to the Finnish recipe, so we did not. It did not need it. We all loved it.
Next we did some coloring pages. We did the map, the flag and discovered lily of the valley is the national flower of Finland. It is one of our springtime favorites and is in bloom in our yard now.
Next we read some Finnish stories. In the Stories from the Sea, we read the Finnish story on why the sea is salty. Another legend/myth type story is When Bear Came Down from the Sky. The Princess Mouse is very much a fairy tale with similar story to the frog princess. Mika's Apple Tree is a wonderful story about a stubborn boy who works hard to grow an apple tree near his house even though his house is on a rocky point. This story involves sharing quite a bit about the country since his two uncles come to visit when his father is home and all three men have different jobs in different parts of the country.
We continued our look at Finland by listening to Lapin ai din kehtolaulu by Hannele Wida. It is the third song on the CD Lullabies for Kids from Around the World. We also read about birthdays in Finland. Birthdays Around the World by Mary D. Lankford, told us that Finland is smaller than the state of Montana. It has sixty thousand lakes and sixty-five islands. Plus forests cover almost three-fourths of the low flat lands and rolling hills. Daylight in the summer may last nineteen hours and when it does set it barely dips below the horizon.
In Finland a child's birthday celebration is important to the entire family. Birthday parties are usually held on Saturday or Sunday so everyone can attend. The Finnish tradition is to open gifts as soon as they are received. Finnish children sing "Happy Birthday to You" when they arrive at the door. A traditional Finnish birthday cake is three layers and is filled with fruit and whipped cream. The candles on the top are almost hidden by the whipped cream, candies, kiwis or strawberries. It is usually served after a celebration lunch. A popular Finnish birthday game is Onginta, which means Angling or Fishing. Each child takes a turn standing at a cloth held up by two adults. The child drops a rod attached to a line and hook over the cloth. An adult attaches a small basket on the hook and the child reels in the prize.
Our final exploration of Finland came from the book Going to School Around the World by Melissa Koosmann. In the third chapter, a boy named Matti arrives just in time for school in Finland. The chapter describes the day in Matti's life. Matti is in the third grade. School is free in Finland and all of the children receive a free hot lunch as well. During his school day there was science, math, Finnish language and literature, English language, physical education, music, arts and crafts and religion (the religion of his parents' choice). He had two recesses before lunch, but during the shorter fifteen minute one it was his turn to clean the classroom. For the arts and crafts they made coffee filter snowflakes and the desks were covered with food coloring so it took the full fifteen minutes to do the cleaning. The students address the teacher by his/her title, "teacher" in the morning greeting and when they are in trouble. All the other times they call their teachers by their first names. In the winter months they hold a mock Olympic Games with skiing. Matti's favorite winter sport is ice hockey though. After school Matti jogged home to stay in shape for hockey. He tried to play some computer games, but his father told him to do his homework. Since he did not have much homework, he was able to play computer games after finishing it and then he joined his father for dinner.
Matti looks forward to learning Sweden and another language in high school as well as learning more about computers. In third grade only the teacher has a computer in the classroom. The book also gave the instructions to make the coffee filter snowflakes, so we did. Hazel decided her last one looked like the sun so we used red and yellow food coloring to color it instead of the blue.
That is how we explored Finland. Next month it will be Spain. Will you join us on that trip?
An Extraordinary Egg is about three frogs who live on an island. Two of the frogs like to stay near their inlet while Jessica likes to explore the island. Jessica is always bringing back things from her explorations that she thinks are extraordinary. One day she brings back a large white pebble. This time Marilyn and August were truly astonished and Marilyn told them it was not a pebble, but a chicken egg. Since Jessica had never heard of a chicken, she believed Marilyn.
The egg hatched and a long, green, scaly animal came out and asked where the water was. The frogs called this animal, Chicken. Chicken was a very good swimmer and taught the frogs some tricks in the water. One day Chicken saved Jessica's life when she was stuck in some plants at the bottom of the pond. From that day on, they were inseparable. Chicken joined Jessica on her explorations. One day a bird spoke to Chicken saying her mother has been looking for her. The bird took them to Chicken's mother. Chicken's mother called Chicken her little alligator. Jessica went home and told Marilyn and August all about it. They found it so funny that the mother called a chicken a little alligator.
Reading this book got us to thinking about what animals lay eggs. We too out Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller to learn more. We learned the word oviparous which is the name for any animal that lays an egg. The oviparous animals are all birds, most snakes, lizards, crocodiles, alligators, turtles, dinosaurs (did), frogs, toads, salamanders, fish, seahorse, octopus, moonsnails, spiders, snails, insects, and the two mammals are the spiny anteater and the duckbill platypus (both mammals live in Australia). We used this information for our activity. We did it two ways: one with a homemade egg craft and one with plastic eggs.
With the plastic eggs, I collected some of the animals that would lay eggs and put them inside the plastic eggs. (Yes, I bought a Toob of animals for this, but used many we already had as well). Then Hazel opened each one to see what was inside. Our flamingo did not fit into the large plastic egg we had, but we pretended it did since flamingos lay the largest eggs of all birds. The animals we had were chick, duck, frog, alligator, flamingo, goose, turtle, beetle and dinosaur. She really enjoyed this activity and it was very easy to do since we had not put away our plastic Easter eggs yet.
Our next activity involved making three paper mache eggs. We did this by blowing up three water balloons and then covering them in strips of tissue paper dipped in a glue and water mix. Then we left them to dry overnight. When they were dry, I popped the balloons and slid an animal into each one. I had to cut the hole a bit bigger for the animals to go in.
That is our exploration of An Extraordinary Egg. Have you done some activities with a Leo Lionni book? Share it below and join all these wonderful bloggers who host the Virtual Book Club for Kids each month.
Toddler Approved - Rainy Day Mum - Adventures in Reading with Kids - 3 Dinosaurs - Royal Baloo - The Educators' Spin On It - Inspiration Laboratories - Pleasantest Thing - Edventures with Kids - Two Big Two Little - Playing With Words 365 - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Outlaw Mom - Mommy and Me Book Club - Crafty Moms Share - No Twiddle Twaddle - The Good Long Road - Ready. Set. Read 2 Me - Reading Confetti - Mama Smiles - Juggling with Kids- Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Creekside Learning - Creative Family Fun - The Usual Mayhem - Teach Preschool - PlayDrMom - CraftoArt - Here Come the Girls - Being a Conscious Parent - Smiling like Sunshine - Crayon Freckles - Train Up a Child - Smile Play Learn - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Coffee Cups and Crayons - Having Fun at Chelle's House- Love, Play, Learn - Juggling With Kids - Motherhood on a Dime - Growing Book By Book
An Upcoming Event: This summer there will be a Virtual Book Club Summer Camp at home for 5 weeks. Each week will feature a different theme and you will be asked to share links based on those topics--they do not have to be from books. To sign up, click on the button above! It starts June 24th and is geared to 2 to 8-year-olds.
Friday, May 17, 2013
This week I managed to visit all of the posts shared last week, but I still have not visited the ones I missed for last week. So sorry!! Life has been a bit crazy. We have decided to change Hazel's school and for the past month we were dealing with issues, making the decision and then visiting schools to make the next decision. Now the decision is made, so hopefully things will calm down. If you have not had a chance to visit the 84 wonderful ideas shared last week, you really should!! They are so inspiring!!
We will start with our most clicked which was a wonderful round up of advice on making Mother's Day or Teacher Appreciation Gifts and making it a Montessori activity, plus ideas for gifts. This was from Living Montessori Now.
A Few of My Favorites
1) From My Nearest and Dearest: Recycled Outdoor Music Station
2) From Rubberboots and Elf Shoes: Mr. Picasso Flowers
3) From Bridgit's Bell: In Praise of Dandelions
4) From The Craft Train: Paper Dream Catchers
5) From The Measured Mom: Free Word Family Game: Uno
Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here or earlier this week, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.
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Now for This Week's Party
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