Bring Your Passport, We Are Going Around The World!
This theme has been in the works for some time now. I never knew how to squeeze it in because of the holidays. I finally found the right time! I have been doing a lot of research and planning on various countries and I had a HARD TIME finding just three to choose from!! I might do this theme again with more countries. This week I chose, Kenya, China, and Mexico. I decided on these countries because I think they offer the most diversity. I want to teach my daughter there are people out there who don't look like her, see what she sees everyday, or eat what she eats.
Getting Ready For Our Adventures
Getting Our Bags Packed - I wanted to make experience going to the countries as real as possible for her. First, we made a suitcase out of construction paper. I had her decorate the suitcase with markers and stickers. The I stumbled upon a very real looking passport template for children. It was great practice writing her full name and remember where she lives. You can find the template we used here. When she opens the suitcase she is allowed three "souvenirs" off of the country board, By the end of the week she had 6 photos from the country board of things she likes most of each country. Read on to learn more about the country board.
Souvenirs - At the end of the week this is all the souvenirs that she collected from our various trips.
Riding in an Airplane - This was one of her favorite parts of the day. We pretended to aboard a plane, no fancy toys or set up needed. We just used the two chairs from her table moved them into the middle of the room and I pretended to be a flight attendant and asked for her passport before boarding the "plane." When we got to our destination I greeted her to the new country by saying hello in their native language! First stop, Kenya. Jambo!
Our Trip To Kenya'
Country Board - Each trip I have a country board where I image searched on google various things about the country such as food, traditional clothing, music, sports, landmarks, and holidays etc. This is our Kenya board.
Kenyan Necklaces - One of Lucy's favorite parts of Kenya was the bright beautiful clothing and necklaces. We made African necklaces cutting the inside of paper plates out and a slit in the back. I was able to integrate math by having her create patterns on her necklace.
Letter Sort - Our letter this week is N and it looks so much like M that I thought this was a good time to hide the two letters (some upper some lower) in rice and had her sort the two letters.
Music: I showed a video I found on YouTube of some music from Kenya. We used our bright colored scarfs that made us think of their bright colored clothing to dance to Kenyan music.
Food - For dinner that night I prepared a Kenyan meal called "Samosas," My whole family LOVED these! I am excited to have found a meal my family all loves. It is rather time consuming but totally worth it in my opinion. If interested I copied the link here
Mini Books - I have found a great resource where I can find various mini books for PreK/kindergarteners to color, line trace, and learn about various countries. Check out Kenya mini books (for free!) here
Where is Francis - Francis the dog has taken a big role in our classroom as our "class pet" so I took a picture of him and shrunk it small and included him in a game called "where is Francis." I hid Francis under various photos from the Country Board and had Lucy guess where he is. This might not sound super educational but she is reviewing the sights of the county while she finding our pet. "Is he trying on African Jewelry?" "Is he under the Kenya flag?" She loved this game and would beg for more rounds of it.
Our Trip To China
Country Board - Our Country Board for China. I included traditional clothing, ping pong, The Great Wall, Food, and more. *FYI I did not prepare a homemade meal for her this day of traditional Chinese Food but we did get Chinese take out!
Fans - We made Chinese fans, and similar to the Kenyan necklaces I integrated math by having her create a pretty pattern on the paper before I taught her how to fanfold.
Lanterns - We also created Chinese lanterns. This was for art so I allowed her to use her creatice expression to decorate hers. She made a lot of beautiful choices.
Chopsticks - I used wooden wooden skewers as chopsticks and had her go to the rice bin and see how well she can pick up rice with her chopsticks. It was a lot of fun and great fine motor.
Mini Books - Very similar to the book we used for Kenya. Letter tracing, coloring, facts about Chine and all for free! Check it outhere.
Our Trip to Mexico
***Side Note, this was technically a snow day because the schools around us are closed and I didn't think it was safe for my mom to drive over to pick up my son to babysit so I consolidated a lot of the lessons and did a handful of Mexico themed activities with her in our kitchen while my son ran around like a wild animal. It was challenging but we managed. She insisted we traveled to Mexico today and I really didn't want to disappoint. You might see a sense of relaxed snow day vibes in the photos, maybe even toys in the background that my son left around. :)
Country Board - This was one of her favorite boards. She LOVES the traditional dancer dresses and he mariachi band.
N Sombrero - I Google searched for a sombrero, blew it up and printed it. I also image searched N words (and , L, and M words) mixed all the photos together and had her glue only the words that had a N beginning sound to the sombrero.
BINGO - Perfect number (and letter) recognition practice. This was our math lesson for the day because it correlated well with the story we read, "Playing Loteria" is a Mexican game very similar to bingo except they use photos with phrases instead of numbers. When the phrase is called they covered their card with a bean instead of a bingo dopper or bingo chip. We adapted to the story by doing our American BINGO and using (jelly) beans like in the story.
Mini Books - I used the same site from China mini books and LOVE them! She offers more countries if you are interested. Yes, she is eating a tortilla chip, this is the casual snow day vibes I disclosed earlier (haha). I linked FREE printable books here
Food - During snack time we sampled tortilla chips and salsa. Tonight I am making homemade tacos and homemade tortilla shells with one of my recipes that I have had forever and really njoy making with my daughter. E-mail me for the tortilla recipe and I will gladly share.