Tuesday, March 11, 2014

E is for Europe

We're back with some European fun! We're slowly continuing our Around the World Adventure. I have started taking an online Montessori training course (KHT Montessori), so we have slowed down our pace with the cultural studies to make time to follow along with the course and try some new presentations and materials. We started our European study with Greece and Russia while watching the Olympics, and are continuing to learn about different parts of Europe, including Ireland for St. Patrick's Day.

Intro to Europe

We did a really basic intro to Europe. I set out the felt world map so she could identify where the continent was located. We looked at the globe and identified some of the countries in Europe and listened to facts about those countries. We also looked at some famous landmarks, country cards, and mementos from Europe. My husband and I honeymooned in Italy and Spain, so we looked through some photos and mementos from that trip as well.

European Foods

What better way to learn about Europe than to eat some European foods? I chose some meals that I knew M would eat (like spaghetti for Italy), and some foods we could cook together. Here are a couple we tried:

Greece: Simple Spanakopita

These were delicious! M wouldn't eat them, but my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed them. They were in fact fairly simple to make (filo dough is a pain to work with, but everything else was easy). M really liked making these, and probably would have liked them if she tried them, but she's in a picky stage right now. She loved brushing the butter onto the dough and "rolling" the dough into triangle shapes.

We baked a few of them and froze the rest. They were great out of the freezer too - the perfect appetizer!

Russia: Apple Sharlotka

This was another success. We made these as muffins rather than a large cake, and they were delicious!


Olympic Rings

We read a couple of books about the early Olympics in Greece and found Greece on the globe. We also talked a little about Russia, found Russia on the globe, and watched some of the Olympic events on TV. M really liked the Olympic Rings (she's really interested in drawing circles right now), so we focused on circle and color sorting.

I used the Lego Color Sorting activity from Toddler Approved as a guide to create this color sorting tray. M was a little beyond it, but she enjoyed it anyway.

After completing the sorting tray, she wanted to draw some circles of her own. I gave her construction paper in the colors of the Olympic Rings and a circle stencil. She traced all different sizes of circles, and carefully cut out several circles of each color. I tried to get her to make a collage from the circles, but she wasn't interested.

Trillium Montessori had this great Olympic Ring Stamping activity that used toilet paper tubes to stamp the rings. M tried it, but after stamping each color a few times she decided she'd rather just paint with a paint brush. She started by painting circles of different colors, then it gradually morphed into a portrait.


I also printed the Ring Color Book from 3 Dinosaurs' Winter Olympics Pack. M is getting a lot better at paying attention to the shapes on a sheet and attempting to color inside the lines.

Here are a couple of other printables she completed from the same pack.

Olympic Sports

We planned an "Olympic Field Day" with some friends, but the kids weren't really interested in the activities and chose to just play together on the playground instead. I printed these Olympic Memory Books from Paging Supermom, and also had some little paper towel and tissue paper "torches" for a relay race. We had some other basic equipment for sporting events. Maybe they'll be interested in four years - haha!

M dressed up in red, white and blue for the field day:

Throughout the week we tried other sporting events too:

Trampoline (ski jump, high jump, long jump)

Ice Skating

Ballet (Ice Dancing)

Interestingly, they listened to "I Learned a Word in French Today" at ballet class to practice plie and releve, which gave us the opportunity to talk a little about France and different languages. I love when that happens!

We will continue to learn about Europe this coming week, so be sure to stop back for some St. Patrick's Day fun! Check out the Around the World post for the rest of our adventures!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andrea!
    I'm so happy you linked to Lisa's thread, I love your page :) I feel like its really in line with what we do and I'm excited to follow along!