We have moved!
Come travel with us at OpenWideTheWorld.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lycklig Pepparkakans Dag!

Happy Gingerbread Day!

Christmas season in Sweden offiicially kicks off on Luciadagen (St. Lucia Day) on December 13… but one special day precedes the month of celebrations, setting the stage for the yumminess of the month-long Swedish Christmas: pepparkakans dag!

Pepparkakans dag literally means "peppercake day," but refers to Sweden's obsession with their beloved gingerbread cookies. It is thought that way back in the 14th and 15th centuries, these cookies were made with black pepper, thus the name… but there is every possibility this is a legend that has grown with the obsession. (More "stuff of legends" includes stories of nuns using pepparkakans to cure stomach ailments, and even a king being ordered to consume the cookies to improve his foul mood!)

Pepparkakans dag falls on December 9… today! On this day, Swedish families bake their gingerbread cookies for the season. Of course, many families opt to forgo the rolling pin and purchase their seasonal pepparkakar instead.

Want to make your own pepparkakar? There are plenty of recipes around the e-world… but an especially yummilicious recipe for pepparkakar is included in our Multicultural Kid Blogs' "Celebrate Christmas Around the World" packet.

Whether you're baking pepparkakar today, or making some other holiday favorite, I hope it is a yummy start to the celebrations ahead!

You can find lots more fun and yummy Christmas trivia and info on the MKB Christmas in Different Lands series.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! and a fb fan freebie: "Any Language" Charades Game

In our family, growing up, the Thanksgiving turkey, however delicious, was always overshadowed by two things. One: the annual drive through horrendous weather up into central Minnesota, and Two: games!

Yes, a big part of every Thanksgiving weekend was dedicated to family game time, with the game du jour (or game d'année, as it were) often being the latest in family gaming... before "gaming" was ever a word, and of course before screens had any part of things. One year, it was Boggle, another Uno. In later years, maybe Scrabble, then Trivial Pursuit, and my favorite, Pictionary!

This year, Mag is suuuuuper into charades. (Fellow language lovers are probably getting excited at all the linguistic implications of this hobby, right?!) We have found that at Mag's age, charades with pictures work well... but have run out of picture cards, right before our big weekend of family game time. Ack!

And thus was born my latest facebook fan freebie, called "'any langauge' charades."

Would you like to play with your family this weekend? Or with your language class next week? To access, simply head to my facebook page - be sure to "like" and "follow" it! - and look for the "free downloads" button in the left sidebar. Then download, print, and play.

Perfect for family game time, and ideal for promoting use of your family's second (or third!) language. Also fun for foreign language classes, to keep students engaged in these final weeks of the semester.

I hope you enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Celebrate Christmas Around the World! with Multicultural Kid Blogs

I've not made a secret of how much I love globes and maps, and all things "world," I know. But have I ever mentioned my other love (well, besides clip art, food, and travel!)? CHRISTMAS!

Yes, I am one of those adults who just never outgrew the magic of the Christmas season. (I know, we really annoy the bah-humbuggers out there, don't we?!) And so, it has been my utmost pleasure to spend these past few weeks working with two fabulous fellow bloggy-packet creators from Multicultural Kid Blogs (Judith of Little Bilingues and Monica of Mommy Maestra), creating a "Celebrate Christmas Around the World" packet!

Just released today, "Celebrate Christmas Around the World" introduces the Christmas traditions and celebrations of six countries:

Brazil, France, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Sweden

For each country, you will find:

♦ a cover page
The cover page features the country's flag and a Christmas greeting in the language of the country.

♦ a page of country facts
This page includes the country's official name and common name, its location circled on a world map, capital city, location, population, official language(s), and an interesting fact.

♦ 2 pages on Christmas celebrations
These two pages share the important and traditional celebrations of the country, and include cute graphics for students to color.

♦ a Christmas activity
The activities range from a word search to a DIY board game!

♦ a special holiday recipe
Make and taste a traditional holiday recipe from each country.

After completing the packet, students will have the opportunity to show what they have learned by answering 12 comprehension questions, 2 for each country.

We truly hope you and your students enjoy this peek into Christmas celebrations around the world! On behalf of all of us at Multicultural Kid Blogs, we wish you a wonderful and multicultural Christmas season!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Día de los Muertos: los altares

When Becky of Kid World Citizen recently reminded me that Chicago is home to the National Museum of Mexican Art, I mentally filed that under "check it out someday soon!" So when the NMMA's "Rito y Recuerdo" exhibit topped Aimee's (Raising World Citizens) list of Chicago's "must-do's" for Día de los Muertos, we were ready to go!

Wow!... or "¡Guau!" What an impressive display! More than 60 artists participated in the creation of this exhibit, which includes "altares y ofrendas," installations, and popular art. We maximized the exhibit by joining a guided tour, and learned so much more than the "altares" basics we knew upon arrival.  

Here are the highlights, for other Día de los Muertos neophytes like us:

An altar would traditionally be constructed in 3 tiers, each tier making an important representation: the underworld, earth, and heaven. Of course, in all things Día de los Muertos, the underworld is not depicted as a horrible place full of misery, and on Día itself, its residents are always seen celebrating!

Along with photos, personal mementos and trinkets, each of the 4 elements - earth, air, fire, and water - are commonly represented in the items chosen for the ofrenda. Fire and water are easy to spot in the candles and drink offerings. Fruits and grains, and even clay pots, can represent the earth. Air can be a bit of a stretch, at least in the "altares" we saw, where altar shawls and "papel picado" that blow in the wind symbolized air.

I imagine there was plenty more to learn, but 6 year olds don't necessarily enjoy the lengthy nature of guided museum tours, so that is the extent of our "altares de muertos" knowledge acquisition for this year.  Never mind, though: we have already decided on a return visit to the NMMA for Día de los Muertos 2015! (And next year, I have a feeling the then-7-year-old will bring enough money to buy a bigger sugar skull!)

*     *     *     *     *     *
If you've enjoyed this peak into "altares y ofrendas" and are ready to try your own, MommyMaestra is running an Ofrenda Photo Contest. To make it more fun, one of my favorite books is included in the prize pack!

Excited to teach your kids or students more about Día de los Muertos? Be sure to check out my Día de los Muertos Bilingual Activity Pack, with a book, mini-books, and activity sheets, all in English and Spanish!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

3 Tips for Dealing with Fire Safety Week in a Second Language

Fire Safety Week - La Semana de Seguridad Contra Incendios

Anyone who ever was in grade school probably remembers Fire Safety Week. Field trips to the local fire station. Rolling around on the classroom floor to practice "Stop, Drop, and Roll!" Mimeographed Sparky the Fire Dog coloring sheets. (You remember mimeographs, right? Purple ink. Damp paper. A certain intoxicating smell.)

As a child, it is a fun and memorable week at school. Now as adults, we also understand what an important week it is for our children and their safety and well-being. And we realize that to reap the full benefits of this fun week at school, our children most certainly need to understand all of the information coming at them.

So what, then, about children in Dual Language and Language Immersion programs? Can our children absorb all of this critical information if it's coming at them in a non-native language? How can we ensure their comprehension of this potentially life-and-death topic?

First: Talk with your children at home (in your home language) about fire safety.

Don't remember all the basics yourself?
Jennifer at The Good Long Road shares 10 tips directly from a fire fighter here.
I must admit, a couple on the list were new to me (or new-again to me). Very interesting, the benefits of keeping doors closed! (#10 on Jennifer's list)

Second: Help your children attain a good grasp on fire-related vocabulary in the language of their schooling

In this way, their energies won't go toward new-vocabulary-acquisition during Fire Safety events at school; rather, their minds will be ready to absorb the critical safety information.

Need some help in this area? Check out my a mini-pack of printables in Spanish, to give our younger elementary students a firm grasp of the vocabulary and concepts they'll encounter throughout Fire Safety Week. (Click image for the full listing in my TpT store.)

Jennifer from Spanish Playground also has links to various free Fire Safety printables in Spanish here, including a great document from The Hartford here.

Finally: Reach out to an area fire station for more activities and resources.

If you feel the language barrier, or any other challenge, has prevented your child from fully grasping the important safety messages of the week, contact your local fire station. (Don't call 9-1-1 for this! Check the phone book or online for a station house number.) Depending on your area, materials may be available in multiple languages. And if you get the right person on the phone, you might even be invited by the station to visit (or at least to pick up the materials, which is still exciting for the kiddos)!

And now, to paraphrase an old saying, left-over from my lifeguarding years:

"Okay, Parents, let get out there and save some lives!" 

Any other great tips to help multilingual kids maximize the lessons of Fire Safety Week? Share your experience in the comments!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Apple Foods and Fun... International Style

We're just crazy about apple season in our household! You might have noticed from my APPLE-themed facebook FREEBIE, my Spanish kindergarten APPLE packet, and my FREE Life Cycle of an APPLE Pop-Up Book. I just love this season, and this fruit, so much that I asked a few international blogo-friends to share their apple experiences and ideas.

Glittering Muffins' Valerie remembers childhoods in Quebec where farmers and neighbors would let you just pick apples right off their trees. (Valerie admits that was a few decades ago. It might not fly today!)

Now in Alberta, Valerie keeps the apple-picking tradition alive with her husband and their young son (who has been picking apples since infancy!). Inspired by her mother's Austro-Bavarian "scheiterhaufe" recipe, Valerie and family share their recipe for a delicious looking crock pot apple pie bread pudding. Find it here. Mmmm.

As a Polish woman with a German husband, Olga (aka The European Mama) has not one, but TWO great recipes to share. The first one I'm going to taste-test will be "szarlotka," or Polish apple pie (recipe here). With a crusty bottom, a meringue top, and apples in between, you can't go wrong!

Check out that same post for Olga's German MIL's recipe for a German covered apple pie. I feel myself embracing the German side of my Alsatian heritage at this very moment!

On a less international note (and less calorie-ridden, too... because, yes, there is more to life than food... who knew?!), Jaime has about a buzzillion ideas for apples and kids on Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails.

Painting with apples, apple scented dough, apple books, apple crafts, apple treats... you name it, and if it's about kids and apples, she's got it! I'm kind of intrigued by the apple volcanoes, but I'm pretty sure I know which one Mag will want to try first: apple sparkle slime!

If you have great apple ideas and recipes of your own, you know I want to see them!

Until then, happy picking. And baking. And eating...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Apple Season is Here! ... a product and a FREEBIE!

For yet another year, the Midwestern summer weather has been a bit strange, having felt like fall for much of the summer... which might be why I feel extra ready for: APPLE SEASON!

This year we missed opening weekend at our favorite local apple orchard. But we did arrive by their 8th day open, so we got all the excitement of the beginning of the season, with a bonus of employees who know how to work the registers! (Last year's note to self: if you head to any seasonal attraction in the first hours of their openness for that season, be prepared for just about everyone working there to have to call for someone else to help them with their job. Be it ringing up your order, knowing how to make the hot chocolate, how much things cost, or where the restrooms are... you name it, they're still training for it!)

Anyway, so yes, we did make it to the orchard and had tons of fun... and tons of apple cider donuts! And thus, upon arriving home, I couldn't help but create a few apple-related products.

This first product is a FREEBIE! And a fun one, at that: a 4-page "Life Cycle of the Apple" pop-up book... in four languages! You can find it here, in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I've also been rounding out my Spanish Dual Language/Immersion Kindergarten series of products, which just didn't seem complete without an apple packet! With this apple packet, I am one step closer to having a complete kindergarten series. Yay! You can check it out here. (Designed to support Common Core targets!)

In Kürze (German="coming soon"): more apple fun from around the world!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"The Happiness of Pursuit" ... released today!

"Finding the quest that will bring purpose to your life."

Wow! A quest that will bring purpose to my life? Sounds great, doesn't it? The sentence above is the by-line from author and travel guru Chris Guillebeau's latest book, released today: The Happiness of Pursuit
I received an advance copy of this book, for review purposes, under the sole obligation to provide my honest opinion. I was not required to give a favorable review.

Well, on the one hand, Happiness did not disappoint! In relating a series of interviews with "ordinary people completing extraordinary quests" (like the family of four who spent 33 months biking from Alaska to Argentina!), Guillebeau extrapolates a series of lessons to stimulate all readers to find and follow the dream of their lifetime. Interestingly, the stories themselves are so inspirational that the lessons were almost superfluous. (I mean, really, could dating get any more fun than 50 dates in 50 states?! Twelve years ago, I wouldn't have needed a list of lessons to make that happen; just the idea itself!)

And so there is that side of the book: the side that makes you want to just get out there and do something fun and adventurous. Off the couch. Into the big wide world. Prove something to yourself. Or to others. Or find yourself. Or shock your friends. Or simply break up the routine. Whatever you've been needing, or wanting, or dreaming of. That side of the book makes it a terribly enjoyable read, such that you might even be tempted to complete the book in one sitting (although, at 263 pages, it would, admittedly, be a very long sit).

And then there is the other side of the book: the side that saddens. Yes, Happiness follows along on some very exciting and inspiring quests. But in it, we also are shown the emptiness of the quest. We meet several seemingly misguided souls whose quests evolved out of avoidance of pain, or fear, or even immaturity. Dealing with a terminal diagnosis? Avoid the emotional trauma by distracting yourself with a quest, even to the extent that your children feel ignored. Carrying the teenage need to "fight the man" into adulthood? Don't explore the underlying reason for your pre-teen attitude; simply "show them all" by questing to live in silence, speaking to no one (including family!) for almost two decades. (Be assured that this particular quester himself admits to using his silence to "fight the man." -pg231- I did not arbitrarily designate that as the reason for his silence. Imagine refusing to speak to your loved ones for 17 years, just to assert your independence... not as a 12-year old boy, but as an adult man. Very sad.)

Nonetheless, despite the few stories that emoted a hopeless disengagement from reality, taking into consideration the entirety of The Happiness of Pursuit, I can't help but say I found it an engaging and entertaining read. Happiness has inspired me, not to create a quest to give my life purpose as its by-line suggested, but to make a few fun changes in my every day life. I am grateful for the several questers who have stirred me to explore and develop dreams that have been latent in recent years. And grateful to Guillebeau whose book brought those inspiring stories to me!

Now off to learn photography and improve my Spanish...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Multilingual Coloring Sheets FREEBIE! ... apple-picking theme

Oh my goodness, has it really been over a month since I posted a freebie? Well, then I guess it's time for a new one!

My latest freebie is a "facebook fan freebie." To access these multilingual apple-picking coloring sheets, head to my facebook page, and look for the "free downloads" button on the left sidebar.

Credits: Super cute graphics by Educlips. Frame by Creative Clips.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Je vous présente... Lily

A new member joins the Open Wide the World team. It is an honor and my pleasure to introduce: Lily, my new proofreader! Lily will be proofreading the Spanish language products for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Lily is a longtime friend, a sister of sorts, from the beautiful city of Oaxaca, México. Lily and I met in high school in our senior year, when I had just returned Stateside after a foreign exchange year in New Zealand, and Lily herself had just arrived as an exchange student in my family's home in the U.S. It was a magical time in both of our lives, a time that passed all too quickly, and has seemed almost a dream when looking back from the years that followed.

In those many long years since our high school foreign exchange adventures, Lily has amassed experience in Clinical Psychology and psycho-pedagogical studies (still trying to wrap my head around that one!), and most recently, my favorite: Bilingual Research Associate at an American university's Early Childhood Education Institute. A gal who loves travel, languages, and children? A perfect match for Open Wide the World!

I hope in coming months, beyond just proofreading tasks, I hope Lily will feel inspired to share pictures and stories of her beloved Oaxaca, as well as maybe a few of her mother's wonderful, traditional Mexican recipes.

In the meantime, I extend to Lily a heartfelt

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

the BTS sale on TpT: 28% off my store (and most others, too!)

Yay, my favorite event of the year is here: the Back-to-School sale on Teachers Pay Teachers!

My entire store is discounted 20% today. Plus, use code BTS14 to receive an additional 10% off sale prices!

Many stores on TpT are offering this same deal. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spanish & French Back-to-School FREEBIE!

It's my favorite time again: FREEBIE time!
Somehow, I love offering freebies as much as I love finding freebies. Here's my latest:

Click  image to find this freebie in my TpT store.

You guessed it: this freebie features graphics from two of my fave clip artists: Educlips and Creative Clips. Thanks, Sarah & Krista!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Our World Cup Pinnacle

Yesterday was "the" big day for soccer at our house!

The France vs. Germany rival goes back many generations in our family. I am a third generation American of Alsatian descent, which means that my family and ancestors have, at various times, been:
  • politically & geographically French, but culturally German
  • politically & geographically German, and culturally German
  • politically & geographically French, and culturally French
  • and even politically Swedish for a short duration, just to keep things interesting.
My mother still remembers the older uncles and great uncles heatedly debating the degree to which our family is French vs. German. But with yesterday's match, we were all German... most likely because we're awaiting the birth of my German nephew in a matter of days, so we're a little more sentimental toward our German side right now. (You may remember my sister's wedding to a German last spring. Brrr!)

While the adults were absorbed in the game, I was so happy to have our World Soccer Cup Activity Pack for Kids to keep Mag engrossed in the action. She loved the idea of being our score keeper, and in the loooong stretch of scoreless time, the activity pages were equally engaging.

To preview the activity pack, or to purchase, click here.

It will be so nice to relax and not worry too much about the outcome of today' games... but come Tuesday: Go Deutschland!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Read Around the World" with Multicultural Kid Blogs

This summer, the bloggers of Multicultural Kid Blogs invite you to "Read Around the World!" Throughout the summer, member bloggers (and friends) are sharing favorite multicultural books, covering age ranges for the entire family.

Here's my pick for a new favorite: a bilingual book entitled My Diary from Here to There/Mi diario de aquí hasta allá, by Amanda Irma Pérez.

You can see the author read her book aloud (albeit to a less than attentive audience -- probably the age group) here.

To browse through all the MKB bloggers' book choices, check out our newest Pinterst board, dedicated to this great summer series. Happy Reading!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Canada Day, 2014 - FREEBIE!

In honor of the 147th birthday of our neighbor to the North tomorrow, please enjoy this FREE coloring sheet!

Click image to download.

Happy Canada Day!

Graphics by Educlips & Creative Clips

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Campamento Widjiwagan, Week Four - Marshmallow Shooters!

Our last week of the month-long Campamento Widjiwagan experience... I have to admit, I'm feeling a little bit sad that it's almost over. It has been so much fun, reliving old summer camp memories, and creating some new ones, all while reviewing Spanish kindergarten skills.

So far this week, Mag has reviewed the math, literacy, and science skills of:

  • tens & ones awareness
  • telling time to the hour
  • adding coins
  • 3-d shapes
  • initial sounds
  • syllable awareness
  • word endings by number and gender
  • composing short sentences
  • buoyancy 

As always, a highlight at Campamento Widji has been our summer camp extra-curriculars!

Today's fun included... what else, but: marshmallows! We pulled this fun one right from the Campamento Widjiwagan Pinterest board: Marshmallow Shooters! We followed Laura's directions from Come Together Kids, summarized below:

Instructions for Marshmallow Shooters

  1. Gather plastic party cups and balloons, one of each per person.
  2. Cut off the bottoms of the cups.
  3. Tie off the ends of the uninflated balloons, then cut off the top end.
  4. Stretch a Tied-off & cut balloon over the mouth of a cut-off cup.
  5. Then drop a mini-marshmallow into the cup and point the cup upward and away.
  6. Pull the knot of the balloon toward you, then release, and watch the fun unfurl!
Just two more days of our Campamento Widjiwagan fun, then a week off for a 4th of July holiday, and on to our next adventure. Always more fun ahead!

And you? How are you keeping summer review fun?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Campamento Widjiwagan, Week Three - Marshmallow Painting!

Continuing on with Week Three of our month-long Campamento Widjiwagan experience... the fun and learning continue!

Mag's enchantment with our summer review book has not worn off! It's the first thing she does every morning, even before asking what time we're going to the pool!

Some of the math, literacy, and science skills we have been reviewing include:
  • story problem addition, 
  • coins, 
  • telling time to the hour, 
  • 3-D shapes,
  • beginning sounds,
  • syllable awareness,
  • rhyming words,
  • basic sentence formulation,
  • and awareness of the 5 senses.

But you know, Camp Widji is not all work! We've continued our camp-style activities this week, all right from the Campamento Widjiwagan Pinterest board, with the theme of Marshmallow Fun!

Today's activity is marshmallow painting (the inspiration pin here, originating from Australia's "Tippytoe Crafts"). So simple and fun, I can't believe I'd never seen this before.

I have to admit, the novelty of this medium was so intriguing, I had to jump in and try it, too! But I'll spare you my chef d'oeuvre.

Another week at Campamento Widji still to come...

How is your summer review going?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Campamento Widjiwagan, Week Two - S'mores Bars!

A bit of an illness in the house kept us from most of our plans this week, with much of our Campamento Widjiwagan and World Cup activities being put on hold. Sigh.

We did, however, keep up with our Camp Widji review book, and even squeezed in a new favorite camp treat:
S'mores Bars!

Inspired by S'mores Cookies (from The Girl Who Ate Everything, here) and S'mores Blossoms (from Chocolate Moosey, here), our own recipe for S'mores Bars was super quick and easy... you can put them together in minutes, and be out the door to a neighborhood BBQ with a yummy treat in hand, no stress. (I should warn you, though: you might just be tempted to stay home and eat them all yourself!)

Want to try these yourself? Late for a BBQ party? Click the recipe image here below to download the printable recipe for this new favorite campfire-worthy treat!

Hope to see you next week with more marshmallow fun, 
and other Campamento happenings!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Campamento Widjiwagan, Day 5 - Review Day & a Game

Friday was the last day of Week One of our month-long Campamento Widjiwagan experience; how could that be? Wow, time flies in the summer! Right?!!

This Friday, like every Mon/Wed/Fri at Campamento Widjiwagan, was Academic Review Day. Our review focused on making & using a graph, skip-counting, using syllables to make a word, and word endings by gender.

Mag has loved doing the review pages so much that she has been asking to work ahead in her book. Fortunately, I knew this was coming (since she felt the same way when working on our Christmas review book and spring break review book), so I was prepared. I had ready in the wings a Campamento Widjiwagan Game Pack, waiting for the day Mag would rather do more review than a camp craft. And this was that day!

The Widji game pack includes 2 game board styles, 180+ review cards for math and literacy, and multiple options for play. This time, we practiced reading high frequency words (sometimes called sight words) in Spanish, as we raced back to camp. Oh, and stopped for a few marshmallows along the way, whenever we were lucky enough to land on a "fogata" (campfire) spot on the game board. Mmmm!

And thus concludes Week One at Campamento Widjiwagan. Next week we will continue our camp experience with Week Two. However, we won't be doing a camp post daily in Week Two, as I may need some blog space to post about our World Cup activities.

So many exciting things going on this time of year! 

What's happening in your world as summer begins?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Campamento Widjiwagan, Day 4 - Book Report & a Camp Toy

Wow! It's Thursday already, Day Four of our month-long Campamento Widjiwagan experience.

Every Thursday at Campamento Widjiwagan is Book Report Day.

We've read lots of picture books and a chapter book this week, and today, on Book Report Day, Mag chose a book from the week to complete our weekly write-up: "Clifford va a la escuela de perros" (by Norman Bridwell). She recorded the title, author, main character, and setting, as well as drawing and writing a sentence about a favorite moment from the story.

Besides being Book Report Thursday, we had another special event "at camp" today: Daddy was home for the afternoon. Yay! So Mag's camp craft for today was a father-daughter activity... building and using a marshmallow launcher!

This rustic and fun camp toy comes right off the Campamento Widjiwagan Pinterest board. (Following the pin backwards leads to Baker County 4-H. Good times on the Florida-Georgia border, it seems!)

With a little practice and some precision adjustments, the Widji catapults launched mini-marshmallows as far as 6 feet forward... although somehow my attempts seemed to average about 3 feet backward. I guess I'm not the physics pro in the family. Well, another chance next week with a second marshmallow launching activity on its way.

Join us tomorrow for the finale of Week One at Campamento Widjiwagan...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Campamento Widjiwagan, Day 3 - Review Day & a Snack

We're continuing Week One of our month-long Campamento Widjiwagan experience.

Today is Day Three, and like each Mon/Wed/Fri at Campamento Widji, it featured an academic skills review page. Day Three reviews syllable segmenting, medial sounds, comparing double digit numbers, and telling time to the hour.

In addition to our skills review, we also had a yummmmmy camp snack: s'mores mix!

S'mores mix comes straight from the Campamento Widjiwagan Pinterest board. (The pin originated here, at "Cindy DeRosier: My Creative Life"... check out the funny story that opens her s'mores mix post while you're there. Teachers will surely sympathize!)

Our S'mores Mix recipe:
  • Golden Grahams cereal - 2 parts
  • mini-marshmallows - 2 parts
  • chocolate covered peanuts - 1 part (but chocolate chips are more commonly used... and less expensive!)
Obviously, a very versatile and adjustable recipe. By request, we'll make Mag's next batch with chocolate chips instead of the choco-nuts... whereas I'll be doubling the choco-nuts in mine!

Tip: depending on the brand of marshmallows, the humidity in the air, etc, the cereal may soften overnight, or in a day or 2, so I wouldn't advise making and storing this mix in large batches.

This was soooo yummy; I see more s'mores-esque treats in our future! Any favorite s'mores treats out there? Do share! And then...

Stop in tomorrow for our first Widji book report, 
and another camp craft!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Campamento Widjiwagan, Day 2 - Science Review & a Craft

Because of my love of camping, it has been difficult to wait these last two weeks to introduce Mag to Campamento Widjiwagan; I've been very eager for her to get started! So yesterday was a very exciting Day One "at camp." Mag completed an academic skills review page in her Camp review book, and created a "sit-upon" craft.

Today, Day Two, is a Tuesday. And every Tuesday at Campamento Widjiwagan is Science Review Day.

This Tuesday we reviewed seasons with an "invierno / verano" sort.

(The remaining Tuesdays will feature the science concepts of: the 5 senses, living vs. non-living things, and buoyancy. For details, or to purchase our month-long review book, click here.)

In addition to our science review, we completed a camp craft, from among the many fun options on our Campamento Widjiwagan Pinterest board: campfire candles!
(Our campfire candles were inspired by this great lantern on "Here We Are Together." Thank you, Miri!)

To make the event a little more special, we invited two more neighborhood "Campistas" to join us in the craft, thus los seis brazos de campistas in the picture.

To make campfire candles:
  • Cut yellow, orange, and red tissue paper into flame-like shapes.
  • Spread Mod Podge or watered down glue onto a glass, candle holder, empty jar, or anything similar, and apply paper flames.
  • Put a battery powered candle into the glass.
  • And voilà! Instant indoor campfire! 
The girls had a blast building a tent out of dining room chairs and some blankets, and having an indoor, mid-afternoon camp-out with their self-made campfires! I have a feeling Mag's little indoor campfire will be an ever-present fixture in our summer review work!

Check in tomorrow for another academic review day, 
plus a yummy camp snack!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Campamento Widjiwagan, Day 1 - Academic Review & a Craft

Today began our long-awaited "Campamento Widjiwagan*" experience.
(*Widjiwagan is a word from the Native American Ojibwa tribe, and means "lifelong friend.")

Campamento Widjiwagan is a month-long, summer camp themed, kindergarten review program. Each day, Monday through Friday, for the month of June, Mag and I will be completing one page of an academic skills review book, as well as one quintessential summer camp activity. (I have amassed a collection of camp activities to choose from, here on my CW Pinterest board.)

Today, Day One of our Campamento Widjiwagan escapade included a skills review page (covering math & literacy skills in Spanish: 3-D shapes, 10s and 1s awareness, rhyming words, and sentence formulation), and the one craft that starts every good camp experience:
the sit-upon.

Remember the good old sit-upon? In the 80s, they were most often made from a stack of newspaper, with a square of wallpaper laced together onto the front and back. I remember making them; not so much using them. But a kid's gotta make one, or it's just not summer camp. Right?!

There are many materials you can use for a sit-upon:
  • tablecloth vinyl over polar fleece remnants,
  • wallpaper over newspaper,
  • black-out/thermal curtain lining over thick bubble wrap
  • anything semi-waterproof over anything semi-cushiony.

And there are just as many ways to make your sit-upon:
  • hole-punch around the edges of the cover and lace together with yarn,
  • staple around the edges,
  • duct tape the edges,
  • hand stitch,
  • or sew with a machine.

We used a picnic tablecloth cut to 13" by 26" and stuffed with polar fleece. The sit-upon gave Mag got her first experience with a sewing machine. I drew a sewing line onto the fabric for her to follow, she did a practice run on a remnant to get a feel for the foot pedal, and then she was off. It actually turned out perfectly; she was very pleased and proud of her work!

And so now, as we continue our time at Campamento Widjiwagan, Mag will have a nice cushy square to "sit-upon."

Join us tomorrow for a science review page, and a fun fire craft.

And you? How are you keeping academic skills fun and fresh this summer?