Europe Week

Following on from last weeks Africa focus we focussed on the continent of Europe, specifically Italy, Spain and France.

Our shelves this week:- non-fiction books and our crafts on top, magformers (for building famous landmarks), photo albums of our trips to Rome, Venice, Pisa and Paris, French flag with blue, white and red counters, children of the world pictures and puzzles, around the world board game, a collection of African trinkets, a collections of Asian trinkets and our inflatable globe.  The reading and writing area had world themed fiction books and landmark colouring pages.

ITALY

Cooking – we made our own pizzas from scratch.  This was challenging but i was very pleased with how much they ate.

Playdough – as playdough continues to be Elyses favourite activity we also made some less edible pizzas.

Sensory play – cutting is another favourite with both Kealan and Elyse so i cooked up a few packets of cheap spaghetti, coloured them with paint and armed them with scissors.  We played a letter recognition game whilst they cut the spaghetti.

Arts and crafts – simple painting the Italian flag activity and landmark colouring.

Painting the Sistine Chapel like Michelangelo – this was a great activity and really amused both kids.  Id left them in their PJ’s knowing what would happen but the mess was worth the fun.  They were very creative and described lots of areas of their painting.

Venetian masks – i found these plain white masks in a craft shop.  The kids painted and glittered them in their chosen colours and i used a hot glue gun with to add feathers.

Leaning tower of Pisa – We painted some toilet roll tubes, added some arches and cut a small amount off the bottom to make them lean.  Elyse also took it upon herself to build a duplo tower until it leaned and stated very clearly that she had built the leaning tower of Pisa.

SPAIN – not too many pictures but we had a lovely Spanish meal including paella, spanish omlette and patatas bravas.  After dinner Elyse was given a Spanish dress to wear and we watched some youtube videos of flamenco dancers.  We also got out our castanets and danced to spanish guitar music.  Elyse especially  enjoyed this and was very interested in how to do the dance, even demanding a shawl.

FRANCE (and Valentines) – to coincide with valentines day we began some work on France with a Paris tuff tray.  I used glass beads for the Seine, a piece of door mat for the Champs- Elysees and red dyed rice with confetti hearts as a base material.  As usual Elyse was thrilled to see the tray and got stuck in straight away.

A simple valentines tray.  We talked about the differences between the hearts – glass, plastic, confetti – cold, warm, smooth, light, heavy, whether they would float or sink etc.

More flag painting and Kealan tentatively trying his croissants.

Our Valentines decorations

I read Guess How Much I Love You and shock horror Kealan asked for me to read it again as soon as i had finished.  They enjoyed acting it out by reaching wide and high and hopping around the kitchen.  They then used stickers to create valentines cards.

Kealans transformers valentines for his class mates.

So we completed some great activities this week and they have both shown a real interest in learning about other countries.  Elyse is remembering and recognising a numbers of landmarks and when we drove past a  white tower block with lots of windows she asked me if it was the Colosseum (it was very cute..and funny).

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