Hands On GeographyWe have started introducing our daughter to different cultures since she was about 3 years old. Over years, we read about many different countries trying to encourage daughter to pick a country of her choice when she got older. We also tried to pair up a book with a cooking, craft, or science activity that would make Smarty’s view of the country more “hands on”. You are welcome to check out other posts in Hands-On-Geography series:
A Book About Italy
Angelina of Italy is a part of a short series by a famous poet and writer Maya Angelou. I have to agree with some of Amazon reviews that the story is “contrived” and built around the word play that is more understood by adults than children. Angelina is part of a big family and her favorite food is, of course, pizza. When she learns about The Tower of Pisa, she imagines that it is made out of pizza, and she is very worried that the tower will collapse and the pizza will be ruined. Angelina’s family drives to Pisa where a girl can discover that the famous tower is indeed made out of stone.
Look at the Map
We looked at the atlas and found Italy in Europe. Smarty was amused to see that Italy looks like a fancy boot with a high heel. I pointed out the places in Italy that I visited while working in Europe – Rome, Naples, Florence, and then we looked at the Venice pictures from our Mediterranean cruise that her Papa and I took before she was born.
Tower of Pisa in Model Magic
Lately Smarty expressed more interest in making 3D projects. I like how she brainstorms the ways of making something. She decided that she wants to make a Tower of Pisa with play dough. We had a package of Crayola Model Magic, and finally the moment came to try it out. Both of us loved playing with it. The taller structure that you see on the right is my version of Tower of Pisa – sorry if it looks more like you-know-what, I did my best :). Smarty had terrific time trying to stabilize her towers all the time explaining to me how she is going to dig under it the way Italian engineers did to stabilize the real Tower of Pisa. Eventually, however, she had a change of heart, and both our towers ended up as a furniture set for Pooh and Piglet. At least both of them got mini Pisa Towers for “cuddle friends”. Smarty thought that it’s very important to have plenty of bookshelves with books (stones) in Pooh and Piglet’s bedroom.
Cook Around the World – Pizza
It was not difficult to choose what to make for dinner after reading Angelina from Italy. My favorite homemade pizza dough recipe takes less than an hour to get ready, and Smarty was happy to help with pizza sauce and with putting everything on pizza. Interestingly, however, she is a rare child who doesn’t like pizza, because she doesn’t like neither tomatoes nor melted cheese.