Ella: "Mom, you really need to update your blog."
Trixie: "We need to do more interesting things to put on the blog!" pauses and turns to me, "Mom, don't you dare put the whining part in!"
Yes, welcome back to school after the holidays, which is an awful lot like my honest retelling of the first week of school. But I am now bound to leave out the whining bits.
The kids requested that we go back to doing our Around the World Tea Parties for the New Year. It's become a bit of a winter tradition around here. You can see our other Around the World Tea Parties here.
In January, we started in Ungava Bay, Canada with the Five in a Row book, Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews. This book is the story of a young Inuit girl who goes to collect mussels under the sea ice. As go-along books, we also read Artic Son by Jean Craighead George, Kitaq Goes Ice Fishing by Margaret Nicolai, and Baseball Bats for Christmas by Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak.
For geography, we found Ungava Bay and the Artic Ocean on the map and read about the Artic region in our DK First Atlas and about an Inuit and an Alaskan Eskimo child from DK Children Just Like Me. Last year, I found a great deal on several Evan Moor History Pockets books and the Native American book had an entire section on the Inuits. We read about their culture and learned some interesting facts like they make mittens with two thumbs so you can turn them around when the thumb gets wet. We colored in the coloring sheets from the book and also made an Artic Ice Fishing Game.
Once the kids had tried ice fishing, they had to build an igloo (igluviak) out of all of the pillows in the house.
We discovered an awesome video from the Popular Mechanics for Kids series on Amazon Prime. In Season 2, Episode 2: North Pole, the host travels to the Artic and drives a dogsled team, builds an igloo, and makes and shares a traditional Inuit meal of raw seal meat.
Once we learned about their traditional diet, it did hamper our tea party a little as we could find no raw seal meat in our grocery store. So we settled on some cut-up dried sausage sticks, smoked salmon, and cheese and crackers.
We also had fun doing a storytelling activity using Rory Storycubes and making the setting in the Artic. The kids dictated to me and I wrote down their stories on the Igluviak storybooks from the History Pocket.
For science, we learned about animals that live in the Artic and Antartic habitats and colored a habitat diorama from Scholastic Animal Habitats book that I have.
Finally for art, we used this Northern Lights tutorial from That Artist Woman and made our own icy landscapes with northern lights. (I am leaving out a lot of whining bits here, but they finally did turn out nice.) The ice effect is created by putting plastic wrap over paint and the northern lights were made with chalk pastels.