Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Joy School - Hawaii

We started my absolute favourite Joy School theme this past week: World Cultures. We have included this section each year since we started up four years ago, and without fail, each year it is my favourite. The host moms get to choose any country or people they want and teach a lesson about that culture. It always has so much wonderful information, and so many fun activities. Love it, love it, love it.

We have in the past, (but for some reason I feel like we missed it last year?) made 'passports' on our first day, and we did it again this year. Each week the kids will get to glue in the country's flag for the culture we learned about, and at the end of the month, it is a neat little souvenir for them to remember the fun they've had and what they learned.

The passports the host mom put together for us to fill out were really well done! They had the crest of a Canadian Passport on the front, and on the first page we got to practise filling in our names, ages, phone numbers and addresses.

Then we got to measure our heights and weights and record them too. What a great keepsake to mark this time in their childhoods!

She put in so much work to make her home Hawaiian. She strung up these fun lanterns, had leis for us to wear, flowers to clip in the girls' hair, had a whole pineapple and a coconut as visual aids to show the kids.... it was fabulous.

Lesson Time:
We pretended to board a plane and fly over the ocean, until we got to the island chain of Hawaii. She took out her globe and showed us how far we had traveled from our Canadian home.

*We all got name tags with our Hawaiian names on them and tried our best to use them during the day.
*We learned what kinds of foods are produced in the Hawaiian islands, (sugar cane, macadamia nuts, pineapples, coconuts, avacados)
*We learned about luaus.

Our host had actually been to Hawaii with her husband several years ago, and had brought home this beautiful conch shell and she demonstrated how to blow it like a horn.

Craft Time:

We used a kit of foamy flowers and snipped up straws to string together our own leis. I was actually surprised here by the determination of the kids. I thought that they would string on a flower or two and give up and want to move on to the next thing, but they were intent on finishing them all. My son was very particular about the colour pattern on his lei and was mindful to not get his order mixed up as he worked.

Music Time: We didn't sing any songs this week. Rather, while the kids were working on their leis, a playlist of Hawaiian lullabies was on in the background. It was a great mood-setter for sure.

Video Time:

We watched a few minutes on the formation of the Hawaiian islands through the eruption of volcanoes, and another clip on the history of the people of the islands. Did you know that Captain Cook, the famous British Sailor, eventually died in a conflict in Hawaii? I had no idea.

Snack Time:

We enjoyed this spread of Hawaiian foods: macadamia nuts, ham, and pineapple. The kids went through the ham and pineapple incredibly fast, while the adults took care of the macadamia nuts.

Our host also made a yummy fruity blender drink, and served it in cute little cups with Hawaiian flowers and little paper umbrellas. (Oh, those umbrellas were a smash!)

Wiggle Time: There were two activities this week.

The first was coconut bowling! Just what it sounds like: A tower of brightly coloured plastic cups served as the pins, and the kids got to take turns bowling with a real coconut to knock them down.

Our second wiggle time was an attempt at the Hula.

Our host as she demonstrates. Here is a funny side note, later on that day, back at home, my little toddler was dancing to music, as he always does, and my Joy Schooler watched him for a second, turned to me, and then excitedly said, "Mom! He's doing the Hula!"Ha!

Story Time: I felt bad for this mom. She so clearly put in a lot of work, and had more she wanted to do for her cultures day and didn't have time enough to get through it all. Story time was one of these things.

She had gotten these two books out of the library, but we didn't get a chance to look at them. I think I'll try to get them once she is done; I'm sure my Joy School boy would like to discover what was inside.

It was a terrific way to kick off the new month's theme, and was such a ball to attend. It makes me excited to see what other cultures we will be tasting over the next few weeks!

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