Showing posts with label Finland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Finland. Show all posts

It's a Small World Felted Friends -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing sent me this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Tonight I am sharing a fun needle felting book. It gives instructions to make miniature needle felted animals, buildings, and other things that make you think of certain countries. It even includes a mini flag garland. The book is It's a Small World Felted Friends by Sachiko Susa. 

Christmas Candles in Different Lands

Candle Photo By By Elmar Ersch (Own work)
 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This year for Christmas in Different Lands each post is exploring some aspect of Christmas in at least three different continents. Today we are looking at candles. How do you use candles at Christmas time? With electricity there are not as many uses as there once was but some are still used for special events. In New England often there are single candles (and for some multiple candles) in the windows of a house or church. I shared a bit about Christmas in New England last year.

Picture of New England Church during Advent
 Candles are also used in many other ways. Often there is a candlelight service on Christmas Eve at church as well as the Advent wreath candles during Advent. I shared a bit about our Advent wreath a couple of years ago. Many countries especially in Europe use Advent wreaths and/or Advent candles. Countries like Germany, Austria, Croatia, and Belgium often have Advent wreaths as well as the United States. 

Craft It Up Around the World book review

Today I have the pleasure of review a wonderful book called Craft It Up
Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong.  Craft it Up Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong is published by CICO Books at £9.99 and is available from This book was sent to me by CICO Books to review here, and I have to say I am so pleased to do so. The book contains 35 craft projects from different places throughout the world. The crafts are meant for children to do, and if they are older than Hazel, they will not need much help from an adult. The authors are currently based in Sydney, Australia, but between the two of them they have lived in many parts of the world and are trying to inspire children to look at the world around them and learn more about other places. I have to say it is the perfect book to go along with our multicultural adventures between our Fairy Tales in Different Cultures, Virtual Flat Stanley and Around the World in 12 Dishes.

One of the things I really like about this book is several of the crafts use recycled materials. The first craft I want to share is this wonderful map bunting. You could focus your circles to be spots you have lived, visited or want to visit, or you can do what we did and just take any place to be included. Hazel enjoyed helping me sew these circles together into the bunting. As we did this I thought it would be neat for a birthday party with a world travel theme. Really this book would be perfect for it. Now to convince Hazel of this idea.

To make this bunting I used one of Steve's outdated Atlas books. I had planned on going to AAA for a free world map, but didn't make it there, so I asked Steve to see what he had. I figured it was even better to use a book he didn't need or want anymore. I did not have a big enough circle punch, so I traced a glass and cut the circle myself. It really took no time at all to make a pretty long bunting. Now we are going to hang it on Hazel's tree in her room.

After that we made some of the crafts to go with the countries we have already "visited" this year. We made the Easy Peasy Felt Tulips for the Netherlands. Hazel is using them as the centerpiece on her play kitchen table. Great craft for springtime.

We made the Saving for a Snowy Day for Finland. He is made from a recycled smoothie container. We will be saving him for the winter. This is a great craft for the winter.

For Spain we made Click Clack Button Castanets. Hazel hasn't tried them since the glue was drying, but I did. She will love them, and she got to pick out the scrapbook paper we used. I made them a bit smaller than the instructions called for, but I thought this would help Hazel use them. This would be a great craft for any Spanish themed lesson or party.
For France I made the "Ooh La La" Pretty Parisian Embroidery. We will hang it in Hazel's room. She probably could have helped with some of the sewing, but I made it while she was in bed. She did however help me cut the fabric for the project. Again, wouldn't this be a perfect decoration for a world travel themed party.

The final craft idea I will share is for Egypt (this month's destination for Around the World in 12 Dishes) and it is Howard's Treasure Hunt Bottle. It is a recycled jar filled with some Egyptian objects and sand. I added on it a print out of the Egyptian flag and map. We used objects from Safari Ltd. Miniature Replica Toobs. Some we had and we picked up the Ancient Egypt one the other day at Michaels with our 40% off coupon.

We also included a bird amulet and a cat statue.

So Craft It Up Around the World is a great book full of ideas for kids who are exploring the world. The book includes a picture of the country's flag and shape of the country as well as some interesting facts about the countries. There are a variety of crafts calling on different skills, so they will appeal to both boys and girls of different ages. Again Craft it Up Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong is published by CICO Books at £9.99 and is available from You can look for more great crafts from this book as we explore the world through all of our fun adventures as well!!

A Day in Finland--Around the World in 12 Dishes

This month Around the World in 12 Dishes takes us to Finland. We had big plans to try lots of different recipes for this month, but our plans didn't work out completely. We did however enjoy making a wonderful Finnish breakfast called pannukakku. Our recipe came from the wonderful book, Easy Breakfasts from Around the World by Sheila Griffin Llanas. What I like most about the book is that it gives a little information about the country the recipe comes from as well as a bit about the recipe.

From this book we learned that Lapland, Finland's northern province is above the Arctic Circle, so in the summer the sun never sets and in the winter it never rises. Some Laplanders herd reindeer. We also learned that the capital city, Helinski is in southern Finland, but is the most northern capital city in Europe.

Pannukakku is described by the book as a baked pancake. It puffs up in the oven and sinks as it cools. It is often served with fresh fruit, whipped cream and powdered sugar. We ate it with fresh fruit since that is what we had at home. Steve described it tasting like a custard pie.
Pannukakku is an easy recipe using butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, flour and milk. I was tempted to add some cinnamon because we add it to everything, but wanted to stay traditional to the Finnish recipe, so we did not. It did not need it. We all loved it.

Next we did some coloring pages. We did the map, the flag and discovered lily of the valley is the national flower of Finland. It is one of our springtime favorites and is in bloom in our yard now.

Next we read some Finnish stories. In the Stories from the Sea, we read the Finnish story on why the sea is salty. Another legend/myth type story is When Bear Came Down from the Sky. The Princess Mouse is very much a fairy tale with similar story to the frog princess. Mika's Apple Tree is a wonderful story about a stubborn boy who works hard to grow an apple tree near his house even though his house is on a rocky point. This story involves sharing quite a bit about the country since his two uncles come to visit when his father is home and all three men have different jobs in different parts of the country.
We continued our look at Finland by listening to Lapin ai din kehtolaulu by Hannele Wida. It is the third song on the CD Lullabies for Kids from Around the World. We also read about birthdays in Finland. Birthdays Around the World by Mary D. Lankford, told us that Finland is smaller than the state of Montana. It has sixty thousand lakes and sixty-five islands. Plus forests cover almost three-fourths of the low flat lands and rolling hills. Daylight in the summer may last nineteen hours and when it does set it barely dips below the horizon.

In Finland a child's birthday celebration is important to the entire family. Birthday parties are usually held on Saturday or Sunday so everyone can attend. The Finnish tradition is to open gifts as soon as they are received. Finnish children sing "Happy Birthday to You" when they arrive at the door. A traditional Finnish birthday cake is three layers and is filled with fruit and whipped cream. The candles on the top are almost hidden by the whipped cream, candies, kiwis or strawberries. It is usually served after a celebration lunch. A popular Finnish birthday game is Onginta, which means Angling or Fishing. Each child takes a turn standing at a cloth held up by two adults. The child drops a rod attached to a line and hook over the cloth. An adult attaches a small basket on the hook and the child reels in the prize.

Our final exploration of Finland came from the book Going to School Around the World by Melissa Koosmann. In the third chapter, a boy named Matti arrives just in time for school in Finland. The chapter describes the day in Matti's life. Matti is in the third grade. School is free in Finland and all of the children receive a free hot lunch as well. During his school day there was science, math, Finnish language and literature, English language, physical education, music, arts and crafts and religion (the religion of his parents' choice). He had two recesses before lunch, but during the shorter fifteen minute one it was his turn to clean the classroom. For the arts and crafts they made coffee filter snowflakes and the desks were covered with food coloring so it took the full fifteen minutes to do the cleaning. The students address the teacher by his/her title, "teacher" in the morning greeting and when they are in trouble. All the other times they call their teachers by their first names. In the winter months they hold a mock Olympic Games with skiing. Matti's favorite winter sport is ice hockey though. After school Matti jogged home to stay in shape for hockey. He tried to play some computer games, but his father told him to do his homework. Since he did not have much homework, he was able to play computer games after finishing it and then he joined his father for dinner.

Matti looks forward to learning Sweden and another language in high school as well as learning more about computers. In third grade only the teacher has a computer in the classroom.  The book also gave the instructions to make the coffee filter snowflakes, so we did. Hazel decided her last one looked like the sun so we used red and yellow food coloring to color it instead of the blue.

That is how we explored Finland. Next month it will be Spain. Will you join us on that trip?

Here is the Finland passport and the Finland-themed placemat

Be sure to check out these great Finnish explorations and add your own here.