Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts

Women in Wars -- Introduction-- Women's History Month


As I thought about Women's History Month I knew I wanted to really touch on women in history that may be forgotten. Today women are members of the Armed Forces, but not that long ago they were not allowed. I decided I would focus on women who played important roles in wars. This month I will share about women in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and the two World Wars. Today I thought I would start with some women who fought wars before America was a country. I have focused on the legend of Mulan in the past. She is one of the women who reportedly disguised herself as a man to fight in a war. Then there was the Greek goddess, Athena, who was the goddess of war, as well as the Amazons, the race of women warriors in Greek mythology. Even the Aztecs had a warrior goddess, Itzpapalotl. Then we know of Joan of Arc and how she led the French army through battles. And we shared about Artemisia in the past. Today let's talk about some of the other women you may not have heard about that fought in real wars and battles. As I started researching women in wars I found The Book of Heroines: Tales of History's Gutsiest Gals by Stephanie Warren Drimmer. All of the women, goddesses and legends mentioned in this post are featured in this book. This book is one of the sources for my entire post. I will list others that I used to find out more about the women and share books for kids when possible. (Note: I have not checked out these books but found them searching my local library website and Amazon.)

Isabella of Castile and our Exploration of Spain -- Global Learning for Kids

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Goosebottom Books. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

This month the Global Learning for Kids group focused on Spain. We have already looked at Spain with Around the World in 12 Dishes: flan and gazpacho. That exploration included stories, crafts and cooking. We have also spent some time exploring Pablo Picasso since Hazel loves his work. Even more exciting was that her art was hanging at a local museum this month and her class's art was their Picasso-inspired self portraits. Here is Hazel's.

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

This is not Sharing Saturday or Crafty Weekends, but both are still open for you to share!

Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can't wait to see what you share this time! Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son's Eyes, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs.
This month our co-hosts are:

Easter Around the World--France, Spain and Portugal

Today we are going to continue exploring Easter Around the World. Today's stops will be Spain, Portugal and France. Now my first knowledge of Easter in Spain came when my grandparents toured Spain and Morocco at Easter time. They brought back for me a doll which was filled with candy. The doll I had in our doll collection, however it always made me feel uncomfortable, because if you do not know about the Easter celebrations in Spain, it looked like a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It did not help that the doll was wearing a red robe with a white headdress (so red where the picture above is white and white where it is blue or similar to the ones below without the black capes).

<Leon seven words procession big
Source: By Alessio Damato (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Now these marchers are called penitents. They represent feeling sorry for any bad acts. They often carry the cross or Jesus on the cross and find it a heavy burden to carry for their sins. In Spain, Holy Week is called Semana Santa. People drape black clothes from balconies and statues of Mary are dressed in black lace. As they are mourning the death of Jesus. There are parades like the one above and people dress up in clothes that were worn in Jesus' time. On Good Friday men take part in Los Tamborados. It is a ceremony where they beat drums to mourn the death of Jesus. Even when the drummer gets tired he does not stop. No candles are lit in the church on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. On Easter a special candle is lit in the churches to symbolize Christ's victory over death. Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny are not a big thing in Spain. For children too young to receive the First Communion, the dessert on Good Friday is mona. Mona is a large bun decorated with colorful eggs. Once a child receives their First Communion, they have more serious things to think of and no longer get the special mona.
Source: By Fun25 (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Good Friday Funeral Procession 2012 (13)
Source: By Joseolgon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
Portugal has a very similar celebration as Spain. On Good Friday crowds gather in town wearing the white hoods as a sign to God they are sorry for their sins. They pray and carry torches. In some parades children carry floats that tell a story from the Bible. In the evening there are Easter fireworks to show light comes out of darkness. The new hope and new life are born. In Braga, there have a funeral procession for the Lord.

Good Friday Funeral Procession 2012 (18)
Source: By Joseolgon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
France Source
In parts of France there are similar Good Friday parades. In Sartène, a man in red robes and hood covering his face, called the Red Penitent, carries a cross through the streets (see picture above). He is followed by men in black robes chanting a hymn. This goes on until midnight. In Corsica the penitent repeats the suffering of Christ by carrying a heavy cross. Otherwise Easter or Pâques in French is very similar to Easter in the United States. Children who go to their first confession on Holy Saturday may bring eggs as a gift to the priest. La Semaine Sainte or Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday where people bring branches to church. The decorated branches can be from palm trees or many other types. Palm Sunday is also called Pâques Fleuries or Easter in bloom. In France the children are told that on the evening of Holy Thursday the church bells fly away to Rome. No bells are rung until Easter morning when the bells fly back. The bells drop chocolate bunnies, bells, and eggs for the children to find when they fly back. The chocolate is from the Pope who the bells visited. In some parts of France children look for little chariots of goodies. The Easter Bunny also makes an appearance by hiding little nests that the children make and leave out Saturday night. The children have a great time looking for all the treasures. A game children play in France is to throw raw eggs in the air. The first person to drop one loses the game. 

That is our look at Easter in Spain, Portugal and France. I find the similarity of the hooded outfits so interesting. All of my information for this post came from the books shown above and from Euroclub Schools - Easter in France which has some great information about the holiday from a child's perspective. If you live in one of these countries and want to correct or add something about your celebration, please let me know!

For more Multicultural and Easter Posts check out:

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!!

Exploring Spain 2 with Food, Crafts, Music and Dance

Last week I shared our first post about exploring Spain with food, craft and stories. Today we decided to explore it a bit more with some music, gazpacho and flamenco dancing and a flamenco dancer craft. 

We started by making some gazpacho. We combined the three recipes found in the same three cookbooks we used last time. Hazel enjoyed peeling and chopping the cucumber. We also pulled out the garlic press and the food processor, so she enjoyed it. She said the soup itself was all right, but really did not eat much. (The true test to whether she likes something is how much she eats. She always says things are good.) I on the other hand had two bowls of it for lunch.
Gazpacho Recipe:
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and chopped
5 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
4 cups cubed bread with crusts removed first
4 cups cold water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
juice of a lime

Put all ingredients in food processor and puree. Chill for a few hours and serve cold.

After making the soup, we read a bit more about Spain in the Fiesta Series Spain book. I wanted to read more so we could try the flamenco dance. Hazel loved doing this. We pulled out the fan we made last week as well as the one we bought in Epcot and her to castanets. Then we danced around the house to a CD of Flamenco Music from Spain that we got out of the library.
Hazel really wanted to do a craft today as well, so we made a flamenco dancer clothespin doll. I found the instructions at Making Friends. Hazel really enjoyed wrapping the string for the dress. While making this craft, we continued to listen to the Flamenco CD. Then t we listened to a playlist of songs from Spain from these CD's.

Overall we had fun learning a bit about Spain! Next month we will be "traveling" to Kenya. I hope you will join us! Plus next week I'll have a fun craft I found to keep track of all of these adventures.

Also for your own passport check out this link from Glittering Muffins and for a fun placemat, this link.

You also can check out these amazing posts or add your own Spanish adventure here. 

A Spanish Day--Around the World in 12 Dishes

Today we had our adventure in discovering Spain. We read stories, made a craft and cooked a flan. But first a bit about Spain. Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the third largest country in Europe and its southern tip is eight miles north of Africa. Spain has a long and varied history. It was under Roman and Moor rules before becoming independent. It is now a democratic government under a constitutional monarchy. The Moors reign ended in 1492, the same year that Christopher Columbus "discovered" America for the Spanish monarchy. Each ruling culture left its mark on Spain. You can still find Roman aquaducts, the Moors Mosques as well as the Gothic Cathedrals built when the Christians took over the country.
File:Flag of Spain.svg
There are many traditions that Spain is well known for. One being bull fighting and the another the siesta. Meals in Spain differ from meals in the United States. Breakfasts are usually small--a roll and a coffee. Lunch is the big meal of the day. Traditionally the stores, factories, schools, and businesses would close for two to three hours for all the people to return home for lunch and a nap known as the siesta. Although this is not as widely practiced now, it is still in some places. Dinner is much later around 10 or 10:30 and is usually very small. A paseo or evening walk is another custom. Many people in Spain will go for a walk after the stores are closed. They walk in their nicest clothes and may stop to chat with friends or perhaps to get a drink at a cafe or bar. Then they may have their late dinner out or at home. Many Spaniards eat out often and there are many choices of good restaurants. 

So for our day in Spain we took four resource books out of the library.
To make our flan we used the recipe in Cooking The Spanish Way by Rebecca Christian. Now the flan I have eaten has been Brazilian and I loved it. However this recipe was not a success for us. None of us enjoyed it. Hazel and I did enjoy making it though. It involved a lot of stirring of which Hazel did most.
Flan just out of oven
Flan with Sauce

Stirring the sauce

While the flan was in the oven, Hazel and I made a black lace fan. We got the instructions from the Fiesta! Series book Spain published by Grolier Educational. Making the fan was a lot of fun and rather simple. We did not make it as fancy as the one in the book since we used supplies on hand. I found some black lace leftover from a Halloween costume. However making the fan also required using a compass. This was Hazel's first time using a compass or even seeing one and there were a lot of math lessons that could be tied into it with older children.
We also skipped the step of painting the cardboard just because we were running short on time. Our plan is to try some of the Spanish dances using the fan (and the one I bought for her in Epcot). We'll see if we find time soon.

We also took time today to read through Food in Spain by Nancy Loewen. Much of the information I wrote about Spain came from this book and the rest came from Wikipedia.

We also have been enjoying some stories from Spain. We took all of these out of the library. I would like to comment on Princess Florecita and the Iron Shoes by John Warren Stewig. This is a wonderful story where the princess hears about a prince in needing saving and she goes through a great deal to find him and save him. It is a nice twist on common tales of the prince saving the maiden. Medio Pollito means half chicken and that is who the main character is. A chicken who was born with only half a body (one leg, one wing, etc.) and it is his adventure traveling and how he helps others and then they repay him when he finds himself in hot water (literally being made into soup). 

So that was our adventure in Spain thus far (we may try another recipe soon). I have to admit I was sad to see that Epcot did not have Spain as one of its countries in its World Showcase. I saw recently that they will be adding it, but unfortunately for us it will be too late to have been included in this month's adventures. We did however enjoy seeing France which was our adventure in April. Unfortunately the only pictures I took in France were of the kids with Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). We also spent some time in the Canada exhibit, but it was mostly a movie so I don't have pictures really from there either. Oh, well. I am sure I will find some good resources when we get there.

Also for your own passport check out this link from Glittering Muffins and for a fun placemat, this link.