Showing posts with label Virtual Flat Stanley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virtual Flat Stanley. Show all posts

Our Virtual Flat Stanley is in Kenya!

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

This month we are "traveling" with Around the World in 12 Dishes to Kenya and it seems only appropriate that is where our Flat Stanley is as well this month! This month's Flat Stanley comes from the children of Andrea at Ziezo - Crafting and Living in Kenya. Now in the past we have posted about Kenya. Our first was when Hazel did a post card exchange with Andrea's children. We also posted about Christmas in Kenya for the Christmas Around the World Blog Hop. Then we posted about a wonderful book, A Kenyan Christmas by Aunty Kiko which Andrea was kind enough to send me for my research on Christmas in Kenya. Since we have done a bit about Kenya itself and will do more next Tuesday for our Around the World in 12 Dishes post, I thought we would focus on the Maasai people there.

The Maasai (sometimes spelled Masai or Masaai) are an ethnic group of people in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. They are a well known group due to their location near many game parks in Eastern Africa and for their distinctive customs and dress. They are well known for their jewelry.
Although the governments of Kenya and Tanzania have programs to encourage the Maasai to give up their semi-nomadic way of life, they continue their old customs. The speak Maa, but are also educated in English and Swahili (the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania). 

The Maasai are a patriarchal group with the elder males sometimes making decisions for the entire Maasai group. They have a full body of oral law and most disputes are settled with a payment of cattle.  Many Maasai have become Christian and a lesser number Muslim. Their wealth is seen as the number of cattle and children. Their lives center around cattle since it is their main food source. Due to high infant death rates, children are not truly recognized until they are three moons. End of life is non-ceremonial with the Maasai. Bodies are left out for the scavengers. (Source)
Bridal Set of Necklaces (Source)

The Maasai live in a Kraal, which is a hut village or typically a group of huts surrounded by a stockade. (Source) The Maasai's is arranged in a circular fashion and the fence is made out of acacia thorns which keep the lions from attacking the cattle. It is the men's responsibility to build the fence and the women's to build the hut. Traditionally extended family share a Kraal, but with new land management system it is unusual to see a single family in a Kraal. The Inkajijik is the Maasai word for house. They are loaf shaped and made out of mud, sticks, cow dung, cow urine and grass. Women build the house as well as supply the water, collect firewood, milk the cattle, and cook for the family. Warriors are in charge of security while boys are in charge of the livestock care. With the arrival of formal schooling, the livestock care has become a parental responsibility while the boys are in school

Livestock is important to the economy of the Maasai. It is their primary source of income. The livestock they have are cattle, sheep and goats. A Maasai prayer is "May Creator give us cattle and children," or "Meishoo iyiook enkai inkishu o-nkera". 

The Maasai diet traditionally consists of meat, milk, and blood from the cattle. People drink blood on special occasions such as a circumcised person, a woman who gave birth or the sick and it is also used for intoxicated or hungover people. More recently the Maasai have become dependent on food produced other places like maize, rice, potatoes and cabbage. Some Maasai who live near crop farmers are forced to farm and use their own products as their main source of food. This is traditionally frowned upon by the Maasai since it is believed that tiling the ground is a crime against nature. (Source)

The Maasai hunt lions. It is a sign of bravery to hunt a lion in the Maasai culture. Due to a decrease in the number of lions though, they now have group lion hunts instead of solo ones. They are hoping to give the lions a chance to increase their numbers again. Since the Maasai believe females are the giver of life in any species they do not hunt the female lions. They also have laws against hunting lions hurt by drought, snared or poisoned.  From the lion they take the mane, tail and claws. The women take the mane and beautifully bead it and give it back to the warrior. When the warrior becomes a junior elder he must through away the lion mane, however first he treat it with respect by sacrificing a sheep and rubbing the mane with a mixture of sheep oil and ochre. (Source)
Warrior Shield for Lion Hunting (Source)

With that we will stop looking at the Maasai. Now you will have to wait until next month to see where Flat Stanley shows up. And if you are interested in hosting Flat Stanley where you live, please check out the information here.

Flat Stanley/Sophia So Far (top 3 are Hazel's)


Passport for our Virtual Exploring

The other day I was exploring on line and discovered a neat site, Making Friends. What caught my eye was their Thinking Day Passports. Making Friends sells the passports, but offers free printables of country fact pages.  I thought about how neat it would be to make Hazel a passport for all the places we have explored with Around the World in 12 Dishes, Fairy Tales in Different Cultures, and just some of our Multicultural Monday posts. I did not want to spend money on this or at least not much. I also wanted to make a passport for Flat Stanley, so we could keep track of where he goes. 

I designed a cover for them. If you would like one without a name, it is available here.I found some spiral notebooks at AC Moore on sale for 75 cents each and bought two (well four, but two are for Hazel and her friend). Then I printed out the countries that Making Friends had including the United States since that is where both started out. I made an inside cover sheet with their name, picture and such and also made fact cards for Finland and The Netherlands since Making Friends did not have them yet. A blank version of the inside cover and the pages for Finland and The Netherlands are available here. I used Wikipedia and Eupedia as sources for these (and copied much of it from them).
I took pictures of the cover, the traveler information and one country for each passport. I let Hazel glue the pages in so some of them are not very straight. Then I added pictures for each country of the things we have done with them in hers and of Flat Stanley from the country.

I think they will be a great place for Hazel to learn even more about each country and to remember what we did when exploring each one. What do you think?

Also provided by Glittering Muffins for Around the World in 12 Dishes here is a passport page for Spain this link  and for a fun Spain-themed placemat, this link. Here is the Finland passport and the Finland-themed placemat.
The France coloring placemat right here and the passport right here. The Ireland coloring placemat right here and the passport right here (the cover for the passport is right here for you!).

Virtual Flat Stanley Travels to...

This month our Virtual Flat Stanley made his way from the Netherlands back over the Atlantic Ocean to Canada--Quebec, Canada to be a bit more specific. Our Flat Stanley this month comes from D in Quebec Canada. D's mom blogs over at The Usual Mayhem. If you have not checked out The Usual Mayhem, you really should. She always is sharing such wonderful ideas. She also co-hosts The Outdoor Play Party. It is always full of great ideas to do with your kids outside!
For those who are unfamiliar with our Virtual Flat Stanley Series, at the end of April, my aunt asked me to help out with her step-granddaughter's school project. The Flat Stanley they sent overseas was never returned, so she needed one to turn in quickly. I had the idea (since one from the same state did not seem all that exciting) to ask some of my fellow bloggers from around the world. Then as I started receiving pictures and short descriptions from various places I thought it would be a neat way to explore other cultures and places and for my readers (even those without a blog) to join in the fun. So if you want to participate (and I hope you do) you can visit this post for all the details and the template. Then you just need a child or children to decorate your Flat Stanley (or Flat Sophia) in a way that someone might dress in your area of the world. Take a picture of your Flat Stanley with your child (if you are willing to have me post a picture of your child on Crafty Moms Share) or just a picture of Flat Stanley. You can also take your Flat Stanley sight seeing and take pictures to make it even more interesting. Email me the pictures and a short description of where you live and I do the rest. We have made three Flat Sophias at my house already. We had to duplicate the first one which I mailed to my aunt and Hazel has enjoyed making them so much she wanted to keep doing it.
Vertical triband (red, white, red) with a red maple leaf in the centre

First a bit about the country of Canada. Canada is in North America and consists of ten provinces and three territories. It is the second largest country by land mass in the world and shares the longest land border shared by two countries with the United States. 
Projection of North America with Canada in green

 Canada is a federal state governed by a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. Since it had both French and English settlers as well as various aboriginals it is diverse and is official a bilingual country as well as a multicultural one. (Source)

A clickable map of Canada exhibiting its ten provinces and three territories, and their capitals.

Now for a bit about Quebec. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area. It is the second most populous province behind Ontario. The majority of the people live between Montreal and Quebec City (the capital).  Quebec is located in the Eastern part of Canada and its land is nearly three times the size of France or Texas. Most of its land is very sparsely populated. Quebec is the only province in Canada that is mainly Francophone. The official language in Quebec is French and according to a 2006 Census 97.4% of the citizens of Quebec are fluent in French.


The name Quebec comes from an aboriginal word which means the river narrows. It refers to the area near Quebec City where the St. Lawrence River narrows. French Explorer Samuel de Champlain named the colonial outpost Quebec in 1608. 

Quebec has one of the world's largest reserves of  fresh water. Quebec has four climate zones. Much of it is subarctic, however there also arctic, humid continental and East maritime. In summer the average temperatures range from 41 °F to 77 °F and in the winter from −13 °F to 14 °F.  
The average amount ofsnow in Quebec City is around three meters. (Source)

In Canada they serve homemade cake with a wrapped coin between the layers
at birthday parties. The cake is decorated with colored sugar sprinkles. The 
child who gets the coin in his or her cake will be the first child playing each 
game. At the parties children receive colorful party favors called crackers. 
These are tubes wrapped in crepe paper. They pop when you pull a paper 
strip. Inside there is a small gift--a fortune or hat. (Source) In Quebec, the 
birthday person receives a punch for each year plus one for good luck.(Source)
In Quebec an alternate text of the song Gens du pays, by Gilles Vigneault is sung at the birthday party. (Source)
Flat Stanley's Travels So Far
 The Different Flat Stanleys/Sophias Thus Far

Hazel's first

Hazel's Second

Hazel's Third

The Netherlands

Virtual Flat Stanley in the Netherlands

So last week I introduced our Virtual Flat Stanley Series. Flat Stanley is based on the book, Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. There are now a series of these easy reader books about a boy named Stanley who is made flat when a bulletin board falls on him during the night. He is flat and small enough to be mailed in an envelope to travel.

Now this series began because my aunt emailed me a couple of weeks ago to help her step-granddaughter with her school Flat Stanley project. The Flat Stanley template they mailed to England never got returned, so she had nothing for the project. Since I live in the same state, I thought it might be fun for her to have some from around the world--even if they were just pictures due to time constraints. I e-mailed a few blogger friends and got a few responses. Now we are opening it up to anyone who wants to participate. You can get more information here.

Today Flat Stanley is in the Netherlands!
The first person who responded to my request was from E Strea Chikitu in the Netherlands. For those who have not had the pleasure of visiting this wonderful blog, you will often see her beautiful creations there--often crocheted and she even gives the patterns sometimes. Oh, how I wish I could crochet better. I may attempt it again after seeing her beautiful creations.

Now some information about this particular Flat Stanley:

On April 30th our queen handed over her crown to her oldest son. And so we have a new King this week.Our oldest daughter gave Stanley woodden shoes and Dutch National colors so he will be ready to celebrate The Crowningsday.Stanley is in our front yard with Rozemarijn. We put out the flag since it's our new Kings birthday today.

This picture is for the prince becoming king.
You can see more pictures of honoring the new king at E Chikitu Strea .

Hazel and I wanted to explore The Netherlands a bit more. After all the whole point of this series to learn more about other places. Luckily we had a few books from the library and found some crafts and coloring pages at DLTK's Crafts for Kids. The first book we have out is Easy Breakfasts From Around the World by Sheila Griffin Llanas. Now we had this book for Around the World in 12 Dishes, so you will see it again soon as we do our post about Finland.

This book is wonderful because it gives a little introduction to each country and then an easy recipe for a breakfast there. So our breakfast from the Netherlands was Anijsmelk and Hagelslag. Anijsmelk is warm milk flavored with anise seeds and honey or sugar. Hazel loved it!! I was actually surprised at how good it was since I am not usually a fan of anise seeds. Then Hagelslag is toast with chocolate sprinkles on it. Now we didn't have any chocolate sprinkles, but we had leftover Christmas sprinkles so we used those.
We also had some Gouda cheese. We made Hazel's toast and cheese into butterflies. We happened to use whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread for the toast. Oh, and we cut up some apple since breakfast in our house is not complete without some fruit.
Crushing the Anise Seeds

Hazel enjoyed playing chef. We made this when she stayed home with a cold the other day, so it gave her something fun to do in the morning.
Stirring the Anijsmelk
Spreading butter on the toast
Her favorite part was of course putting on the sprinkles. I have to admit we had red and green sprinkles all over our kitchen after this breakfast.

We also wanted to learn a bit about the culture. We did some coloring pages where we saw the wooden clogs similar to the ones on Flat Stanley as well as windmills and tulips. Plus of course a map and a flag.
We also made a windmill from a toilet paper roll. We got his craft from DLTK.
Steven was surprised when Hazel told him about the windmills in the Netherlands. 

We also took out of the library Birthdays Around the World by Mary D. Lankford. Now since one of Hazel's dolls or stuffed animal has a birthday every day, we can say she loves birthdays. So I thought she might enjoy hearing some of the customs in other countries. This book gives a little introduction about each country as well. For example it tells us at The Netherlands means the low lands. It also goes into how the windmills were used to pump water from the land. Now they use diesel and electric pumps.
In the Netherlands, the family often decorates a birthday chair. They may use garland called slingers. The birthday child often gets to choose the food for the evening meal and stays up later than usual. Traditionally they have very rich and elaborate pastries called gebakjes. A birthday cake is served without candles. For a very large or special birthday they may have an ice cream cake. A game often played at a party is Koekhappen. Children are blindfolded and try to eat a soft cookie hanging on a string. Another traditional birthday game is Zacdoekje Leggen or Drop the Handkerchief. Children sit in a circle and one child is It. The It child walks around the circle and if they catch someone not paying attention they drop the handkerchief behind that child and then that child has to chase the It child around the circle. If they tag the It child they get to sit back down, but if the It child makes it back to the empty spot in the circle, the new child is It. Editorial Note: I have been informed that the family with this wonderful Flat Stanley does put candles in the birthday cakes.

So that is what we learned while Flat Stanley is in the Netherlands. We hope you will join us next week to see where Flat Stanley is visiting.

Netherlands photo FlatStanleyNetherlands_zpscb0ff849.jpg

Flat Stanley's Travels
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More Flat Stanley/Sophias

Do you have a great idea for a Mother's Day gift made by a child? Please share them here!

Flat Stanley Button photo FlatStanleybuttons-001_zps728ef70f.jpg
Yesterday I shared our idea of a Virtual Flat Stanley. I thought I would share two more Flat Sophias we have made and the rough idea of the paragraph we are looking for from people.

 Hazel wanted us to duplicate the original Flat Sophia we made for my aunt. Unfortunately Daddy cleaned up our supplies by throwing them away so we did not have the same paper for the top. This was our substitute one where we cut a doily for the lace trim.
 Hazel was really excited when I braided this one's hair so it would look like her. She wanted this one to wear a dress as well. We used craft tape for the ribbon.

Now for a sample paragraph:

My name is Hazel and I am four-years-old. I live North of Boston in Massachusetts which is in the United States. We took Flat Sophia to the Saugus Iron Works. This is a reconstruction of the first successful iron works in the New World. Unfortunately the Iron Works was not open for the season yet, so we only got a picture by the sign and the gate. Then we took Flat Sophia to the library and went to a Mother Goose Story Time there. All the kids got stamps on their hands, so Ms. Martha stamped Flat Sophia for us.

You can put in as much information about where you live as you want. When I use it, I will do some research as well.

Then I went to PicMonkey to try to add a picture to the button. If you save the button on your computer you can add your Flat Stanley/Sophia picture to the button as your own overlay in the Edit. Here is how ours looks.
Please visit our original Virtual Flat Stanely/Sophia post for all the details and the template!

Virtual Flat Stanley/Sophia

Do you have a great idea for a Mother's Day gift made by a child? Please share them here!
Flat Stanley Button photo FlatStanleybuttons-001_zps728ef70f.jpg
In my last post, I mentioned that my aunt contacted me to help with her step-granddaughter's Flat Stanley project. The person they sent it to never returned it and it is due soon. Since I live in the same state as them, I had the idea of contacting some of my blogger friends from around the world to give her more exciting stories to share. Then I had the idea of sharing some Flat Stanleys or Sophias on my blog so we could "visit" different parts of the world in the eyes of children. Are you interested in joining us? Read on for more details.

So for our invitation I thought I would start with our Flat Sophia (we made her a girl) and the adventure we took her on. First we decorated Stanley and decided he needed to be female. (I should add that this is our first one, we have to make a duplicate one to keep and another one just because she wants to have different clothes on it.)
Then we took Flat Sophia to see some local sights. We started with a National Historic Site nearby but it was not open (until next week). We took a picture by the sign anyway.
Then we went to our local library to look for the Flat Stanley book by Jeff Brown. I figured it was always good for Hazel to know the story of how Stanley became flat. (A bulletin board falls on him while he is sleeping.)
We also had two of the librarians pose with Hazel and Flat Sophia.
Then we found out there was a Mother Goose Story Time starting in five minutes so we went to it. All the children got stamps on their hands so we asked Ms. Martha for a stamp for Flat Sophia to show the class she went to the story time. Now we have to mail her and our pictures to my aunt.

We have also been hearing from some of our friends around the world with their Flat Stanleys. I am going to share one each week with you so we can learn a bit about the world together. If you are interested in joining us, print out this template and decorate your Flat Stanley/Sophia in a manner a child might dress in your area of the world. Then take your Flat Stanley some place in your area and take a picture of him/her with or without your child (depending on if you want pictures of your child shared here). E-mail me your pictures, your child's name or nickname and age, where you are from and where you took your Flat Stanley and any other wonderful information about your hometown, region, country that you might want to share (and if you want me to mention and link it to your blog, please make sure I have your blog name). By participating you are giving me permission to post your pictures and information you provide here at Crafty Moms Share and all of its social media connected with it. So tune in next week when I will share our first Flat Stanley adventure from a reader of Crafty Moms Share! And then you can help spread the word about our traveling Flat Stanley by posting a button on your blog. (I left the picture out of it so you can add your own picture in PicMonkey. Just right click the button and save it so you can bring it up in PicMonkey and add your picture.)

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