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.

Virtual Book Club for Kids--Extraordinary Egg

It is time for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month the author is Leo Lionni. The book we will be featuring is An Extraordinary Egg. If you have any activities, crafts, etc. to go along with a Leo Lionni book, you can share it below!
An Extraordinary Egg is about three frogs who live on an island. Two of the frogs like to stay near their inlet while Jessica likes to explore the island. Jessica is always bringing back things from her explorations that she thinks are extraordinary. One day she brings back a large white pebble. This time Marilyn and August were truly astonished and Marilyn told them it was not a pebble, but a chicken egg.  Since Jessica had never heard of a chicken, she believed Marilyn.

The egg hatched and a long, green, scaly animal came out and asked where the water was. The frogs called this animal, Chicken. Chicken was a very good swimmer and taught the frogs some tricks in the water. One day Chicken saved Jessica's life when she was stuck in some plants at the bottom of the pond. From that day on, they were inseparable. Chicken joined Jessica on her explorations. One day a bird spoke to Chicken saying her mother has been looking for her. The bird took them to Chicken's mother. Chicken's mother called Chicken her little alligator. Jessica went home and told Marilyn and August all about it. They found it so funny that the mother called a chicken a little alligator.

Reading this book got us to thinking about what animals lay eggs. We too out Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller to learn more. We learned the word oviparous which is the name for any animal that lays an egg. The oviparous animals are all birds, most snakes, lizards, crocodiles, alligators, turtles, dinosaurs (did), frogs, toads, salamanders, fish, seahorse, octopus, moonsnails, spiders, snails, insects, and the two mammals are the spiny anteater and the duckbill platypus (both mammals live in Australia). We used this information for our activity. We did it two ways: one with a homemade egg craft and one with plastic eggs.
With the plastic eggs, I collected some of the animals that would lay eggs and put them inside the plastic eggs. (Yes, I bought a Toob of animals for this, but used many we already had as well). Then Hazel opened each one to see what was inside. Our flamingo did not fit into the large plastic egg we had, but we pretended it did since flamingos lay the largest eggs of all birds. The animals we had were chick, duck, frog, alligator, flamingo, goose, turtle, beetle and dinosaur. She really enjoyed this activity and it was very easy to do since we had not put away our plastic Easter eggs yet.

Our next activity involved making three paper mache eggs. We did this by blowing up three water balloons and then covering them in strips of tissue paper dipped in a glue and water mix. Then we left them to dry overnight. When they were dry, I popped the balloons and slid an animal into each one. I had to cut the hole a bit bigger for the animals to go in.
Our Eggs
Then I lined them up and had Hazel guess which one was the alligator, the chicken and the goose eggs. She discovered she could see in the holes and changed her mind on all of them after peeking. Then she took away the eggs and animals so she could play with them.

That is our exploration of An Extraordinary Egg. Have you done some activities with a Leo Lionni book? Share it below and join all these wonderful bloggers who host the Virtual Book Club for Kids each month. 

Toddler Approved - Rainy Day Mum - Adventures in Reading with Kids - 3 Dinosaurs - Royal Baloo - The Educators' Spin On It - Inspiration Laboratories - Pleasantest Thing - Edventures with Kids - Two Big Two Little - Playing With Words 365 - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Outlaw Mom - Mommy and Me Book Club - Crafty Moms Share - No Twiddle Twaddle - The Good Long Road - Ready. Set. Read 2 Me - Reading Confetti - Mama Smiles - Juggling with Kids- Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Creekside Learning - Creative Family Fun - The Usual Mayhem - Teach Preschool - PlayDrMom - CraftoArt - Here Come the Girls - Being a Conscious Parent - Smiling like Sunshine - Crayon Freckles - Train Up a Child - Smile Play Learn - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Coffee Cups and Crayons - Having Fun at Chelle's House- Love, Play, Learn - Juggling With Kids - Motherhood on a Dime - Growing Book By Book
Click to sign up for Virtual Book Club for Kids Summer Camp

An Upcoming Event: This summer there will be a Virtual Book Club Summer Camp at home for 5 weeks. Each week will feature a different theme and you will be asked to share links based on those topics--they do not have to be from books. To sign up, click on the button above! It starts June 24th and is geared to 2 to 8-year-olds.

Sharing Saturday 13-20

Sharing Saturday Button

This week I managed to visit all of the posts shared last week, but I still have not visited the ones I missed for last week. So sorry!! Life has been a bit crazy. We have decided to change Hazel's school and for the past month we were dealing with issues, making the decision and then visiting schools to make the next decision. Now the decision is made, so hopefully things will calm down. If you have not had a chance to visit the 84 wonderful ideas shared last week, you really should!! They are so inspiring!!

We will start with our most clicked which was a wonderful round up of advice on making Mother's Day or Teacher Appreciation Gifts and making it a Montessori activity, plus ideas for gifts. This was from Living Montessori Now.

A Few of My Favorites
1) From My Nearest and Dearest: Recycled Outdoor Music Station

2) From Rubberboots and Elf Shoes: Mr. Picasso Flowers

3) From Bridgit's Bell: In Praise of Dandelions 

4) From The Craft Train: Paper Dream Catchers

5) From The Measured Mom: Free Word Family Game: Uno

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here or earlier this week, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


Featured Button Code:

From Your Hostess:
Another busy week but we shared An Egyptian Cinderella, a Dramatic Play Ice Cream Shop (so easy and cheap to set up), and Luke's Beach Day--Review of a Kid's Yoga Book!
Now for This Week's Party 
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the newly updated button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook and Google+
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

Luke's Beach Day--Book Review

 Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a wonderful book that will be available to purchase on June 1st. Luke's Beach Day by Giselle Shardlow is a wonderful story about a class visiting the ocean in Australia. You can check out Giselle's blog at The story follows a group of three students as they explore the sea and with each thing they see and do there is a yoga stretch to try. This was Hazel's first exposure to yoga. She has done stretches in both dance and gymnastic classes, but never had to hold the poses or even get in some of the positions. 

Since we have an advanced copy, we have it on the computer. Hazel was so excited to read a book on the computer again. Then we would try all the positions. I pulled my camera out for the first few, but realized Hazel would need more help than I expected to get her body to hold the positions. Here she is doing the sun salute.
There are several different levels to this book. It is a wonderful introduction to yoga. There are also issues of litter on the beach, teasing friends, treating animals, ocean safety, and of course since it takes place in Australia, the differences between an Australian beach to one in your own country (assuming you do not live in Australia). One of the yoga moves was the kangaroo hop. Hazel enjoyed this one, but the only picture I got is horrible of her. (I know some day she will be angry with me for posting it, but here it is.)
So on June 1st, look for this wonderful book. It will be available in both English and Spanish. Also stay tuned for possible giveaways.

Thank you, Giselle, for letting us preview this amazing book.

Ice Cream Shop--Dramatic Play

While touring a school yesterday (this is part of the stress and such I have been dealing with), Hazel had the best time playing with the ice cream shop that was set up in the PreK classroom. I promised her that if we continued the tour and left the room we would set one up at home. The set up in the classroom was simple--tins with large pom poms as scoops of ice cream labeled with ice cream flavors, two ice cream scoops, bowls, an empty root beer bottle and fancy cups for the root beer floats, spoons, a cash register and a telephone and a blackboard with the prices and such.
Bowl of Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

We of course did it with a bit more creativity. I added black dots to the white pom poms to make chocolate chip ice cream. (Hazel has informed me I need to make some cookie dough ice cream next.) We also thought about some toppings.
Using smaller pom poms for cherries, marshmallows, nuts, chocolate chips and tiny pom poms for candies. Then we put some longer skinny beads in a sprinkle jar for rainbow sprinkles.
Bowl of Chocolate Ice Cream with Sprinkles
Oh, the classroom also had some plastic ice cream cones. It took us awhile to find something to use, but we found these scented bubble ones. Our plan is to dump out the bubble liquids into our supplies for outside and just keep the ice cream cones. We need to do this with our "soda" bottle as well.
I bought her two scoops at the Dollar Tree as well as the plastic bowls. I found chocolate colored pom poms at Michaels and then discovered A.C. Moore had bags that only had the two inch pom poms in them (but no browns). We also found our sign/placemat at the Christmas Tree Shop. I added Hazel's nickname and shop to it.
Then I printed labels for the ice cream containers. I invaded our Tuperware cabinet and also picked up some at the Dollar Tree.

She now has nine flavors: strawberry, vanilla, black raspberry, blue raspberry, blueberry lemonade, chocolate, chocolate chip, orange sherbet, and lemon sherbet. Oh, and apparently she has an assistant.
But be careful when ordering, the assistant likes to attack feet if they get too close.
Hazel has no idea what a root beer float is, but she had to have the glasses like the classroom did. So we bought a few and got the bubble stuff in a "soda" bottle.
Root Beer Float
I tried to explain it to her, but since she has never liked anything to drink that is carbonated she really does not know what soda is.

Black Raspberry with Nuts

Now this is her favorite thing to play. She told me in bed tonight that she could not wait to play ice cream shop in the morning. 
Chocolate Ice Cream with a Cherry on Top

I think my activity tonight will be to find the instructions for felt popsicles I once saw on-line. 
Adding Sprinkles to Strawberry Ice Cream

Oh, and she is packing some of it up so she can take it in a truck and go around town. Her truck is a series of chairs and things all lined up behind her rocking horse (which she is really too big for but will not let us put it away). 

Ok, off to find some popsicle patterns. Have a great night/day! Do you want some ice cream?