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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bonjour from France!

 For the second week of Summer Camp we traveled to France! I couldn't wait for the week to start and we all had such a fun time immersing our campers in French culture!
We started out by reading this adorable book:
It hits all the hightlights of Mr. Chicken's vacation and all the most famous landmarks and sightseeing locations.

After we read our book, we learned how to make "pain perdu"(also known as French toast) for breakfast/ Here the kids are smelling the cinnamon. Yum!
I made the first half, then Ms. Angela took over as our French toast chef! Hers were really crispy around the edges and delicious!
The campers had seconds because they were so good.

Dining on French cuisine. :)
One of the centers we had set up was the "French Market." We learned about France's many outdoor markets were you can buy fruit, fish, bread, baked goods and flowers. We set up our own market and the flowers were inexpensive silk flowers that the campers could make bouquets with. Behind this, there was a table with a table cloth and chairs for a cafĂ©. 
They loved using baskets to shop and we had tons of plastic croissants, baguettes, rolls and boules to choose from as well as different types of cheese!  
The marketplace got a lot of business.

At art we painted the French Flag.
The noticed right away that America shares colors with France.
We also learned that France gave us our Statue of Liberty as a gift! They have a smaller version on the banks of the Seine river in France. Here they are below.
Amy had a cool VTech Globe that we explored.
And I drove everyone crazy finding great music by French musicians! We listened to Debussy, Stravinsky, and Bizet. Here's some Debussy:
And some Carmen by Bizet:
We also read about Le Cordon Bleu in Paris which is a culinary institute where great chefs learn to cook! We cooked up some playdough in centers.
We also learned about Paris Fashion Week. It is an apparel trade show held semi-annually in Paris, France with Spring / Summer and Autumn / Winter events held each year. Ms. Ashli, who studied Fashion Design, was kind enough to help orchestrate a one of a kind fashion show! She made signs, had a runway and we had some super trendy runway music, too!
Campers choose from a large selection of fashion wear and prepared to walk the runway.
We learned how to do the fashion walk and pose.
The amount of adorable was pretty out of control.

Here, one of our helpers gives clothing suggestions behind the scenes.
They could have done this forever.
In Art, we watercolored a Paper City Paris. I found this amazing freebie from Made by Joel. Thanks for sharing, Joel!
We painted the Cathedral of Notre Dame and a Bakery, complete with tiny Parisians and cars to complete the set.
Joel gives directions to turn his adorable artwork into a paper doll sort of playset.
Next, we read about the Eiffel Tower, and one of our budding designers made this structure inspired by the Eiffel tower.
We read one of my favorite stories:
It had the Eiffel Tower on the cover! I also had some Madeline dolls, so we reinacted the story with the dolls.

Next, we tried a Pinterest inspired craft....constructing the Eiffel Tower out of sugar wafers and icing. It was challenging, and the campers needed some help, but it was a successful activity that they loved.
We might have eaten a few as we constructed :)
We added the tiny flags last!
Next up, the Tour de France, or rather in our case, the Tour de ECDC! Each cyclist received a number for the race. We talked some about the race in France (hold all your Lance Armstrong jokes, sadly we left him out!) and then we set up a course around the back of the ECDC.
Cyclists line up.
And, they're off! Spectators ran along the sidelines with encouragement.
Finally, to the finish line!
We had several sets of races to accomodate everyone and Ms. Ashli helped some competitors. She was like, hmmm, a personal trainer. 
Here's a winner!
One of my favorite acitivites we did was Plein Air paintings. Plein Air is an expression used by the French which means "in the open air" and is generally used to refer to the act of painting outdoors. Many of the Masters painting outdoors in France over the years. We set up easels and invited our artists to paint the nature around them.
This was by far one of the favorite activities all week.
They took their artwork very seriously.

After we went in, we talked about some of the Masters that studied in Paris, particularly Pablo Picasso. Although he was from Spain, Picasso lived a great in France for a number of years. We did some Silly Face paintings.
Rebeka led our artists as they used oil pastels to draw facial features.
Next, they filled in their artwork with watercolors.

After learning about the Lourve, the most famous art museum in France, we set up our own art museum!

At the end of the week we had a French "gouter" which is an afternoon snack! The children in France are pretty serious about their gouter and never miss it! They can have anything, a small cake or toast for their gouter, but we had several types of cheese, a baguette, and grapes for ours! We sampled brie, French goat cheese and cream cheese. They were great and tried all of it!
Here's the girls enjoying their gouter.
We wrapped up camp by having splash time outside and then watching Ratatouille! It was a great wrap up to our travels to France!
Next week we will travel to Ireland....where we will explore the Emerald Isle, Celtic music and make Irish Soda bread. :) For more ideas for social studies ideas about France, check out my Summer Camp France Pinboard! Have a great week :)