As we entered Spain, we started out by making Spain's flag. We have been making the flag related to the country we are studying every Monday of camp, and I think it would be really cool to add some binder rings and make a book out of all the flags!
Next, we read about Spanish culture and how people live in Spain. One of the interesting things we learned about was Flemenco Dancing. We found some examples and we watched and then attempted to make some Flemenco music and dancing at circle time! Here's an example of the dancing:
After getting out some musical instruments we watched and listened so we could re-create the music!
We did the Spanish Tango....
And made some great music.
It can be hard to find relatable social studies activities for preschoolers, but I did a little reaching. :) We read that the custom of piñatas, now popular in Mexico, was actually a Spanish custom that was brought over by Spanish Missionaries to Mexico a long, long time ago! We also learned that people still use piñatas in Spain for celebrations. So we got busy making our own!
With that old reliable concoction of flour, water and salt, we made our own paper mache piñatas.
It was a wonderful messy activity that everyone enjoyed participating in.
After the paper mache had dried and we popped the balloons, Ms. Courtney and one of our campers started painting our piñata.
Yay! Finished product, painted, filled with candy and ready to be pummeled to pieces.
Except for the fact that the bottom cracked. Oh, the best intentions...
After examining the weak spots in our project, we put our heads together to come up with a new plan.
Someone suggested we just "throw it really high in the air and let it smash to pieces." All campers eagerly agreed that smashing was the best idea. I love 4 & 5 year olds. They can be so easy to please and not easily deterred by things not going as planned unlike us adults at times. They were just as thrilled with this idea as the original one. So...we threw it high and smashed it and candy went everywhere. :)
Then we compared and examined and traded our spoils. All's well that ends well.
We also learned that Spain is famous for their olives and that they have over 200 varieties of olives! We read that the Spanish enjoy tapas, which are snacks and finger foods eaten with small picks. After learning about these things, Ms. Angela set up an olive bar in our classroom! We had small picks to eat our olives with. SO many campers tried and loved the olives, I was surprised.
Mmmmm, my fave!
In art we made Papel picado, which literally means 'punched' or 'perforated' paper. This traditional cut paper folk art is found throughout Mexico and was introduced by the Spanish in the former colonies of Spain.
You cut tissue paper much like you would cut a coffee filter to make a snowflake. This was great because the campers could do it themselves!
After cutting out the tissue we chose a color to glue it on.
Or we used them as a hat first... :)
And, the finished products turned out really cool.
We also made a really yummy Spanish treat...after learning that kids in Spain enjoy hot chocolate and churros, we made some of our own!
The ingredients for the hot chocolate:
Hot chocolate in Spain is very rich and thick. It is supposed to be thick enough that you can stand your churro in it. After thickening ours up, Ms. Angela served it to our campers.
The churros on the other hand, were from Costco. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And we weren't doing hot oil in the classroom, so these worked out perfectly.
This snack definitely hit the spot. And even though it's a thousand degrees outside, we still loved the hot chocolate.
Some of us even got Matador mustaches from our hot chocolate.
Enjoying our Spanish snack...
Next, we read The Story of Ferdinand. I love this story.
After reading the book, and discussing bull fighting and the famous Bull Run in Madrid, we headed out into the Texas heat to have our own Bull Run. We chose some bulls and then made them paper plate horns.
Here the bulls have been separated and are ready to be "pinned" before the run.
Runners mentally prepared themselves.
And, the bulls were released! We ran down our "alley" away from the bulls!
Some people almost got poked by those angry bulls!
After the run, we needed to cool off and get some water!
We wrapped up the week watching The Road to El Dorado. It was perfect because it was about Spanish explorers in ancient Mexico.
And that's Adios to Spain! Even though I had to stretch a little for some activities, this was a fun filled week. We really enjoyed learning about Spain and by the time the week was over, we were ready for a Siesta. :) Now there's a cultural idea I could get behind! Have a great week friends!