We explored two more of our culture swap packages this week. I thought we would do them together as they were both from the US - from the states of North Carolina and Oregon. It has been a while since we looked at Mexico, but I wanted to make sure we did the packages justice by having a long time slot for it, as I know how long we spent putting ours together! These boxes have really given Harry a feel for the USA in terms of it being made up of different states.
Here was our package from North Carolina. There was a lot here to interest Harry! He loved the pirate connection and we played a few games pretending to be Blackbeard sheltering in the North Carolina inlets. The photos of crops growing were interesting, especially the peanuts as we have been using peanuts for Five in a Row recently. The cookie cutters are great and we can't wait to use them - there is a USA map shape and a foot shape to represent the 'tar heel' State. I will use the USA map shape every time we cover something US related :-)
I chose some of the State facts that I thought would interest Harry. We talked about the first airplane flights a lot (which took place in North Carolina), emerald mining and lighthouses.
Harry and Peter both loved the USA flag and it has even been taken out to the park to show a friend who is originally from the US. We talked about the stars representing the States. He said that he remembered seeing the flag on the Olympics!
Peter loves stickers at the moment and he enjoyed decorating his beloved penguins with some of the stickers.
We followed a recipe for sweet tea, which is popular in North Carolina. Here is the tea steeping.
And our finished article. Harry tasted it 3 times but couldn't be persuaded. Peter kept coming back for more! I wasn't sure I liked it at first but it grew on me.
We did some crayon rubbings of the shells.
We made a giant collage of North Carolina, including lighthouse pictures, the North Carolina State flag, stencils of airplanes with the stencils from the package and Harry's sponge paint version of the State flower. This is still on the wall in the playroom.
The flag in the Oregon package was very popular too (the State flag this time). The sweets were called salt water taffy. I really liked this but Harry was not keen! We looked it up on wikipedia and found it had quite an interesting beginning.
He enjoyed doing the Oregon jigsaw
We then matched up the pictures on the postcards to the landmarks shown on the jigsaw. He really liked Mount Hood and was amazed that it is always covered in snow. He actually built a soft play tower this week and called it Mount Hood!
The printables included in the package were good for Harry and Peter's ages and they enjoyed colouring and looking at the birds especially. We have talked a lot about the fact that US States are different and can almost be like different countries, even with their own laws. As they are represented by different flags, we have talked about what is shown in the flags and that images on flags are symbols to represent things characteristic of that area/State/Country.
The family included a book about the history of their town, which had been written by members of their family. There were some fabulous photos in here and Harry was really interested in the old farming photos showing the hop yards. We talked about hops and beer brewing.
These packages have been so interesting and have really given us an insight into North Carolina and Oregon. We have a package from New Zealand still to look at, which we will do soon.