Tag Archives: Geography

Day 161: Costa Rica/Panama

Geography Club was today. We studied Costa Rica and Panama.

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We looked at various maps, talked about the Panama Canal, read a story about cloud forest animals, listened to the sounds of howler monkeys and three-wattled bellbirds, tried a Costa Rican folkdance that involved twirling a scarf (harder than you’d think for little kids).  The kids took books and marked pages with pictures of animals or other things of interest to them, and then took turns showing everyone. We call this ‘research’ time. We looked at pictures of Costa Rican carretas (painted oxcarts) and decorated paper versions of them.

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We brought our old canal water table, that has ‘locks’ and a pump, to let everyone try moving a toy ship through the locks. (That was a pretty big hit, of course.)

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I brought a ball of masa dough and made tortillas, and let the younger kids try to shape their own.

Then we went home for a bit before Papa took the kids to ballet. Girl started learning the routine for the end of the year recital today, and you can tell she is proud, nervous, excited.

Day 160: Box Aquarium

Last night while I was at a meeting, Boy and Girl started working on a box aquarium, and they started this morning as soon as they’d gotten a quick bite to eat. They worked on the box aquarium on and off throughout the day. I have to say their teamwork was exceptional.

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Girl was feeling completely better, and made a drawing about that.

Girl drew this to celebrate her recovery, and as a PSA of sorts.
Girl drew this to celebrate her recovery, and as a PSA of sorts. “Things to do when you’re sick.”

Next, Girl found a box that said FRAGILE on the front of it and said she wanted to be a box troll. (Whose name, by the law of box trolls, would then be ‘Fragile.’) I cut out arm holes for her, and she put on her box and went out back to play with her brother, dad, and dog. I went out back to play with them a little, too.

Fragile swinging.
Fragile swinging.
Fragile playing basketball with Boy and Papa.
Fragile playing basketball with Boy and Papa.
Fragile hiding in her box.
Fragile hiding in her box.

When we came back in Papa made the kids some lunch while I got ready for my meeting with Miss P down the street, to make a plan for tomorrow’s Geography Club meeting (Tomorrow: Costa Rica and Panama). Before I left, I also made a worry doll, since I hadn’t gotten to finish the one I started during last week’s Geography Club meeting (wherein we studied Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua). All three age groups made worry dolls for a craft, but we all used a different method. I liked the way the oldest kids had done it, and tried that myself. Here she is.

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I’m hoping to do more with the kids. In fact, while I was gone, Girl made one of her own, and made her a little bed and a blanket. (Pictures to follow tomorrow; there’s not enough light now.)

When I got home, Papa made dinner so I could finish getting ready for our Costa Rica and Panama activities. I needed to find all of the pieces of our water table necessary to set up a lock and canal system (to illustrate the Panama Canal).

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I put it together, cleaned it, and made sure that everything still worked. Then I let the kids play with it while I cut out pieces for paper ox-carts, so the kids can make a Costa Rican carretas craft tomorrow. We didn’t really get a chance to practice our Costa Rican dance (featuring some fancy scarf twirling) and I didn’t get fish for ceviche. So we will wing the one, postpone the other (Colombians also love ceviche!), and I did manage to find video of howler monkeys and wattled bellbirds, two animals we’d been wondering about last week. I’ll be cooking corn tortillas for lunch tomorrow.