Merry Christmas from Italy! (Or at least the Italian sector of our house…) We had a great time learning about Italian Christmas traditions today. We started with basic geography–where Italy is on the map, what it’s shaped like (Turkey and Bunny were very amused to realize it looks like a boot!), and what that type of land is called (a peninsula). Turkey also pointed out, with no prompting, that Florida is also a peninsula–proud Mommy moment for that one!
We read two stories from the Lion Storyteller Christmas Book–the first was about Saint Francis and the first Christmas pageant. This led to a discussion about the use of nativity scenes in homes in both Italy and America. We then made a foam nativity scene from a kit I picked up at Michael’s. It will be a cold day when I get another one of those things, but the end result was pretty cute, and Turkey and Bunny enjoyed helping me put it together (they didn’t get to help as much as I had hoped, because I had to get out the hot glue gun, so they had to back off, lest they burn themselves like I did, several times no less!).
We had two different Italy coloring sheets, too. One, from our Christmas Around the World coloring book, was of a living nativity, much like the one Saint Francis put together in our story. The other picture (of La Befana) was actually from a coloring book we picked up at our Christmas field trip over the weekend. Our second story was about the legend of La Befana, so the two fit together nicely. Using that story as a bit of a springboard, we also talked a little about the wise men, and listened to the hymn, “What Child is This?”
Our big “taste” of Italy, though, was our dinner tonight. I decided to be adventurous and try out a recipe for Zuppa Toscana I found online. It was quite a bit of work to put together, but it was really delicious, and Turkey and Bunny both enjoyed sampling food from Italy.
We will continue our trip around the world on Monday…until then, Buon Natale!