How on Earth can you condense a country like the United States on America into five short days? Really tricky! I thought of extending our America week to two weeks (or more), but decided that every country should have equal weighting on our journey, no matter how big or small.
Missy Moo had circled Alaska on the map, because it had a picture of a dog sled on it. So no drama, dog sledding would be our Monday activity!
We first attempted ice sleds. I had seen some great footage on youtube and was excited to try it out. We live on a big hill, so I thought it would be perfect. Check it out.
My kids got a bit nervous with it, and didn’t embrace it as much as I had hoped. We will try again in the future though, as this definitely has great potential.
In the afternoon on Monday we made more sleds out of old polystyrene boxes we had lying around. A bit of paint, and a rope handle and they were good to go. These were far more successful and a few weeks on both girls are still playing with them on a very regular basis; carting dolls around etc.
The next day we we off to sunny Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon. I got out my old photo album and showed the girls some of my old photos from when I visited by helicopter back in 2006. Then off to youtube for a fun video.
I was pleased to find this video series by Sesame Street and The National Park Service about the Garnd Canyon. They have 3 x 5 minute videos and suggested activites for your local area to do to compliment the videos. Fab!
Here’s a link to the complimentary activities; many iso appropriate too. Eg. visit your local park and observe the wildlife. Click here for more info.
After watching we had a go at some tearing and pasting to make our own versions of the Grand Canyon. Sure; Missy Moo’s didn’t turn out exactly as I pictured, but she was super pleased with herself and I have to remind myself that these activities are about process, not product.
On Wednesday it was time for a cook up! Of the many, many American dishes we could have made we went for pumpkin pie! A little bit different, and something I was reasonably confident my children would eat…. and they did!
We used this recipe and it was delicious; would make again for sure!
Give it a try, you might find you have almost all of these ingredients without even trying.
On Thursday it was time to duck down to Hawaii for a hula lesson and a bit of flag making. We’ve done a few youtube dance tutorials now and hula dancing was BY FAR the easiest one we have tried, and therefore probably the one they both most enjoyed. It was quite slow and easy to follow so perfect for kids (Irish dancing tutorials were a killer!).
First we watched this intro to Lilo and Stitch which includes hula dancing.
Then we watched a hula tutorial set to the music from the Lilo and Stitch video above. Worked well watching one after the other.
On Friday we had to go to New York City. What trip to the USA would be complete without it? This was a really fun activity.
We started with a great little video about the Statue of Liberty before completing this crafty “costume”.
Get the printable here
Here’s the video we watched too. Perfect content and length for a 5 year old.
And that’s a wrap! America at a world wind pace. I love the states, and it makes me really sad and nervous to see what is happening there at the moment.
I hope they get themselves into gear before it’s too late (is it already too late? Eeep)
Just for a laugh here’s a pic of me from 2005 when I used to work in Colorado, USA at a ski resort. This was my work uniform… I loved it!