"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." -Walter Streightiff

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Russian Winter Festival

We traveled to Moscow to attend their Winter Festival. They are held in many cities in Russia every year from mid-December to mid-January. We celebrated winter with some traditional Russian culture.
Ice skating is a popular winter sport in Russia. We read a book about a little girl bunny who discovers she loves ice skating. It’s called Bella Gets Her Skates On by Ian Whybrow.

After reading The Nutcracker Ballet
we listened, danced and ice skated to Tchaikovsky’s famous “Nutcracker” Ballet.
We also used colored ice cubes to “ice skate” around and around on paper to create some beautiful, colorful masterpieces.
Our favorite activity of the week was playing with matryoshkas- Russian nesting dolls- a popular Russian symbol. We read a charming folktale from Russia called, The Littlest Matryoshka. 
  Matryoshkas make a great manipulative for small children and provided us with lots of imaginary play. The "littlest ones" were definitely our favorites!
We loved reading The Mitten over and over again. It’s written by Jan Brett who characterizes Russian culture in many of her books. This book was about a little boy in Ukraine whose Baba (grandma in Ukraine) knitted him some snow white mittens. We reinacted the story over and over again using a big white mitten and finger puppets representing each animal character in the story. 

Ice sculptures fill the streets in celebration of winter. We used food coloring to paint different sizes and shapes of ice. 
Another familiar Russian story is Peter and the Wolf. We watched and listened to the story which uses different musical instruments to represent each character in the story.  
We used paint and a variety of painting tools to represent the characters.  
After reading a Russian folktale, The Snow Child,
by Freya Littledale,
we painted and sculpted snow brought in from outside. 
What a fun way to celebrate winter!

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