This February we learnt all about Sweden with our children. At our outdoor trip at Tulips Bakery children saw how breads and cakes are made. The visit to the Fire station was very exciting too. Da Vinci children got to climb on and pose with the Fire engines and we saw a demonstration of how the Firemen put out a fire.
Gustavo’s dad came with a box full of exciting things from Sweden to show the children. He talked to us about all things Swedish – the football team, Swedish stories, the Nobel prize and Swedish customs. He brought us a ginger bread house and a booklet with lots of pictures from Sweden. He brought a chair in from Ikea – a famous Swedish furniture store and showed the children how to dismantle it. He also showed the children some Swedish currency. In the end we all stood for Sweden’s national anthem. Gustavo was really thrilled to have his dad come in and show some of his photos.
Shaurya’s mother, came in to show some Ikea’s products, all of which had very innovative designs. The children were surprised to see an Ikea torch that needed neither batteries nor electricity. The torch just had a handle that needed to be wound. Shradha also brought in a grater, a beater, foldable boxes etc. all with unique designs.
Santa Lucia’s Parade
According to Swedish tradition St. Lucia’s day is celebrated on December 13th; at Da Vinci Montessori we had the opportunity to enact the celebrations on March 7th. All through February the children had waited in anticipation for this day as they had already seen slide shows, videos, heard songs and learnt about the significance of this day. The children came dressed in white and had red sashes tied around their waists. The procession began with Tara the eldest girl christened as St. Lucia wearing the crown of candles followed by her handmaidens wearing crowns with candles in their hand and at the end the star boys walked along with star wands to hold. All was calm and serene as they walked in a slow procession on the path laid out by Aunty Urvashi with the St. Lucia hymn wafting through the class.
That morning with a little deliberation amongst the adults it was decided to put away the easel and with much relief the children went back home as pristine as they came in.
Fika and Swedish food
On a bright Wednesday morning the children met up for ‘Fika’ in the outdoor area. Tables and chairs were laid out cafe style in the shaded area. On the menu was chocolate milk and cinnamon buns for the children and coffee for the adults. Cinnamon buns were hard to find in our bakeries so we improvised by having the children dust powdered sugar and cinnamon onto their buns, which they did with great gusto. Some other Swedish food they prepared in class was a ‘Smorgas’. They put together some open sandwiches with cheese spread, red-yellow capsicums and tomatoes.
Other aspects of Swedish culture that were discussed included the importance recycling. The children experienced recycling by decorating paper bags that were to be gifted to their parents to reuse. Also we now have two bins in class to segregate the dry waste from the wet.
The phenomenon of Northern lights was explained with videos from NASA. They watched with rapt attention as they saw an animated video of particles from the sun travel to earth and converge at the poles. The younger ones took delight in identifying the colours of the Northern lights. At the end of it, they all chorused ‘these are not fireworks these are the northern lights’.
The presence of coniferous trees in Sweden and the significance of their shape was discussed often. Each time Gustavo took great pride in telling us that back in Sweden during Christmas they bring home a real tree to decorate.
Formation of a lake was demonstrated to children by creating a model for an icy mountain and a lake. The mountain was topped with crushed ice and children watched with much excitement as the ice slowly melted, trickled down the mountain as streams and then formed a lake.
A variety of art was laid of for children this month.
Children made their own lakes from Sweden with some craft work and painting. They used cut outs to make beautiful castles and stuck a flag on the castles too. Children enjoyed decorating paper bags helping them better understand the idea of recycling. Our class was full of many Swedish flags. Other pictures from Sweden such as castles, animals, lakes, etc. were laid out for colouring.
We took the children on the tour of Sweden by showing them all the famous landmarks, customs and traditions of Sweden through attractive pictures, fascinating facts and amazing videos.
We showed them pictures of the first ice hotel, the Lund Cathedral where there is the unique astronomical clock, how Vasa museum came into being and The Royal Palace in Stockholm where the king and queen of Sweden reside.
Flora and fauna
We spoke how Sweden is famous for its pristine nature and vast lakes. Apart from our lake formation experiment, we talked to the children about the lynx, salmon, wolverine, brown bear, beaver, elk, coniferous trees and lingonberry.
Children learnt a bunch of Swedish phrases and listened to the national anthem of Sweden. Children were very curious to if Gustavo has been to Sweden or if he has a house there.
March has been a busy month and we will write to you about it soon!