Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Christmas 'Traveling'...

I love 'traveling' at Christmastime...usually from the comfort of my own home. Grin. We've 'visited' Ireland (and in books here), Morocco, Europe at large, Mexico, Sweden (and in books here), and Germany. (Check out my Christmas Around the World book selections here!)

This year our celebrations haven't (and won't) be as detailed or elaborate as last year (due to general life stuff and other activities), but we added a couple books and lands to the line-up.

The Legend of the Poinsettia was added to The Night of Las Posadas as we learned about Mexican Christmas celebrations.

We visited Japan through Tree of Cranes (and The Paper Crane) before trying our hand at folding paper cranes for decorating our Christmas tree and giving as gifts. This was one of my favorite activities this year! We cut white and red wrapping paper into 6"x6" squares and followed the directions at this wonderful Origami site.
The night before doing the paper crane activity with the boys, I cut up the paper squares (the inexpensive wrapping paper worked well, standard weight paper is harder to work with) and went through the instructions on my own. The first time I thought I would never get it, but the second try went much more smoothly, and by the third I could fold it quickly without the instructions.

I'm so glad I learned how to fold them before teaching the boys. I was able to help them (a lot) without getting frustrated myself. In fact, I've found it addicting and therapeutic. Looks like I may be taking up Origami folding as a hobby!

If we ever manage to get a Christmas tree, I will certainly show you how lovely they look on it! Next year, I hope to have (mostly) handmade tree decor: popcorn and cranberry garlands, pine cones spray painted silver, paper cranes, dried orange slices tied with ribbon, and such.


Renee said...

Thank you so much for the inspiration, Heidi! I took so many cues from your past studies to create our Christmas around the world unit. We are in the middle now and will complete our "travels" next week. I have the Legend of the Poinsettia on our list for next year. Thanks for the great ideas! Hope your mom is well.

Ruskin said...

Lovely cranes!
We made paper cranes to hang on Christmas cards a few years ago. It is a wonderful way to send a message of peace - especially from children. Another origami site you might like is
where the instructions are animated. Wonderful!

Shell in your Pocket said...

When I taught school, I did a whole lesson on the "Legend of the Poinsetta"...great book!
-sandy toes

carole said...

We read Tree of Cranes last year for school. How fun! We'll have to borrow it from the library again. The illustrations are lovely. Your cranes look great. I love the red and white idea. I, too, would love to have an all homemade tree. Some day! Maybe I'll post a few ornament craft ideas if I can find some time to blog one of these days! :)

Sarah at SmallWorld said...

We don't have either of those books in our hefty Christmas book collection. Thanks for the suggestions!

Christi said...

I had planned to make paper cranes this year - and it's already the 17th! I've just reserved the books at the library. Maybe we'll still get it done.

Thanks, Heidi!