We kicked off our study of India by attending Portland’s India Festival! I’ve wanted to go to this for about five years now and we always miss it. This year, when I realized it was right when we’d be starting India, my husband and I made sure to go.
We had to go later in the day towards the end of the festival. We were still able to watch some performances and eat some delicious food. Indian food is a staple in our home so the flavors weren’t new to the girls, but still immensely enjoyable.
I found a movie called The Hundred-Foot Journey which is about a displaced Indian family that moves to a small French village – seamlessly blending Indian culture with French culture.
It isn’t technically a kid’s movie, but was perfectly appropriate for them to watch. It’s two hours long and slow in parts so Adi grew bored of it, but Mimi was pretty enthralled from start to finish. It was a a fun way to transition from one country to the next.
Our next country is Egypt and I haven’t been as lucky finding a movie blending these two countries.
Our library had some great books about India. Living in…India was my favorite find. It’s from a series that introduces kids to different countries with a main character from that country. It fit my goal of showing the girls that kids all over the world are more similar than different. Same, Same, but Different was along the same lines and followed pen-pals as they explored what made their countries (USA and India) the same and different.
India by Steve Curry was a huge book of photographs spanning many years and showed what life in India is like. The Monkey and the Crocodile was a fun Indian folktale. The two Grandfather Gandhi stories were enjoyable, but would probably be better to read in a year or two because I didn’t feel like the concepts were explained in an easy-to-understand way for a four and an eight year old. The Yellow Suitcase is about a girl who travels to India for her grandmother’s funeral. It was pretty sad, but was educational about the differences in funerals/mourning in the US versus India without going into a lot of details.
Before we started the unit, I read A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. I planned on reading it to the girls, but it was so emotionally raw, I wasn’t sure I would be able to read it aloud. There’s a movie (Lion) based on the book that we will watch in the future.
Our favorite book was easily The Boy Who Grew a Forest. It’s a true story about Jadav Payeng who saved the land from eroding near a village in a small town in India and brought animals back to the area. He’s in his 50s now and still an environmental activist. His story is immensely interesting and inspiring. The girls painted watercolor forests as we read the book and added the various layers that came back as we went along (plants, trees, small animals, big animals, etc.)
We typically eat Indian-inspired meals at least once per week so to tie it into our study of India, I had the girls help me with these meals and we talked about the individual spices and flavors that are staples in Indian cuisine.
In addition to what’s pictured above, we also listened to the Indian national anthem, the top songs at the moment, and danced to Bollywood music every chance we had.
September is when we start reading books about apples and fall in general. We read Apples and Robins and How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world and then made an apple pie together. Both of these books were super fun to read.
More books we enjoyed reading. If you read Flora’s Very Windy Day, have some chocolate chip cookies waiting to eat at the end of it!
Lots of baking this month! Mimi is getting confident making cakes from recipes she makes up on the spot. Adi is excited to be the recipient of her test baking!
Learning life skills – daddy came up with a way to make recycling super fun by making a game out of tossing it from the front porch. I’m not sure how effective Adi’s cleaning technique is for the table, but I am not about to discourage her enthusiasm for cleaning!
We went on many adventures out in nature this month. From fishing to picking huckleberries, dancing in a rainstorm, and from saving caterpillars to finding leaves the girls had a great start to the autumn season!
Next up, Egypt and Pumpkins!