Last year we were traveling around the US for school. This year we are traveling the world. Our first stop was of course to refresh ourselves on North America, starting with the United States and then visiting Canada.

Totem Poles

Canada is in some ways similar to the United States, but also it so different. Some of the similarities are with the native people’s traditions. Totem poles are made in the North West of the United States as well as Canada. They typically represented ancestry or events and were carved out of wood. We thought it would be fun to create our own totem poles out of paper towel rolls. I split them up into fourths and the girls created an animal face on each of the quarters. Then they added patterns and decor around it and even created some wings. It is a fun and easy project that works for Canada as well as many states.

Inuit Animals Carvings

For a more intricate project, we made Inuit carvings with our co-op. The Inuit, natives of Canada, believed in using whole animals when they hunted. This included the bones, so they often took the bones and create beautiful carvings of animals. We wanted to recreate this idea, but not with bones! For this, we got bars of soap from the dollar store. Ivory proves to be the softest soap to do this. If you are at home, you can also microwave it for 10 seconds to soften it up, but we did it at the park so we did not. The tools we had at the park were plastic knives, toothpicks, and random clay tools we collected. They worked really well for our large group at the park. If you wanted more options at home, metal butter knives and vegetable peelers work great too. The kids picked Canadian animals or easy shapes to cut out and then they used toothpicks to carve details or their names into their shapes. Super fun and easy project and then they can use their soap bars at home.

Canadian Animal Presentations

We really focused on the Canadian animals for so many projects that for our final presentations, the girls each picked their favorite animals to present. This was Isla’s first-ever presentation, so her was simple. She picked a raccoon because they are daddy’s favorite animals. She asked me to draw her a raccoon face that she painted. Then she picked one fact that we read, to write on the back of her canvas and share it with the group. Evie went into depth about her chipmunks, by actually drawing the depths of their nests on a poster board. She also followed an art hub tutorial to draw her chipmunk. 

To end our Canada journey we had to watch Turning Red. It may not be very Canadian, but it is set in Toronto. Another option was Anne of Green Gables, but they passed. Hopefully, we get into the books in the near future. We also ate ‘snowballs and maple syrup’. It represents the snow in Canada, as well as its well-known staple. We do not have an ounce of snow in Florida, so we substituted vanilla ice cream.

One day we hope to visit Canada in person, but for now, we have been able to learn so much.

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