When my boys were young, we completed a unit study on Scotland. I lived there for a little while as a young adult, so I was happy to share with my boys some of the culture that I loved. Since Kindergarten we have spent time learning about different cultures around the world by studying different countries in depth. We started off with Greenland and then headed toward Europe. Scotland was our first European stop.
We spent about 6 weeks learning about the country and culture. Here were some of our favorite activities:
- We learned about geography by making a cookie cake of the country. I baked a large cookie cake and then cut it out in the shape of the country. My kids then decorated the highlands and lowlands with some chocolate chips and colored sugar. Of course, this gave us many days to discuss the geography when my boys were selecting a piece of the cake to eat.
- We also made some costumes that my boys would wear on the final day of our study. I made some kilts out of garbage bags and ribbon. I basically taped on the ribbon and to keep the kilts on the boys, I taped them directly onto their shirts. The sporran was made from a cereal box and twine. I cut the cereal box to the shape of the sporran and the boys helped staple it together. We then undid some twine and made it into tassels that were also stapled on. The pocket kept coming open so we stapled that shut too. My oldest son loved his sporran and wanted to keep wearing it.
- We couldn’t skip bagpipes. I searched online and found a way to make some bagpipes at home with some easy to find materials. Check out the details here: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Bagpipes-out-of-a-Garbage-Bag-and-Reco/ It wasn’t easy and it worked to some degree, but we had fun trying.
- Because golf was born in Scotland, we had a great excuse to take a field trip to the local mini-golf place. My kids were a bit young for a standard golf course. The mini-golf was just right for them and lots of fun to boot.
- With my boys in their kilts, we went outside for a caber toss and hammer throw. I used a long shipping tube for the caber. It was lightweight enough to throw easily and if it hit someone or something it wouldn’t cause damage. They had watched several Youtube videos of people tossing a caber so they had an idea how it was supposed to look. My oldest son won that toss and then we moved onto the hammer throw. I adapted quite a bit here. I used one of my husbands socks with a tennis ball inside. It was hammer-like enough and it wouldn’t cause damage! My younger son won that contest.
- We like making things with food in our house so studying Scotland was not without a meal filled with new things to try. I used rampartscotland.com to find recipes. We made Shepherd’s Pie, Potato Cheese Cakes, Country Egg Casserole, Citrus Cake, Viennese Whirls, and Crispy Mars Bars. We also had Ribena to drink. Ribena was one of my favorite drinks when I lived there. It wasn’t quite so easy to find it here in Canada, but my husband was able to locate it. One son loved the Shepherd’s Pie and the other really liked the Potato Cheese Cakes. My baby loved the turnip. We had to have some ‘neeps and tatties! The Scones were the favorite though. Of course, the Crispy Mars Bars went over very well. Living in Canada made it easy to find Mars Bars 🙂
Of course we spent some time reading books, doing some Scottish dancing, listening to Scottish music, playing Scottish games online, coloring pictures, and watching videos too.