Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cookbooks & Passports in Mexico

Mexican Spiced Hot Cocoa

We had a lot of fun learning about Mexico today in Cookbooks & Passports summer camp! We made four Mexican snacks, a craft, learned un poco (a little) Spanish and danced to festive music!

Before we began our adventure in Mexico, we sidewalk chalked for the Conservatory's weekly summer farmers' market. The early morning rain left the pavement damp, which gave our chalk a fun, slick texture and made it a little easier to write with - a nice surprise! Campers drew fruits, vegetables and arrows pointing in the direction of the market location. It's a fun weekly tradition for summer campers at the Conservatory!

On our way back to the camp classroom we stopped and saw the monarch caterpillars that are being raised in the pollinators garden.  I told the campers about the monarchs' amazing yearly migration - several of them have seen the film Flight of the Butterflies at COSI and were telling me all about the monarchs!

Once in the classroom, we read the book, Cactus Soup by Eric A. Kimmel.  This story is a Mexican version of the folktale stone soup and is set during the Mexican Revolution.  The campers enjoyed the story and learned a few Spanish words!  We colored a picture of the Resplendent Quetzal and prickly pear cactus (both native to Mexico).  I showed the campers a video of the quetzal in flight - they were enthralled by its long tail feathers!  This group of campers love birds - they've been playing with their Lilac-breasted Rollers (a bird we made of TP rolls on Monday) every day this week!

For snack today, we made Molletes (toast with refried beans, mozzarella and pico de gallo) from The Hands-On HomeschoolerMexican Spiced Hot Cocoa from Real SimpleVeggies seasoned with Tajín, which I read about on Kids World Citizen and Mexican Chia Limeade (also from Kids World Citizen).  The campers were not feeling very adventurous with their taste buds today - we couldn't talk several of them into trying the snack the way it was meant to be prepared.  Many campers had just the cheese on their bread instead of the full molletes recipe (the single camper who had the beans and pico de gallo on her bread LOVED it!), hot cocoa with cinnamon but no cayenne and veggies with lime juice but no tajín.  

Even though few campers tried all of each recipe, we still took their vote on how they liked each one.  The molletes (aka, cheesy bread for most campers), had fourteen 'thumbs up,' and one 'sideways thumbs.'  The hot cocoa had fifteen 'thumbs up,' though only two campers tried it with both cinnamon and cayenne.  The veggies (cucumber, red, green and purple bell peppers and jicama) had six 'thumbs up,' six 'sideways thumbs,' two 'thumbs down' and one camper who didn't try it.  I was pleasantly surprised by how many campers tried jicama for the first time today - they decided it tasted a lot like apples (I've always thought it tasted like a cross between an apple and a raw potato!).  The campers like the chia limeade better than I expected, seven 'thumbs up,' four 'sideways thumbs,' three 'thumbs down,' and one camper who didn't try the drink.  

Our activities today included learning the names of several animals in Spanish (cat = gato, dog = perro, horse = caballo, bird = pájaro, fish = pez, fox = zorro).  I found a great guide (with pictures) on animal names in English and Spanish from Enchanted Learning!  We also made Easter egg maracas by following directions from MADE and listened to Mexican Radio on Pandora!  The campers really loved this music - some were even dancing in their seats during snack!

Tomorrow we will learn about China and bake a (gluten-free!) cake with beans in it!

Creative Kids Culture Blog HopI am linking this post about our adventure learning about Mexico with Around the World in 12 Dishes and the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #7!

For more international craft and recipes ideas, check out my Pinterest board Global Chefs + Crafts!