Monday, December 17, 2012

Heading Down Under: Christmas in Australia

Today our travels took us down under as we entered the fascinating world of Australia.  From beginning to end, our day was filled with appointments, urgent phone calls, performances, dress rehearsals, etc.  So we just had to make the most of our day and use what time we had.  We weren't able to get to everything I had planned, but those will be great activities for next year. ;)

  Using the globe, Old Crow and I reviewed the 7 continents and we noted that Australia wasn't just a country but a continent as well.  I stamped his passport and we began our day by reading Wombat Divine  by Mem Fox...Wombat and other Australian animals audition for parts in the Nativity play.  It's a sweet Christmas story that centers around the wombat.  

Wombat Divine Cover by Mem Fox

After reading this story, we had such a fun time learning all about the wombat.  We used the internet to look at pictures and youtube videos of this cuddly looking creature.  Then Old Crow remembered that one of his Big Backyard Magazines had an article about little blue animal also indigenous to Australia.  So he went off to fetch that magazine so we could read about them also.  Well when we opened the front cover, there was the wombat.  Funny how those things work out. ;)

So after getting a good laugh at this, we read about the little blue penguin and also watched videos of them.  And now Old Crow wants one as a pet. :)

Well back to Christmas in Australia...

*It is summer in Australia and very hot.  So people often spend Christmas
at the beach or swimming pools.

*Common Christmas foods are turkey, ham, and of course pudding.

*Carols by Candlelight began in 1937 and occurs every Christmas Eve.  Last night we were able to take part in our church's own Carols by Candlelight.
It was such a blessing to hear the Christmas story in song!

*One popular Australian Christmas song is Six White's the idea that when Santa reaches Australia he changes into cooler clothes, gives his reindeer a rest, and uses kangaroos instead.

We watched the video of Six White Boomers.  

Then I found a kangaroo puppet activity to go along with this song.  He took it a step further and created much more.  He amazes me!

We ended our day with the completion of his Australia notebooking page.  

Here are a couple of other ideas I wish we would have had time for (hopefully we can hit these next year.)
1.  Christmas Crackers (also known as Bon Bons) are a Christmas tradition.  They are pulled in the manor of wishbones and when pulled opened there is a popping noise and little treats.  You can buy them already made from places like Amazon or kids can create their own.  Here are directions.

2.  Bake Lamingtons...a popular Christmas dessert in Australia.
Here is Martha Stewarts's recipe.

3.  Get my hands on the books An Aussie Day Before Christmas and

Merry Christmas! 
...said with Australian accent   ;)

P.S.  Next stop on the Christmas train is China.

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