Posts Tagged ‘geography’

Scottish Highland Games in Spokane

Friday, July 12th, 2019

scottish-highland-games

Where else can you find the sound of bagpipes, the smell of highland cows, and the sight of tartan kilts wherever you look but the Scottish Highland Games in Spokane! It is a fun way to dive into the culture, music, clothing, and animals of Scotland. It’s a fascinating field trip for geography class, and you can experience many fun hands-on activities with your kids that can enhance family bonding. When my family first stepped into this Scottish environment, we heard the music of bagpipes and noticed a group of kilted people standing under a tree.

standing-around

Within the first hour of arriving, an event began where a large Scottish marching band of bagpipes stepped in rhythmic time to an interesting anthem that sounded other-worldly. After playing a few songs, the mayor of Spokane spoke on a stage, and people clapped. General merriment filled the air.

scottish-bagpipes

In a different part of the fair grounds, we saw a stage with Highland dancers competing for a prize. Various dancers (all wearing Scottish clothing), sometimes single or in groups, danced and were scored by judges sitting on the sidelines.

scottish-dancers

Scottish animals were penned off from the people. My favorite was the highland cow. It looks like a shaggy-haired beast from a Steven Spielberg movie. I remember back when I visited Scotland, I used to think these beasts were tame, but they are not. They are bulls and can gore you!

highland-cows

We also saw a group of sheep, a shepherd, and a sheep dog. These are highly trained dogs that can herd the sheep and move them around expertly from place to place.

shepherd-dog

Colorful tartan booths lined both sides of a grassy pathway. One of the booths had a really cool leather shield next to a sword. Kids clonked in sword fights nearby with toy swords and shields. The aroma of roasting meat emanated from the food booths as we walked past them.

scottish-shield

On the way out, we saw surprisingly ordinary-looking men throwing large, heavy burlap bags over a pole set high in the air.

scottish-game

Other men tried log throwing or a “caber toss,” which is basically throwing an entire tree trunk across a field! I have no idea how they picked up such a heavy object to hurl, but apparently they work out a lot at the gym before attempting something so phenomenal.

throwing-a-tree-trunk

My family thoroughly enjoyed attending the Scottish Highland Games. This year the games take place on August 3rd, 2019 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. If you don’t live in Spokane, Washington, you might want to see if there is an event like this in your area, as they take place in many states. Cultural activities like this are fun for the whole family and give you some time to enjoy each other in a new environment!

Chinese Lantern Festival

Monday, January 15th, 2018

chinese-lantern-festival

My family attended a super cool Chinese lantern festival here in Spokane, Washington. Since the people that put on these shows travel from city to city, you could easily find a Chinese lantern festival in a city near you to attend this year, if you wanted this cultural experience.

colorful-lanterns

Since I’m a multicultural person myself, I enjoyed taking my children to see the artistic designs of paper and cloth lanterns of various vibrant colors, lighting up the night.

peacock-lantern

The two peacocks were probably the most detailed of all the lanterns. They were standing in the midst of red roses.

panda-lanterns

The panda bear display was also spectacular. The bears were hanging in a bamboo forest, which was like a backdrop for the scene.

flower-lanterns

Beautiful orange flowers glowed against the dark night sky. They were enormous!

chinese-boy-lantern

Several Chinese warriors lined one side of the path. Their faces, headdresses, and clothing shone in bright colors. My family walked along a dirt path as we saw this whole Chinese lantern display, which was almost like walking through a city. It also reminded me of driving to see Christmas lights, but way more magnificent.

flower-lantern-canopy

Several arched walkways were lit up thematically. This blue one had flowers and swirls. We felt like we were walking down a tunnel.

lantern-tunnel

This was my favorite display–a lot of beautiful paper Chinese globe lanterns. Looking up, you get lost in the beauty of the paper umbrellas and lanterns. My entire family loved this cultural experience!

Huge List of Hands-on Activities for High School

Monday, March 6th, 2017

hands-on-activities-for-high-school

It’s harder to find hands-on activities for high school than for elementary, but just because you are homeschooling teens doesn’t mean that your day has to be boring and tedious. Everyone learns better by doing–this is true for practical skills like driving and cooking, but also for academic knowledge like science and history. Take a look at our enormous list of fun hands-on activities for high school!

Hands-on High School Science Activities

hands-on-high-school-science

High school sciences naturally lend themselves to hands-on activities because of the lab work required. But as you can see in the following list, you can also have fun with food, field trips, LEGOs, and even comedy to bring your science to life!

Biology

Chemistry

Human Anatomy

Hands-on High School History Activities

hands-on-high-school-history

Each of these activities are applicable to high school ancient history, even though we did many of them before the kids were teens. You would just expect more detail on each of the projects, and maybe a demonstration of the projects in front of a group of peers studying the same time period:

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Middle Ages & Renaissance

Civil War

Modern History

Hands-on High School Geography Activities

hands-on-high-school-geography

Hands-on High School Math Activities

Hands-on Activities for High School Art

hands-on-high-school-art

My high school students did a wonderful job with each of these famous artists, to learn their basic techniques and enjoy the works of the great artists:

I hope you enjoyed this huge list of hands-on activities for high school! Come back to this page often, as I will be adding more posts, including some new high school government posts with video demonstrations!

 hands-on-homeschool-ideas

Dolls Around the World

Monday, November 21st, 2016

dolls-around-the-world

A great geography project for kids to understand the cultures of different countries is to make dolls around the world. Why not have your kids look up the traditional costumes of several countries and sew or hot glue those costumes onto dolls?

You will want to collect lots of scraps of cloth. If you do this with a school or homeschool co-op, one child can sign up for each country, and you can have the child research the costume for that one country. Then they can write a speech or report to go with their doll, and present it on a geography day!

I had always wanted to do this project myself and never had the time. When I saw this homemade dolls around the world set at a resale shop, I was overjoyed that I could show my children the costumes of the different countries while decorating my homeschool room colorfully.

If you don’t want to buy so many dolls, you can make dolls out of toilet paper tubes. Just hot glue cloth and beautiful accessories on them, and you can have a less expensive version of the dolls around the world. When I was a teacher in the schools, I assigned a biography for each of my students, and they made a figure of the person beginning with a toilet paper tube. Most of the students’ figures came out gorgeous!

Looking at all these dolls makes me want to travel the world!

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