Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of School- German- Style!!


Did you hear that?!  That is the sound of a mother who, although she loves her children dearly, is super-excited that they are going back to school!!!  We had a great summer and, in some ways, I will miss our lazy mornings and fun times, but the kids are tired of each other (and me) and not having enough structure in their day.  They might argue about that structure part, but I can see how much they need to go back to school.  My daughter, who is going into 1st grade (!!), doesn't go back until after Labor Day, but my son started his Pre-K class today.  Where does the time go?  I swear I was just posting cute infant pictures on Facebook yesterday!!  Anyway, we saw a cute idea in Family Fun magazine about a German tradition for the first day of school.  It's called a Schultüte (literal translation- school bag) and it's our new family tradition.

A Schultüte, sometimes also called a Zuckertüte (sugar bag), is a cone-shaped paper goodie bag given to children to celebrate the first day of school.  Traditionally, the first day of 1st Grade, but that seemed unfair so both my kids are going to get one.  I can't take any more cries of unfairness this summer! 

The tradition dates back to the early 1800's and started as a way to make the young children more excited about starting school.  The cones are usually filled with treats, small school supplies and other goodies.  Where were these things when I was growing up?!? 

Here is how you can make one for your darlings to celebrate the happiest time of the year (for parents anyway!).....

 For the project you will need:
  • large thick paper or poster board
  • strong tape or stapler
  • tissue paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • stickers, markers or other decorations
  • treats, school supplies, various goodies
  • ribbon or yarn
1.  Take the heavy paper and twist it into a cone shape.  Tape or staple it so it will stay put.

2.  Take a piece of tissue paper about the same circumference of the open end of the cone and glue it on.  If your cone is really big, you might need another piece.  If it's a small cone, cut off the excess...they're gonna rip it off anyway, so don't get too fussy.

3. Decorate the cone anyway you want.  Or you could have wrapped it with some pretty gift wrap before the tissue paper.

4.  Fill your Schultüte with all the goodies and then tie up the end with the ribbon or yarn.

5.  Now you are ready to present your kid (who you actually kinda missed) with a wonderful treat to celebrate a great first day at school!  

They grow so fast.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekend Fun!!

Festivals, Festivals, Festivals!! 

I realize not everyone lives in the SF Bay area, but if you do this is a great weekend to get out there and learn about another culture or to celebrate your own!  I'm torn between which of these 3 festivals I should go to....

Pistahan Festival -  This (according to the website) is the largest Filipino Cultural Festival and Parade.  Now, I don't know if they mean in the world, or just the U.S., or even just the Bay Area, but it looks like fun!  It's a free event taking place at Yerba Buena Gardens, in SF, on Sat. 8/10 and Sun. 8/11 (2013).  There will be performances of both traditional and current music, an Adobo cook-off, traditional games and the opportunity to learn about the folklore and other aspects of the Filipino culture.  And I bet lots of YUMMY food!!!  If you can't make it to SF though, here are some links to FUN Philippines projects we did earlier this year.
Korean Day FestivalYet another fun sounding event to go to!! This is also a free event on Sat. 8/10, 2013, but at Union Square, San Francisco, starting at 10 am.  This festival is going to have lots of traditional folkdances with costumes, Tae Kwon Do demonstrations, and, this sounds fun, a Rice Cake Kneading contest!  There will be lots of traditional foods there too, like kalbi, bibimbop (how fun is that word?) and gochujang! We never really studied Korea for an entire week, so I don't know what any of that food is but I'm sure it's delicious :)  We did learn a bit about Korea during Thanksgiving time so here was the project we did.

Origami-Palooza- This event sounds like fun too, but only if you have the patience for origami (Japanese paper folding).  My kids DO NOT so we probably won't make it to this one, but it's taking place on Post St., in San Francisco's Japantown, on Sat. 8/10 from 1-5pm.  This 1st annual event will have different booths teaching different origami creations and there will also be a Paper Airplane Contest :0)  Sounds like it could be fun!  One of the projects will be making cranes to display at city hall's World Tree of Hope.  I didn't know there was a Tree of Hope!  I foresee another field trip!!
If you'd like to have your own Japanese fun at home here are some of the Japanese projects we did.

I hope you have a great weekend no matter what you do!  But just remember, there is a whole world full of interesting things to see and do-- ENJOY!!