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Wednesday, May 14

Turning Japanese (Vapors)

Ninja-GO!!!!!!  If you have boys, you've probably heard of this phenomenon.  The great thing about Ninjago is that it gets them interested in studying world cultures - specifically Japan and China.  (The downside is that those Lego sets are expensive!)

Ninjago-Themed Unit Study - 65 pages of cross-curricular fun!

China resources:
Japan resources:
Thus began our Ancient Asia unit study...complete with daily morning meditations and Japanese calligraphy at art time.  Physical education was spent learning basic Karate For Kids, and we used some of that leftover gingerbread mix to make Ninja-bread cookies.
When the boys got rowdy, I dressed them in bathrobes, strapped pillows to their stomachs, made a tape circle on the floor, and had them fight it out like sumo wrestlers.  The bickering quickly gave way to giggles.  Don't you just wish that you could bottle up that innocent laughter?
We hosted the Lego club meeting this month, and they wanted to do a Japanese tea, so we made rice balls and peach tea.  We finally used up all of those leftover chopstick packets that make their way home from the chinese restaurant, and all of the kids seemed to enjoy the party.

Our last art lesson was to create terra cotta sculptures, like the Chinese terra cotta soldiers found in the Yellow Emperor's tomb.  They made snakes and soldiers...I made a flower vase. 
During our Florida trip, we visited the Lego Store at Downtown Disney, and the kids were enraptured at the Ninjago displays.  Naturally, they felt like they needed them all...and proceeded to request them as Christmas and birthday gifts.  Their grandparents / aunts / uncles were so quick to acquiesce...!
 At the end of our unit, we created a storyboard to be used at the co-op History Fair in spring.  Since mom isn't that much for cooking, we offered up rice cakes as a local food.  If you have any tasty (and easily transportable) Asian recipes, please drop me a line to the right at "Send Us Your Thoughts."
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