Monday, October 13, 2014

Canadian Thanksgiving Traditions, and Columbus Day Fun.

What's this? A piece of toast? A pretzel stick? Popcorn? What blockhead cooked all this? - Pepperment Patty

I've been writing a lot about fading traditions this fall, as the children are getting older, and outgrowing some of our traditions.  In the midst of SAT prep, drivers ed, electric guitars blaring, and part-time jobs, I have to admit I nearly forgot that today was Thanksgiving in Canada, and Columbus Day here in the States.  The Man of the House checking an empty mailbox brought me back to reality, and we managed to throw together our usual Canadian Thanksgiving celebration.  Thankfully it's a simple, Peanuts inspired affair.

And, not to forget our American heritage, while I was popping popcorn, and buttering toast a la Charlie Brown, I queued up a quick vintage Columbus Day cartoon for the younger children.  I picked one that made a point of the fact, that Columbus was setting out to prove the world was round, so I could explain to the children, that when I was a little girl, that's what they taught us in school.

We talked about how Washington Irving (who the children know from Rip Van Winkle) wrote a fictional biography of Christopher Columbus, that was taken as fact, and led, in part, to the myth that the people of Columbus' day believed the world was flat.  Of course, today children are taught about the ancient Greeks, and know that all of the educated people of Europe would have known the world was round well before Columbus' journey.

The ancient Greeks, or Columbus, I'm not sure it matters - we know the world is round now.  But, wouldn't it be fun if it had been flat, and you could have just sailed right off the edge?

Thinking about that, we modified a game from Steve and Ruth Bennett's 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child, by taping a large world map down to the center of the table, and taking turns sliding milk cap NiƱa, Pinta, and Santa Marias off from Spain... see who could send their ship as close as possible to the edge of the world....

...without falling off the map.

 Isn't it peculiar, Charlie Brown, how some traditions just slowly fade away? - Lucy VanPelt.

That's as is should be.  Just not today, Lucy - soon, but not today.

Happy Thanksgiving/Columbus Day!


Dawn Rebekah said...

What a fun idea. I would do that if my son wasn't allergic to corn. That book sounds great too.
Blessings, Dawn

Ticia said...

I didn't know that's where that fallacy came from.

I learned something new today.

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

It's strange to think that T is already preparing for SAT. Time surely flies. I am glad you still had your Canadian Thanksgiving.

Karin Huber said...

I like these little ships ;)!

Angelic Scalliwags said...

I'm stealing the bottle top ship ideas! We're doing the explorer age in history next year and this will be a perfect game to play!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

What a fun activity!

Joelle said...

It's so important to learn about the traditions of others. It teaches acceptance. I love your map at the centre of the table :-)