Thursday, March 27, 2014

Country Day: Germany



Welcome to another post in our Country Day series. You can find our other country posts on Russia, Italy, England, France and Africa here. We are proud of our German heritage in our family. My maternal grandfather Walter Seiter immigrated from Germany as a young man and my grandmother Alice worked hard to keep this German heritage alive in her children and grandchildren. I am excited to share these activities with my kids.


German Foods

Try some yummy German Sausage or Bratwurst. You could even add Sauerkraut, although I have to confess it isn't my favorite. Sorry Grandpa!



Make some German Pancakes.



Eat some delicious Black Forest Cake. Here is a recipe from the Brown-eyed Baker.


Fondu
Throw a party with some Chocolate and Cheese Fondu. Fondu is my favorite party food. Set out a blanket on the floor and go to it. German sausage and pretzel rods are our favorite things to dip in Cheese Fondu. And you can't go wrong with strawberries and bananas in chocolate!
Find some great kid friendly recipes here.





German Crafts

Lederhosen Boy
He is so cute! Now I just need to make a little goatherd girl to go with him.



Nutcrackers from Popsicle Sticks
I think this ornament would look so cute hanging from my Christmas tree. It would really celebrate our German heritage and remind us of Grandma's Nutcracker collection.


Candy Cottages

Make a candy house for Hansel and Gretel using graham crackers as a simple and easy base. I love these houses created by Ducks in a Row. Who says that they just have to be for Christmas time?

Cuckoo Clock


Sing Hickory Dickory Dock and practice counting along with telling time with this fun clock. I like how it uses Roman Numerals.

German Games

Topfschlagen

  • In English, this is called “Hit the Pot.” This is a traditional German game small children play. Hide a pot containing a small present or piece of chocolate. The child who is “It” closes his eyes or is blindfolded and is given a wooden stick. He crawls on the floor, banging the spoon on the floor until he finds the pot. Spectators can help by shouting “hot” or “cold." When he finds the pot, he gets to keep what is inside. The pot can be hidden again and the game replayed for remaining children.


I love how this cute family celebrated Oktoberfest with Hit the Pot and other fun games. Can't you just picture the boys shouting out Halt! with their funny german accents. 

Read about it at: Buffaloes and Butterfly Wings


Schokoladenessen

  • This “chocolate eating” game is another traditional favorite. Wrap a bar of chocolate in several layers of newspaper and tie with ribbon. Place the chocolate in the center of a table along with a hat, scarf, mittens, fork and butter knife. Each player rolls the die once, trying for a six, and play proceeds clockwise. If a player rolls a six, he puts on the hat, scarf and mittens and attempts to open and eat the chocolate with the fork and knife until another player rolls six and takes over. This fast-paced game continues until all the chocolate is eaten.
This game has even been adapted to include in a Girls Camp based on the movie Frozen. I really like this idea.



Unwrapped Game

German Music
Listen to the music of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Then make music of your own!
These are two fun musical instruments I have made with my students and my own kids.

Wooden Harmonicas




Water Glass Xylophone




Put on the music to the Flight of the Bumblebee and let your children dance with homemade Ribbon Wands. I think making some in yellow and black colors would be so much fun.



This is a fantastic movie to teach about Beethoven. You can usually find it in Library Movie Collections.





German Books

Great to Read Aloud!


For older readers:

For younger ones: 










 German Movies

I know The Sound of Music is more strictly Austrian but it is a great introduction for younger children to the occupation of Nazi Germany. 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Book Thief are certainly for older children but will prompt some great discussions with your kids when you think they are ready. 



Of course, most of Disney's Fairy Tales began with the set of traditional folk stories compiled by the Brothers Grimm so I had to include some of those!






This is an old movie but an awesome adventure about two families escaping from East Germany into West Germany with a hot air balloon. It is well worth seeing.


I hope you enjoy this roundup of fun German activities. Auf wiedersehen! Pin It

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