I believe it’s never too early to teach your children about other cultures. It’s never a bad idea to encourage open mindedness, curiosity, and acceptance. As a Chinese kid growing up in a non-Asian community, I was singled out a lot. When Chinese New Year came around, my mom would visit my class and talk about it. After that, I would notice a small change in attitude towards me. Other kids approached me and asked me about Chinese stuff, rather than treating me like a freak. I was thankful for my mom during that time.
I was thrilled when I was asked to create a poster board about a country, as part of Elmer’s Trip Around The World. China is an ancient culture with a rich history. My dad is a walking encyclopedia of random tidbits about China, and whether they were true or legend, I was always fascinated. I hope my girls will be as excited to learn about where their ancestors came from.
We bought our Elmer’s supplies at Walmart. At this Walmart in Fairfield, there were some Elmer’s products alongside scrapbooking supplies…
…and some were in the school and office supply section.
In our cart! To see more pictures, please check out our full Elmer’s Shopping Story at Walmart, in my Google+ album.
We came home with an Elmer’s 18”x24” Guideline Foam Tri-Fold Display Board, plus some Elmer’s Journaling Pens in black and silver (a new product), a box of Elmer’s 3D Glitter Paint Pens, and this Elmer’s X-TREME Glue Stick that is supposed to work well with many different materials.
I also used from my own stash: Elmer’s School Glue, red cardstock, scrapbook paper, cotton twine, jute twine, small wooden spools, disappearing ink pen, thin black pen, scissors, rotary paper cutter.
I kept my girls in mind as I designed the poster board. I wanted it to be fun and not overwhelming, which is why I chose the mini sized tri-fold board. I knew I wanted to show a map of China because they love maps, and of course what kid doesn’t like animals and nature. I wanted them to be proud of the accomplishments of the Chinese, so I included a list of inventions. Finally, I wanted to include some Chinese characters, which are an art form in themselves.
First I cut out the animal and plant shapes. I free-form drew and cut everything. For the panda and tiger, I pretty much used the same teddy-bear head. Then I cut simple shapes for the faces. I planned to have the girls glue the shapes on themselves. They love their School Glue!
I also included bamboo and a lychee tree. Finally I added a water buffalo, because my dad had one in the village where he grew up, and they are also abundant in China. Here’s the shape of the head.
For the eyes, I used the Journaling Pen. It is kind of like a paint pen, where you press the tip until paint comes down. Just a quick dab.
While the girls did some gluing themselves…
…I also wanted to test the X-TREME Glue Stick because it said you can use it on fabric. That sounds awesome…if it works! So I tried it on the felt.
And it looks like it worked!
For the inventions, I tried to pick the most important ones, and ones that my girls would recognize. I also wanted to make them multi-dimensional, so here’s where I used most of my extra materials…twine for the noodles, wooden spools to create a scroll as well as a firecracker, and more twine in the kite. They can also lift the compass lid open. Here I drew out the compass with the silver Journaling Pen.
I used School Glue to adhere a scrap from a paper bag to two of the wooden spools to make a scroll (i.e. paper was invented in China).
And I inserted a piece of twine into the other wooden spool to make a firecracker. Then I made “sparks” with pretty much a little bit of all the 3D Glitter colors! The spool is glued to the cardstock with school glue.
For the noodles, I just traced some noodle lines with the School Glue and laid the twine along the glue.
The map is based on a printable from Enchanted Learning. There was a lot of information about China on that website by grade level.
I traced the map of China onto some scrapbook paper. Then I used the X-TREME glue stick again to adhere it to some background paper, and finally the red cardstock, which I used throughout. Then I used the gold 3D Glitter as an outline for the map, and a dab of red for the capital, Beijing.
I hand-cut out the letters to spell out China, and outlined each letter with 3D Glitter as well.
The Chinese characters were written by my dad. So glad he was visiting this week! If he wasn’t, then I would have talked about food instead!
I had him use the Journaling Pen. The characters mean (from left to right): Love, Happiness, Prosperity, and Peace.
I also used the journaling pen to label the categories and each object. For the large category signs, I wrote it calligraphy style.
Then to label each object, I just turned the pen and was able to write with thin lines. Very cool to be able to do that with one pen!
My girls asked all kinds of questions when we were done, such as “Where did Grandma and Grandpa live?”, and “Grandpa, did the buffalo live in your house?” (yes, actually!).
I hope the questions continue, and I hope they will be proud of who they are.
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias.