The month of December is perhaps our family’s favorite time of year. It’s a flurry of family, relationships, celebrations, crafts and yummy treats. Traditionally, our family celebrates Christmas. However, living in such close proximity to Walt Disney World’s Epcot has enlightened us to traditions celebrated throughout the world, with Holidays Around the World at Epcot. Our kids so enjoyed learning about the traditions in other countries, that we created this FREEBIE full of additional crafts, activities and recipes to enhance their learning experience!
Whether or not you get to visit Epcot during their annual Holidays Around the World celebration, our handy FREEbie will allow you to discover several holiday traditions, with some hands-on fun. Included in this FREEbie are five of the thirteen holiday traditions introduced at Epcot’s Holidays Around the World:
• American Adventure: Hanukkah (Chanukah)
• American Adventure: Kwanzaa
• Canada: Santa Claus/le Pere Noel, Belsnickles and Naluyuks
• Japan: O-Shogatsu
• Morocco: Ramadan and Ashura
At the American Adventure pavilion, you’ll learn all about the Maccabees reclaiming the city of Jerusalem and the miracle they found that began the centuries old celebration of Hanukah (Chanukah) and the meaning behind the menorah. Use our FREEbie to make your very own dreidel and learn how to play!
The America Adventure pavilion also shares a relatively new holiday tradition, Kwanzaa. Learn all about the important seven principles that Kwanzaa is founded upon and trace its history from the Civil Rights era of the 1960s to its African roots. Then, follow the instructions in our FREEbie to create a symbolic red, green and black Kwanzaa placemat.
The Canada pavilion shares the story of Santa Claus/le Pere Noel. Enjoy our recipe for Hot Mulled Apple Cider as you discover how le Pere Noel sometimes enlists the help of the sneaky Belsnickles and Naluyuks to create his nice/naughty list.
While at the Japan pavilion, you’ll learn how the Japanese celebrate the new year (known as O-Shogatsu) through reflection, family, friends, delicious foods, and, of course, fun! Hear the importance of the Daruma doll and how it works, then make your own variation with our craft instructions.
Finally, visit the Moroccan pavilion to learn more about one of their holiest celebrations, Ramadan and the festivities of Ashura. If you actually get to visit Epcot’s Holidays Around the World, you might have the opportunity to drum with Taarji. Then, have some yummy Moroccan Yogurt Cake (Meskouta) – but try to use the recommended “Moroccan unit of measure”!
Learning more about cultures around the world can be a fun and rewarding experience. But don’t just take our word for it – find out for yourself by downloading our Holidays Around the World FREEbie!
By Kat Reader – I am the proud mama to 3 incredible boys. Our family began our homeschooling journey in 2006 when my oldest was in 2nd grade and the twins were barely 6 months old. I’m passionate about researching resources and activities that allow my children to use all of their senses and learning styles. With the support and partnership of a dear friend and business partner, I’ve delved into my creative side to create meaningful tools, lesson plans, lapbooks, scrapbooks, co-ops and more to help support our families’ learning. We are proud to share our work with other families via www.WorldforLearning.com, allowing us to laugh, play and grow together!