Tuesday, 8 November 2011

India mini-book and rationing begins

Yesterday I went with Iona up to her bedroom to get her dressed, and while we were there she decided she wanted to look at her Disney's "Wonderful World of Knowledge" series that I keep out of her reach in her bedroom. She wanted to look at several of the books, but I tried to relate them all back to what we'd seen the day before about India. One of the volumes she looked at was about famous places, and I managed to find the Taj Mahal in it, so I told her about it and how it was made to show how much the Emperor Shah Jahan loved his wife. We then talked about how we show we love people.

To make a mini-book about India I drew an approximate diamond (about the shape of India) on a sheet of thin card folded into 4, and cut it out. On the cover I wrote India in dotted lines, which Iona was only too happy to write over. Inside I wrote pages about how Grandpa was in India during the 2nd World War, "It is hot", Indian food, saris, their flag and the Taj Mahal, with key words dotted for Iona to write over. She drew and coloured the sun, the Taj Mahal (with a bit of prompting to look at what there was, and not really recognisable), a sari-wearing lady, triangular (or not!) samosas and jalebi (with a suggestion of how to do it by scribbling). In addition, I suggested that she copy the Indian flag from "Celebrate! India". I asked her to draw a rectangle (which wasn't very rectangular!) then asked her to draw 2 lines across it. She started drawing it outside the rectangle, so I drew them. Then I asked her to draw a circle in the middle, which she did. After that I asked her to draw lots of little lines in the circle. I thought she would struggle with this, but she drew a tiny circle in the middle of the circle, and drew several spokes radiating from it, just like in the flag. I was so impressed!

Unfortunately I have had to give this complex, and probably not very good, description as I managed to drop our digital camera on Sunday night and it immediately stopped working, apparently for good. As I have mislaid my mobile phone, with built-in camera, my husband's won't download to a computer without the purchase of an expensive driver, and our scanner mysteriously stopped working a couple of years ago, it looks as if I'm going to have to do this blog photo-free for now!

Having completed our India mini-book yesterday, I moved on to the home front with Iona today, and explained about rationing. I began by pointing out that Britain is an island, surrounded by water. However, she wasn't very interested, preferring to use the blow-up globe for a game of catch! I decided to join in with that but gradually brought in what we previously read in "The World Came to My Place Today" about where our food comes from, and asked her to say where something came from each time she caught the ball. This worked to get her interest a bit, so I went on from that to say how the Germans stopped boats coming to Britain with foods like those we'd named. I looked with Iona through the book "Food and Rations", explaining some of the pictures as we came to them, particularly the posters of Potato Pete and Doctor Carrot, which she liked. I also showed her my Mum's old recipe book, featuring wartime recipes and several cuttings from newspapers of the Ministry of Food's wartime food tips. By now it was nearly lunch time, so I asked Iona to help me make a wartime recipe: cheese pudding (found in "Wartime Cookbook"), which she liked the sound of. She helped to break the eggs, grate the cheese and breadcrumbs, and mix it, and after cooking it we ate it with a small salad. All agreed that it was lovely and cheesy ('though it would have used the family's weekly cheese ration!).

While working and playing this morning, I played the CDs "Hits of the War Years" and "A V.E. Day Party", so that Iona got a feel for wartime music. She wasn't keen, but this was mainly because she wanted to put one of her children's DVDs on instead. I was able to get the CDs through our Central Library, who are selling off all their CDs, DVDs and videos cheap. This was very useful to me in the short-term, but I will be very sorry to see the service go, as it's so useful for projects like this, when I don't necessarily want to keep a particular album, but just want to expose Iona to different music.

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