Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Classroom Today--December 8

Our Classroom

One of the benefits to living in a metropolitan area is the vast array of opportunities available. Today our Tuesday group spent the afternoon at the American Swedish Institute. I love the Swedish Institute. I have only been there at Christmas time, when they have the whole house decorated for the season. It is beautiful. And educational. They do a "Nordic Christmas," which means you get to learn about Christmas traditions in not only Sweden, but also Norway, Finland, and Denmark.

The history is right up Kiddo's alley, too. In fact, when we left, he said he wanted to go back sometime because we didn't get to read everything and explore everything.

The mansion that houses the Swedish Institute was built in the early part of the 20th century by Swan Turnblad. He published the Swedish language newspaper Svenska Amerikanska Posten. He moved into the house in 1908 with his wife and theri only child, a daughter. They lived in the house until his wife passed away in 1929, when they moved across the street and created the American Swedish Institute, giving house to the organization. I am always taken aback that this house was built for three people to live in. Their daughter was already in her 20's when they moved in, so they knew they would not be having more children. And then to live there for 20 years, and be the only family to ever live in the house. It just amazes me.

We didn't do a guided tour this time--our experience last time was a bit less than expected, so we opted to go on our own--but we did buy the Tomte Tour book for $2. It was worth two dollars, though I am glad it didn't cost more. They also had a sheet of 100 things to try to find in various parts of the house. With a group of 8 kids ranging in age from not quite a year to 6 1/2, we didn't try to find all 100. I am impressed we got as many as we did!

When we had exhausted the children's attention span, we headed to the basement of the institute where they have a small (very small) cafe. We snacked on flat bread and cheese, fruit soup, and cookies. I love fruit soup, but don't get it very often. This was delicious. Kiddo and Kutey sampled it, too, and enjoyed it. I think I will find a recipe to try...in January or February.

The kids also enjoyed riding on the hand crafted Dala horse, playing in a great little Swedish kitchen complete with pretend lussekatt and pepparkakor, and hunting for all 11 of the kakelugnar. We only found 10, which just means we'll be looking again next time!

1 comment:

jugglingpaynes said...

Merry Christmas!

Peace and Laughter,