Friday, October 29, 2010

Pei Wei and Gifts from Asia

I was going to post all of our Chinese activities for the Geography/History link-up today, but I thought this post I'd already started for this week's Field Trip Friday would work, as well.

Since we have been learning about Asia, I recently took the kids on a little "field trip" to Little Rock. We first went to an Asian grocery store. We just took our time, walking down the aisles, paying attention to all of the writing on the packages, comparing it to products we are used to.

A couple of funny things I heard while we were in the store:

Tornado kept saying (in his typical excited way), "Look! Everything's Spanish." He was referring to the Asian writing. Dash would hiss (in his typical embarrassed way), "It's not Spanish! It's Chinese!"

Dash later said, "When I grow up, I want to be Spanish." I think he meant he wants to learn to speak Spanish.

I let them buy fun kid chopsticks and two snacks. They liked these Star Popeye snacks (chip-like ramen noodle pieces and little balls of sugar). We saved the Peanut Mochi for dessert. What I realized is...I would have a hard time living in Asia. My OCD food label reading (I must know what I am eating!) and picky vegan ways would not lend themselves well to living in another country.

Next, we met Daddy at Pei Wei. So...not necessarily authentic Chinese, but like I said, I'm very picky about where and what I eat so we went the mainstream American Asian diner route. Pei Wei is one of our favorite places to eat out.

Tornado was getting used to using his chopsticks with the finger holes.

They got the hang of it. You know who's good at using chopsticks? Ryan. He eats his rice and everything with chopsticks.

They really liked the Peanut Mochi. (It's basically glutinous rice flour, water, sugar, and peanuts.)

Another fun part of our Asian studies arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. Ryan and I have a friend (we met in college) who now lives in Taiwan with her husband and her children, who were all born in China. Madonna is super sweet and fun (here is her blog), and when she found out what we were learning about, she offered to mail us some treats!

The kids were so excited about seeing the box arrive, examining the writing on the box, and opening it.

She included, along with a catalog from Taiwan, moon cakes (to go along with the celebration of the recent Moon Festival, which I'll mention more with our Chinese lessons), dried wasabi peas, dried plums (which gave me dejavu from the salty sweet taste of different candies my Asian step-grandmother would bring us back from San Francisco trips to see her family), seaweed paper (which the kids thought was fun because we love seaweed paper, but the kind we get is in a different package), and another kind of crunchy snack with seaweed on it.

What was the kids' favorite? They really liked the mooncakes. And they liked these crunchy ones. Dash liked the wasabi peas, but they were too spicy for the other two. It wasn't even about the taste so much as the sheer excitement of receiving a package in the mail from another country. So, thank you, Madonna! You're a great friend!

<span class=Join me the 1st Friday of each month for Field Trip Friday!


Debbie said...

Nothing better then getting right out and experiencing geography and history hands on. We love to do as much of that as we can. Thank you for linking up this week.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I like the creative mix of activities you put together for this study!

MaDonna Maurer said...

I had no idea that you have an Asian step-grandmother! Love when food brings back childhood memories.
And so glad the kids liked the package...

Phyllis said...

A lovely way to enjoy and celebrate learning about another country. How fortunate to have a friend in another country.

Discovering Montessori said...

I really love how you incorporated all these nice hands on activities. Thank you for sharing.