Walk to Italy – Florence
Bongiorno! You are in Florence.
Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s ‘David’ sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ and da Vinci’s ‘Annunciation’.
Montessori Fact: Maria Montessori spoke at the General Conference of UNESCO in Florence, 1950.
Recipe: Italian Margarita Pizza
For the base
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
For the sauce
- 100ml passata
- handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
- handful grated parmesan
- handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Step 1: Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it’s not essential for a thin crust.
Step 2: Make the sauce: Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste. Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base.
Step 3: Roll out the dough: if you’ve let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.
Step 4: Top and bake: heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 8. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using. Repeat step for remaining pizza.Read More
Walk to Italy – Nice
You have arrived in Nice!
Nice is the capital of the Cote D’Azur, and thousands of tourists from across the globe travel to one of the most charming, historic and beautiful cities in France. From the thriving Promenade des Anglais that hugs 7km of the gorgeous coastline in the South of France to the historic old town with squares lined with al fresco style dining. Famous artists; Matisse & Picasso once lived in the city. The city hosts an annual carnival in February which features floats, masks, musicians and dancers.
Montessori Fact: The Second International Montessori Congress was held in Nice, France in 1932!
Activity: Carnival Mask
- A4 or Letter size cardstock
- Poster paint or crayons
- White glue
- Paint brush
- Dowel or disposable chopsticks
- Glitter glue
- Glue gun (optional)
- Decorative materials: sequins, rhinestones, ribbons, crepe paper strips, puffy paint, aluminum foil, etc.
Step 1 – Print and cut out mask template
Choose from any of these Masquerade and Mardi Gras Mask templates. Some of our Superhero Mask templates can work as masquerade.. Print out your chosen mask on A4. Cut out the template carefully with scissors.
Step 2- Paint mask
Color the mask with crayons, colored markers or paint.
Step 3 – Decorate
Once the paint dries, decorate the mask with sequins, rhinestones, feathers, puffy paint, glitter glue and other notions. Make your mask as fabulous as you like.
Step 4 – Make an handle
Take a chopstick or wooden dowel and glue it to the middle or side of the mask depending on preference.
Now you’re ready to join the carnival!Read More
Walk to Italy – Barcelona
Hola! Welcome to Barcelona.
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and is located on the east coast. Antoni Gaudi is considered one of the great architects who vastly influenced buildings in the city. His La Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic Church was begun in 1882 and is still under construction many years after his death. Las Ramblas is a famous street marketplace in Barcelona where you can buy art, jewellery and other crafts. Small savoury dishes called Tapas are very popular among the Spanish. Tapas is typically consumed with drinks at a bar.
Montessori Fact: Maria Montessori lived here from 1916 to 1936. The Montessori 4th Congress was also held here in 1916.
Barcelona Fun Facts:
- Barcelona City Council founded the first Casa dels nens (Children’s House) in 1915 following the Montessori Method. The method quickly spread and by the end of 1915 there were 13 schools in Barcelona following the method
- Barcelona is to thank for World Book Day. St. George’s Day is a festival held in Barcelona to celebrate love and literacy, this inspired UNESCO to declare this day as World Book Day
- Barcelona is the home to the biggest stadium of its kind on the continent of Europe Camp Nou, which is home to Barcelona FC and has capacity for 99, 354 spectators!
Activity: Recipe- Chicken & Chorizo Paella
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breast fillets, cut into chunks
- 2 small onions, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 140g chorizo, sliced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp paprika
- 300g paella rice
- 850ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 200g frozen peas
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
- ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, to serve
Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan over a high heat. Brown the chicken all over – don’t cook completely. Once browned, transfer to a plate.
Step 2: Reduce the heat to low, add the onions and cook slowly until softened, about 10 mins. Add the garlic, stir for 1 min, then toss in the chorizo and fry until it releases its oils.
Step 3: Stir in the spices, then tip in the rice. Stir to coat the rice in the oils and spices for about 2 mins, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, return the chicken to the pan and simmer for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Add the peas to the pan and simmer for a further 5 mins until the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender. Season well and serve with the lemon and parsley.Read More
Walk to Italy – Ste. Foy de la Grande
Bonjour! Welcome to St. Foy de la Grande.
Sainte Foy de la Grande is a commune in southwestern France. Built in the 12th century and enlarged in the 17th and 19th centuries, the Notre-Dame church is worth a visit. On the banks of the Dordogne, one can also learn fishing, canoeing or leisurely stroll in the sun.
Activity: With such a history, we thought it would be fun for our pupils to make an authentic Medieval Castle from toilet roll! Check out this blog here to learn more.
Fun Facts about St. Foy de la Grande:
- Founded in 1255 on the banks of the river Dordogne
- Many water sports are popular here as it is on the river banks; canoeing, boating and swimming
- It is one of the smallest towns in France covering just 51 hectares!
- Birthplace of Paul Broca, Broca’s aphasia (speech diificulties after stroke), father of neuroscience
Walk to Italy – Paris
Oui, Oui you are now in Paris!
Paris is the capital city of France. The Eiffel Tower is the city’s central landmark at over 300 metres tall. Paris is a fashion and food capital of the world. Designers such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior all began their careers here. The baguette, pain au chocolat and croissant are favoured foods among tourists who visit. The Louvre Museum is a very popular tourist attraction as it is home to the most famous painting in the world – The Mona Lisa. A walk along the Champs Elysees will lead you to the Arc de Triomphe.
Paris Fun Facts:
- Paris is known as the “City of Lights” because it was one of the first cities in the world to install street lights!
- There are more dogs in Paris than children! More than 300,000 dogs live in Paris
- The French army is the only one in Europe that still has carrier pigeons in its ranks. They are kept at the Mont Valérien close to Paris, these pigeons can be used to carry out transmissions in case of a major catastrophe.
Montessori Fact: Maria Montessori held a speech at the Sorbonne in Paris in which she makes one of her numerous appeals for peace, 1938.
Activity 1: For all of you creative kids, learn how to draw the Eiffel Tower with ‘Art for Kids Hub’ video.
Activity 2: Disneyland Paris
Who wouldn’t love to go to Disneyland at the moment? Some Disney magic to cheer us up! Get a bucket of popcorn and make some Mickey Mouse ears and settle down to visit virtually. The video is broken up into 12 parts if it’s too
overwhelming to take it all in in one go (just like real life!)
Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Virtual Tour 2020
Google Earth have created a wonderful view of Disneyland Paris from 85,000 photos
Stroll the streets of Disneyland and the children will love seeing the castle and all the rides.
Walk to Italy – Brussels
You’re in Brussels!
Brussels is the capital of Belgium. The city is best known for politics, history, architecture and cuisine. Brussels is home to 40,000 EU employees which makes it no surprise that 27% of its residents are not Belgian citizens. There are three official languages in Belgium. In Brussels, people mostly speak French but all public signs and documents are printed in French and Flemish Dutch. The third language is German. Chocolate, waffles and beer are majorly produced in Brussels.
Recipe: Belgian Waffles
- 125g of plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 150ml whole milk
- 2 free range eggs, separated
- 40g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1: Preheat your Belgian waffle iron on the hob over a medium heat; if using an electric waffle maker, heat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can make these waffles with a standard waffle iron, but the mixture will make more (thinner) waffles.
Step 2: Sift the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
Step 3: In a jug, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Step 4: In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold firm, but not stiff, peaks. Using a large spoon, fold the egg whites into the batter mixture until just combined but do not over-mix.
Step 5: Spoon the batter into the waffle iron – how much you need will depend on the size of your iron or machine – and cook on the hob for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden and well risen, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep warm while you cook the remaining waffles.Read More
Walk to Italy – Noordwijk aan Zee
Time to relax and unwind at Noordwijk aan Zee!
Noordwijk aan Zee is a beautiful coastal town located 35km from Amsterdam. The seafront boulevard is lined with hotels, pubs and restaurants. Noordwijk is the location of the headquarters for the European Space Research and Technology Centre. In 2012, Noordwijk received the Quality Coast Gold Award for its efforts to become a sustainable tourist destination. Noordwijk is very popular for water activities including swimming, surfing and sailing.
Maria Montessori died on May 6th, 1952 in Noordwijk.
Activity: Paper Plate Seashell
- Paper plates
- Single hole punch
- String of yarn
Step 1 – Lets Get Started!
Draw an outline of a seashell on your paper plate and cut it out.
Step 2 – Time To Decorate
Paint and decorate your seashell in any way you wish. Have Fun!
Step 3 – Details
Once dry, use a hole punch to punch four or five holes closer to each other at the bottom, and an equal number of holes at the top of the plate a little farther from each other. Using some yarn, lace the string through the first hole at the bottom and up to the top hole at the other end. Repeat until all five holes are laced and tie the ends together.Read More
Walk to Italy – Amsterdam
Welkom! You have arrived in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands capital. The city is known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses. You can visit artistic works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer housed in the Museum District. Cycling is key to the city’s character with over 58% of locals choosing to pedal to their destination. A bike ride through Vondelpark is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. If you’re into your history, the Anne Frank House Museum offers an interactive storytelling experience about life in exile during World War II.
The Association Montessori International (AMI) was founded in Amsterdam in 1929 by Maria Montessori. The AMI set out to propagate and further the teachings of Maria Montessori. Over 200 AMI schools were founded in the United States which used Montessori methods of teaching at its core.
Activity: Egg Carton Tulips
- Egg carton
- Coloured buttons
- PVA glue
- Green pipe cleaners
Step 1 – Get Cutting!
Cut out each cup in the egg carton. Paint each cup in your chosen colour and leave to dry.
Step 2 – Add Your Stem
Poke two holes at the bottom of each cup. Slide the green pipe cleaner up through the bottom of the cup and down through the second hole. Twist the stem under the base of the tulip to secure. Repeat this step for each tulip.
Step 3 – Button Center
Using a paintbrush, dab some PVA glue on the back of your buttons and stick them in the centre of each tulip base.
Step 4 – Finishing Touches
Gather your tulips into a bouquet and tie them together with a ribbon.
You’ve just made a beautiful bouquet of The Netherlands national flower!Read More
Walk to Italy – London
London is the capital of the United Kingdom. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clocktower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. London’s Oxford Street is Europes busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors. Forget driving in that heavy London traffic, the Underground is the most efficient mode of transport for making your way around the city.
In 1946, Maria Montessori conducted the first Montessori training course in Europe known as the ‘London Lectures’. Here Maria spoke of her lifetime spent studying early childhood development from infancy through elementary and into adolescence.
The adult, the child, and the environment are a trinity. They should be considered as one”.– Maria Montessori The 1946 London Lectures, P.213.
Recipe: Victoria Sponge Cake
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g softened butter
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp milk
For the filling:
- 100g butter softened
- 140g icing sugar, sifted
- drop of vanilla extract
- half a jar of strawberry jam
- icing sugar to decorate
Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper.
In a large bowl, beat 200g caster sugar, 200g softened butter, 4 beaten eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp milk together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
To make the filling, beat the 100g softened butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in 140g sifted icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract.
Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the sponges. Top it with 170g strawberry jam and sandwich the second sponge on top.
Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.Read More
Walk to Italy – Oxford
You’ve arrived at Oxford!
Oxford is a city in central southern England best known for it’s prestigious university, established in the 12th century. The University Museum of Natural History has the most complete specimens of the Dodo bird that went extinct in the 17th century. If you fancy taking part in a popular local activity, may I suggest punting. Punting involves tourists sitting in a wooden boat on the river whilst a guide pushes it along with a pole. If the architecture of Oxford looks familiar but you can’t figure out why, it’s because the city was used as a filming location for the Harry Potter movies.
In 1936, the fifth International Montessori Congress was held in Oxford. This meeting was attended by Maria Montessori and was important for the development of further principles of Montessori for Primary and Secondary schools.
Activity: Harry Potter Magic Wand
- PVA glue
Step 1 – Sourcing the perfect wand
Go for a walk around your garden or a local park with a parent or guardian. Gather any sticks you may come across and put them into a bag to bring home.
Step 2 – Time to get creative!
Put some PVA glue in a bowl and add a length of wool or string and coat it in the glue. Wrap the string around your chosen stick and wait for it to dry. Once dry, you can paint over the wand in you colour(s) of choice and sprinkle with glitter, beads or sequins.
Wingardium Leviosa!Read More