A trip to Italy

Here at 5 Minute Fun, we’re going on a trip to Italy! Read on for lots of fun things to do with your little one to learn all about the best country shaped like a boot.

Flag

The Italian flag is often referred to in Italian as il Tricolore. This is because it’s made up of three colours – red, white and green.

Show your little one this picture of the Italian flag. Can they draw it? For younger children, you may want to draw the outline yourself and ask them to colour it in. When they’ve finished you can cut it out and stick it in their 5 Minute Fun passport (learn how to make one here).

Landmark

One of Italy’s most famous landmarks is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The tower is instantly recognisable from its trademark ‘lean’ (it is literally in the name after all). Looks like us after a vino!

Here we’re going to show you how to make the famous Italian tower in two different ways. One can be done in 5 minutes; the other way takes a bit longer – but as it’s the summer holidays, we thought you may have a bit of extra time to fill up! 

Here’s what you’re going to need for this crafting activity.

For the base: Green card, or white card and something to make it green (paint, pens, crayons or pencils)

For the tower: Cardboard tube (we used a crisp tube), white and yellow paint, felt tip pen

Everything else: Scissors, PVA glue, paintbrush, and green tissue paper (if you don’t have green tissue paper you can use normal tissue or toilet paper and paint it green)

Cut the card into a rectangle. If you’re using green card, that’s it for this step! If not, ask your little one to make the base green using whatever you have available. We used two different shades of green felt tip pen to make it look more like grass.

Cut strips into the base of the cardboard tube. Remember to make the strips longer on one side to make sure your little one’s tower has the famous ‘lean’. After you’ve done this, your child can bend the strips out so that it can balance on the base like shown in the picture.

Next your little one needs to mix the paint for their Leaning Tower of Pisa. We’ve used white paint with a tiny drop of yellow to get a lovely cream colour. They could use just white paint, or whatever colour they want! If your child is using a kitchen roll tube they don’t have to paint it.

If needed, add a second coat of paint.

Once dry, it’s time to decorate! Your kids need to draw on the arches. They can count how many tiers the real tower has, or do it a bit more freestyle like we did.

The tower then needs to be glued onto the base. You may need to find something to weigh the tower down as it dries onto the base.

Then scrunch up the tissue paper to glue onto the base around the tower to hide the spokes. And that’s it! Your child has made their very own Leaning Tower of Pisa. We’re sure it will sit pride of place in the middle of the table the next time you have pasta for dinner! 

Food

To get your little one learning about Italy’s most famous food, we have a few ideas!

Get creative in the kitchen:

You can decorate a pizza together!

Buy some pizza bases – tortillas make a great alternative. You could also use a pitta bread and cut open to make a calzone or ‘pizza pocket’ or just lay it our flat. A jar of passata makes a perfect pizza sauce and a bag of pre-grated cheese makes life a little easier… then add any extra toppings you want.

The fun doesn’t have to be kept in the kitchen though. You can make a pizza out of paper or card by drawing around a plate and cutting it out. Ask your children to draw their favourite toppings onto it! After they’ve finished they could cut into slices (we think eight is a good number) use it to work on counting. e.g.  count three slices then ask your little one to count how many are left.

Language

Try out some simple Italian words with your little one. Maybe you can use a few the next time you’re eating an Italian meal?

Hello – ciao (pronounced ‘chow’)

Thank you – grazi (pronounced ‘grat-sie’)

Please – per favore (pronounced ‘pear favor-e’)

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