This post contains a heart warming study of the Netherlands and the Colonists by introducing books, art, poetry and music to your children. If you are following the Well Educated Heart rotation, this study will fall under month 2 (October).
In your own study of the Netherlands and the Colonists, you will be visiting the 1600s as you explore with the Colonists. You will discover the new world with them. Set sail just like they did as you swim through the exciting topics you will encounter. During this month, you will make the connection that some of them had with the small land of the Netherlands.
You will grow to love the children of Holland.
Each month can cover more than you might be able to visit. Something Marlene, the creator of the Well Educated Heart, often reminds us is that the rotation will always come around again. It can seem overwhelming as you dive in and see all that you can study. Just use your own heart to determine which activities will work for you and your children as you go through the rotation.
Exploring the Colonists
We turned to a picture book to get us started. We checked out a book entitled The Boy Who Fell off the Mayflower, written by P.J. Lynch. This beautiful book recounts the story of John Howland. Although, it may contain many words and may be too intensive for your young children, it is broken into smaller stories, so you can easily read through one story at a time.
We used the book to flip through the beautiful illustrations and talk about what was happening in each picture. Let your children imagine how it would feel to set sail on a boat and leave their native land for a new one.
Discover if you are related to anyone on the Mayflower!
Another fun activity you can do is to visit this website that will tell you if you are related to anyone on the Mayflower. It’s pretty incredible to see who John Howland’s descendants are. A few of them are George Bush, Joseph Smith Jr, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Franklin Roosevelt. Pretty incredible right? This boy was meant to stay alive.
On page one of the book, it mentions that many of the future Colonists from England needed to seek refuge from persecution. The small country of the Netherlands welcomed them to Holland with open arms. Doesn’t that just speak of the freedom they stood for even so long ago?
This book can easily take a month with your younger children. Your older children will be able to listen to more of it, or might even be able to read it themselves. We talked about the Colonists landing at Plymouth rock, in current Cape Cod Massachusetts. My daughter loved learning that the Native Americans helped some of the colonists learn to plant food.
So many of the stories we tell can teach values along the way. The Colonists from England were helped in Holland. They struggled with sickness, famines, and not having a place to call home once they got to the New World. The young girl Pocahontas helped them.
We found a coloring picture that depicted the real Pocahontas better than in the disney movie (although that might be a fun addition for your family).
After visiting the Colonists, the children were ready to move on to learn about Holland. We began by reading in Book 2 of Marlene’s Book of Delights. You can access the Book of Delights in the online library of the Forgotten Classics on the website for the Libraries of Hope.
The pictures that go along with the poems about the little Dutch children are beautiful. Both of the children, ages 5 and 3, listening to the stories and poems were interested.
We focused on this poem:
“Blow, wind, blow and go, mill go
That the Miller may Grind his corn;
That the baker may take it,
And into rolls make it,
And Bring us some hot in the morn.”
-My Book of Delights Book two, page 61
HOLLAND WINDMILL ART ACTIVITY
This led us to a desire to learn more about windmills and wanting to make our own. Here is what you need to create this fun windmill art activity:
- Popsicle sticks
- Elmer’s glue
- Construction paper
- Scissors to make our own windmill scene.
Create your own in 2 easy steps
Paint the popsicle sticks with washable paint and let them dry. Colored some grass and cut out clouds and a sun for a mini scene of Holland.
Glue the sticks onto the paper, and create your own windmill. You can also create a little fence to go in the scene along with the windmill. We ran out of sticks to make the whole windmill, so we used paint to finish the rest of it.
This craft was easy enough for the three year old to enjoy it too! He placed and pressed the sticks on the paper, and painted the sticks while I held them in place. He colored his own grass. The picture above is the picture that a five year old made.
We also enjoyed the music on the Netherlands enrichment page. We hope this helps you in your own journey as you study of the Netherlands and the Colonists. You can go in so many different directions! Please know that above all, just let your hearts soar as you learn together through music, poetry, books and beautiful pictures.
Your children’s hearts will soar, and your own heart will thank you as well! -XoXo