24th February

1786 Wilhelm Grimm born – so study some Grimms fairy tales; here’s a Pinterest page of activities and here are some games. The best thing to do, though, is try and re-enact a Grimms fairy tale with your dolls. Video it too!

 

Dragobete (Romanian Valentine’s Day, celebrating the day the birds are said to find their mates and start building nests)

Mexico Flag Day – see 16th September

Estonia Independence Day – see 23rd June

Thailand National Artist Day – see 5th December

23rd February

1455 Gutenberg Bible first printed with moveable type – so print some letters

1633 Samuel Pepys born – so start a diary

1685 Handel born – his most famous works are Messiah, and Music for the Royal Fireworks

Why not listen to his Water Music while doing water experiments?

 

Brunei National Day:

Brunei comes from ‘Baru nah!’, meaning ‘It’s there!’, which the founder shouted when he saw it.

There isn’t much known about it before Europe discovered it, but it seemed to have been owned by the Indonesian empire of Majapahit, and was Islamic.

Spain invaded in 1578, but the sailors caught cholera and left again.

In 1846 Brunei was having a little conflict over who should be Sultan, and Britain thought ‘Yeah that’s totally our business’ and attacked, but we didn’t take Brunei for ourselves.

In the 1880s the Sultan granted land to the British adventurer James Brooke, who founded Sarawak and became the first White Rajah. He and his heirs took more land and Brunei grew smaller.

In 1888 the Sultan asked to become a British Protectorate to stop the White Rajahs taking more land. Britain signed a treaty with them then totally didn’t help them, and Brunei carried on getting smaller until it was just the two little chunks it is today. What Britain did do was send in ‘advisers’ (or, ‘colonists’).

From 1929 Brunei found its river Seria to be a valuable source of oil.

In WWII Japan took Brunei and Britain didn’t help cos we were busy. Australian and American forces bombed Brunei until the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

After WWII a British Military Administration helped revive the economy and put out the oil well fires started by the Japanese as they left.

Brunei gained independence from the UK in 1984.

Tłusty Czwartek, Poland’s Fat Thursday – the last Thursday before Lent – there are a lot of pączki in Bognor Regis: sugar-dusted, iced, sprinkled with dried orange zest, with fillings of thick vanilla creme, strawberry jam, apple compote.

Other events that might inspire your play today:

  • Russian Day of the Defenders of the Motherland – celebrating the formation of the Red Army to defend Russia in 1919.
  • 1905 Rotary Club founded in America
  • 1927 Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle first described

22nd February

1997 Dolly the sheep’s clone announced – so learn about genes and DNA:

 

1857 Robert Baden-Powell (founder of Scouts) born – Baden-Powell Day

1889 Girl Guide founder Olave Baden-Powell born – World Thinking Day (Girl Guides)

… so go camping!

Sun Festival, Abu Simbel – Ramses II built this temple so that the inner chamber would light up twice a year: once on the anniversary of his ascension to the throne (today), and once on his birthday (22nd October).

St Lucia Independence Day

George Washington’s Birthday – the first president of the United States. Try this website.

21st February

1842 the sewing machine patented – try these easy sewing activities with your little one:

Other events that might inspire your play today:

  • 1958 the peace symbol designed
  • Mother Language Day (International – UNESCO)
  • Bengali Language Movement Day (celebrating Pakistan allowing Bengali to be an official language alongside Urdu in 1956)
  • Birth Anniversary of Fifth Druk Gyalpo (Bhutan)
  • Father Lini Day (Vanuatu – an Anglian priest who was the country’s founding Prime Minister when it gained independence from the UK and France in 1980 – see 5th March)

19th February

1472 Nicholas Copernicus born – so learn about the solar system:

We made an orrery!

orrery

As you can see, it’s made from a nail pushed through the hole in a cake stand.

A tealight represents the sun and the planets are in order on craft wire. They can move around the ‘sun’ as they are hooked into the grooves on the nail.

The planets are made from Fimo and rest on buttons so they don’t slide down the wire.

I think the best thing is that the planets can be taken off, so you can remind your little one of the order of the planets.

We watched this song on repeat while we were making it.

Make planets out of Playdough (which can be cooked hard) or Fimo and make jewellery … or make solar system cake pops:

I also like this solar system fruit and yoghurt snack:

I love this way of showing orbits by tying a kid to a weight so they see how they are pulled around it at Our Montessori Home:

LOOK AT THESE SOLAR SYSTEM CHOCOLATES:

I also love ‘What if the other planets were as close as the Moon?”

 

1819 South Shetland Islands discovered in Antarctica

1878 Eddison patents the phonograph

 

Turkmenistan National Flag Day

turkmenistan-map

In the 8th century Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes from Mongolia came to the area that is now Turkmenistan. In the 10th century they accepted Islam under the rule of the Seljuk Empire, which covered Iran, Turkmenistan and later Azerbaijan and eastern Turkey.

In the 12th century Turkmen tribes overthrew the Seljuk Empire. In the next century, an influx of Mongols drove the Turkmen south. They remained as nomadic, independent tribes, but were eventually kind of controlled by Uzbek khanates (chiefs/kings).

In the late 19th century Russia took over the Uzbek khanates and in 1881, at the Battle of Geok Tepe, Russia annexed the whole of Turkmenistan.

The Turkmens rebelled against Russian conscription in WWI, and joined Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Uzbeks in the Basmachi Rebellion against Soviet rule in the 1920s. Nevertheless Turkmenistan and part of Kazakhstan became the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, and agricultural reforms destroyed the Turkmen nomadic lifestyle.

In 1991 when Soviet Russa collapsed, Turkmenistan gained independence and the communist leader Saparmurad Niyazov decided he would be president for life.

niyazov

He did things like, close all hospitals and libraries outside the capital. In 1995 he declared Turkmenistan permanently neutral, meaning they will never take sides in someone else’s war, which I think might be wonderful.

Niyazov died in 2006, and his deputy won the elections, which was made entirely of the ‘Democratic Party’s candidates.

There’s a 60% unemployment rate but although Niyazov made Turkmenistan one of the top 10 most censored countries in the world, it is also the world’s fourth largest exporter of gas and he does spent the money on renovating the cities, and gives everyone 120 free litres of petrol a month, as well as free/subsidised electricity, water, gas and salt. It’s also the world’s 9th largest producer of cotton. But it doesn’t do much else.

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Turkmenistan is where the famous Door to Hell is, a gas field with an enormous crater that appeared in 1971 when the ground beneath a drilling rig collapsed. The Soviet engineers decided to burn off the gas coming out of the hole in case it was poisonous. It was supposed to burn out after a few weeks. It’s still burning.

18th February

1930 Pluto discovered – it’s smaller than our moon, takes 248 years to orbit the sun, it’s mostly ice and has no atmosphere, and might be one of Neptune’s moons that escaped (its orbit goes inside Neptune’s)

1978 the first Iron Man competition held – a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile run in 17 hours.

 

1848 Louis Comfort Tiffany, glass artist, born – so try some stained glass:

This one uses tissue paper and glue – another blog used puffy paint to make the black stained-glass outlines.

 

Gambia Independence Day

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Gambia used to trade with Muslim merchants in slaves, ivory and gold on the trans-Saharan trade routes. By the 12th century Gambian kingdoms had converted to Islam and had courtiers literate in Arabic.

In the 14th century Gambia was part of the Mali Empire. In the mid-15th century the Portuguese arrived and dominated sea-trade. In 1588 the Portuguese sold trading rights on the Gambia river to Britain.

During the 17th and 18th centuries Britain and France were fighting over West Africa, but Britain eventually won Gambia. In 1807 we abolished slave trade in our empire.

Gambia gained independence within the Commonwealth in 1965.They did quite well with democracy until 1981 when there was a coup and about 800 people died, Gambia tried joining up with Senegal to share resources but gave up after seven years. In 1994 Lt. Yahyah Jammeh became dictator and banned opposition parties, but since then they’ve moved back to democracy and Jammeh is still in power. In 2013 Gambia left the Commonwealth because it’s a neo-colonial institution.

Their traditional music is sabar; they love football.

 

Other events that might inspire you today:

  • Taj Mohatsav (2016): http://www.tajmahotsav.org/
  • 1898 Erenzo Ferrari born – so play with cars
  • Sepandārmazgān, Iranian mothers/wives day
  • Rashtriya Prajatantra Divas (Nepal National Democracy Day) – see 28th May