She told us that Russia is famous for the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, and for
being the birthplace of our beloved Rex & Jett Johnson AKA the translators.
The boy's wowed us with their mastery of the Russian language. They taught us words such as
spasiba (thanks), nyet (no), and homo (hello?). It's a good thing we had these
two linguists to guide us around Russia!
Then we all got our hankies out as we watched the boy's video of their day's in the Russian orphanage.
Cosmonaut Training Center
Russia was the first country to put an animal, a man, and a woman into space. We're "blasting off" to the world famous Cosmonaut Training Center where we'll participate in their gruelling program.
There are three things every cosmonaut needs to be. First, a cosmonaut is BRAVE.
Their first challenge was to wander all over the property searching for cute little aliens that
had been ejected from their space ships. This was basically an Easter egg hunts with aliens in pill bottles (space capsules).
Aliens purchased from Oriental Trading
After their rescue, the little cuties were put into their flying saucer. The saucer was two Chinet plates stapled together. A bowl was then hot glued on top, and a door was cut out on three sides and bent back. The space craft was then spray painted a metallic silver.
Each cosmonaut was in charge of hurling a flying saucer back into the galaxy.
To be successful the space craft had to pass through a hula-hoop hanging from a branch.
Once they succeeded, they reported to the head cosmonaut for their bravery reward.
The rewards were Starburst candy, Mars or Milky Way candy bars.
Second, a cosmonaut is SPEEDY!
This was a relay race. I made a red and a blue rocket out of oatmeal containers.
Each team had to refuel their rockets fuel tanks with gas (cotton balls).
They raced holding a spoon and cotton ball in one hand and a mini Russian flag on a toothpick in the other.
After refueling their rocket, they raced to the moon (Styrofoam ball)...
...planted their flag and claimed the moon for Russia...
...then raced back to the next comrade in line.
Third, A cosmonaut is HELPFUL
This challenge was so fun, but hard to photograph! We totally blacked out the windows in my bedroom . It was PITCH black! We tacked black plastic around the whole room (it's a small room) and then taped planets, stars, moons etc. that were cut out of fluorescent poster board to the plastic. We had several black lights and a very electronic sounding CD playing. The bed was covered in black sheets and with the little dots we emptied out of a hole punch. It looked like the milky way with thousands of little stars. We told the kids they had to achieve weightlessness and then retrieve three canisters left by NASA. We suspended three containers with 1) glow in the dark martian fingers,(OTC witch fingers) 2) glow in the dark balls (planets) and 3) glow in the dark flying saucers over the bed with fishing line. One at a time the adults tossed the kids gently into the air with the black bed sheets. While weightless, they tried to grab a canister off the ceiling. This was easy with the little ones, the big ones, NOT SO MUCH! Of course everyone wanted to do it again!
As we were tossing someone "one last time", a walkie talkie went off with this message," Come in Cosmonaut Training Center. This is space shuttle Grammatrosky. We have been attacked, I repeat WE HAVE BEEN ATTACKED by big, mean, green aliens. They have taken over our shuttle. The only way they can be stopped is by shooting them with your vaporizing laser water guns."
The cosmonauts ran out to find an alien in possession of that distressed space shuttle!
They blew sonic blasters and squirted that mean green alien into submission!
That alien felt so bad , he asked forgiveness for his rude behavior.
And all was forgiven!
Having proven themselves worthy to be called Cosmonauts, the campers were awarded Official Cosmonaut Certificates.
They also were rewarded a Cosmonaut Cousins Space Mission Badge.
And the biggest thrill of all! They were now allowed to eat in the Cosmonaut Cafeteria!
Out of this world box lunch
Now that we're "official", we launched our own space craft, a solar tube purchased from http://www.teachersource.com/AirPressure/RocketsAndBalloons/SolarTube.aspx
We may have to re-up for more cosmonaut classes since our space craft drifted into the branches and crashed minutes after take off!
Some other Russian activities: