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Our next stop is to Chile, South America, the world’s narrowest country! It is also one of the longest.
We grabbed our awesome travel books, and got to learning! Join along for some fun facts about Chile for kids, as well as some fun activities and food!
Check out our post on The Travel Book here!
Fun Facts About Chile for kids
Fun facts were found in the Lonely Planet Travel books (above) as well as Chile: Enchantment of the World by Michael Burgan
Chile is about 2,700 miles long, barely shorter than the U.S. is wide.
Chile is home to the Atacama desert, the driest place on Earth! Some parts haven’t gotten any rain in over 400 years. This makes for very clear, blue skies!
Easter Island, over 2,000 miles west of Chile, displays 887 moai! The giant heads were made from volcanic rock, and nobody knows where they came from!
Image by annca
Chile is one of the countries that has a claim on Antarctica, and houses many military and research stations.
Chile is known by its people as the “Country of Poets,” as two poets from Chile have won Nobel Peace Prizes in literature.
Glaciers cover just under 3% of the country.
Football (“soccer,” in America) is widely popular in Chile, though its most successful sport is actually tennis.
History of Chile for kids
Monte Verde was home to the first peoples who inhabited South America, nearly 15,000 years ago. From there, they slowly spread across the land. The Chinchorro arrived in northern Chile about 6,000 BC. The Chinchurro have the oldest mummies in the world. All persons were mummifed, not just kings.
A few expeditions were led by the Spanish in the 1500’s, and in 1540 Spain’s first settlement was established in Santiago. The Spanish ruled Chile for hundreds of years. In the 1800’s, a rebel group began to fight back for freedom. After years of battling, Chile won back its independence in 1818.
Chile’s Independence day is celebrated on September 18th.
Language of Chile
Find some simple words and phrases in Spanish in our post on Argentina!
Here are a few more to practice:
Chile Crafts for kids
As Easter Island is a well-known spot, with much intrigue attached to it, we decided to make some of our own Maoi. This is a fun little craft to learn all about Chile for kids.
Supplies for this include:
- Maoi Silicone ice cube tray / mold (I got mine on Amazon, but they can be hard to find. In which case, feel free to try to mold by hand using extra tools like a pencil or plastic knife to help detail!)
- Warm water
- Parchment Paper on a cookie sheet
- Paint, paintbrush, if desired
First, we made some salt dough to use as the material to mold our maoi from. Ratios for the dough are 1:2, salt:flour In our case, we combined 1/2 cup salt with 1 cup flour. Mix it up with a spoon. Then slowly, add up to 1/2 cup warm water WHILE constantly stirring. We used just short of the 1/2 cup. Then, start using your hands to knead the dough together. It shouldn’t be sticky, so add a little more flour if it is. It shouldn’t be really hard or dry or crumbly; add a little more water if it is.
After the dough is in a nice, cohesive ball, break small chunks off to smush into the mold (or do mold by hand). Then, carefully flip the dough-filled mold upside-down and ever-so-slightly stretch the mold and gently push from the bottom (now the top, since it’s upside-down) to push out the dough. Let it land onto the parchment paper.
Put the dough figures into an oven at 200 degrees and cook for an hour. Using a mitt or utensil, carefully flip the figures over and cook another hour.
After they cool, grab some paints! One daughter painted them gray, true to their actual color. My younger daughter got a little more creative and painted them pink and purple 🙂
Check out other countries in South America!
Food from Chile
Our Around the World adventure to Chile had to include food, of course. While locals may enjoy eel soup and crab casserole, (umm…nope on that eel!) we went for the popular Pastel de Choclo, or Chilean Corn Pie. Made with corn, beef, and onions, this dish from Chile was a tasty way to end the evening. We found a good recipe here!
All About Chile for Kids
Did you have fun learning about Chile, South America? That just scratched the surface! From deserts to glaciers to mysterious maoi heads, what intrigued you the most? Be sure to find more fun facts in The Travel Books.
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