One fun thing to do with your girls is to teach them about another country. Everything from the people of the country, the weather, culture, food, and more. You can center an entire meeting around teaching girls about Russia. I’ve included some general facts about the country, and highlighted a few games, activities, patch suggestions, and other resources to make your meeting fun and educational.
Learn Everything You Can About Russia
This is the content you can print and use to put together a poster, or share with your girls during a meeting. If you want easy-to-use games and activities to teach your girls these facts, be sure to keep reading.
Did you know? Russia is the biggest country in the world! Russia has 11 time zones! The distance between Russia and the USA is very small. The two countries are just 51 miles apart!
The family is very important to Russians. Most families include the grandparents, parents, and children in the same household.
For about two weeks in mid June, Russia experiences the “White Nights.” The sun will not set in St. Petersburg, and there will be daylight for 24 hours!
Geography of Russia: Russia stretches from Eastern Europe to Northern Asia. The country is located both on the European and on the Asian continents. Russia is double the size of Australia and about 1.8 times as big as the USA. Almost half of the country is covered in forests, but only 14% are suitable for agricultural land due to the harsh climate. The climate ranges from steppe in the South to subarctic in Siberia, and tundra in the polar North. The Caspian Sea in Russia is the world’s largest lake and the deepest lake in the world is Lake Baikal. Russia occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth and has about 100,000 rivers.
Where are the people in Russia? Most of the Russian population lives in the westernmost part of the country that belongs to the European continent. Here are the majority of the largest Russian cities such as Moscow, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Samara and Omsk. Three out of four people in Russia live in urban centers.
Government in Russia: Russia’s history as a democracy is short. The country’s first election, which took place in 1917, was quickly reversed by the Bolsheviks, and it wasn’t until the 1991 election of Boris Yeltsin that democracy took hold. Russia is a federation of 86 republics, provinces, territories and districts, all controlled by the government in Moscow. The head of state is a president elected by the people.
Animals in Russia: Due to the harsh climate in many regions in Russia, wildlife is often limited. The tundra landscape is covered by snow for more than nine months every year. However, large mammals such as reindeer survive in the tundra. Reindeer are referred to by some as caribou. Arctic foxes and polar bears can be seen in the far north, while whales and seals swim in the Arctic waters. Steppe (grassland) mammals in southern Russia include wild boars and various antelope species. There are several bear species such as the brown bears in the Caucasus and the Asian black bears which live in the Russian far-east. The Siberian tiger and the Amur leopard are among the most endangered species in Russia.
Economy in Russia: The Russian currency is called a ruble and is equal to 0.014 of a United States Dollar. Russia is among the ten largest economies in the world and the world’s third biggest gold producer after China and Australia. Russia is one of the leading producers of natural gas and oil as well as metals. The main agricultural products are grains, sugar beets, sunflower seeds and vegetables and fruits as well as beef and milk.
Armed Forces in Russia: The Armed Forces of Russia is known to be one of the biggest in the world, with about 1,200,000 troops active. Russia also makes its own weapons. The Armed Forces has 6 branches: Russian Air Force,Russian Ground Forces, Russian Navy, Strategic Missile Troops, Russian Space Troops and the Russian Airborne Troops. The Commander-In-Chief is the President of Russia.
Religion in Russia: Russia is a multi-ethnic and multi-faith nation. Orthodox Christianity is Russia’s largest religion, with 75% of the population belonging to the Orthodox Christian denomination.Despite the seventy-four-year effort of communism to promote atheism, 25 percent of the people still adhere to Russian Orthodox Christianity. While approximately 60 percent of Russians were nonreligious when the communist regime fell, Christianity and Orthodoxy are experiencing a mild revival.
Education in Russia: Children start school when they turn six years old and typically go to school for ten years. After Grade 11, students can go to study at university. Most young people in Russia also learn to speak English, French or German in school.
Food in Russia: The Russian main dishes contain: pork and beef, lamb, chicken, fish, potatoes and root vegetables as well as porridge and bread. Sour cream accompanies many dishes. Vegetable soups and stews play an important role in Russian cuisine. Russian food is full of flavour and the Russian cuisine is as diverse as the regions in the huge country. Here is some typical Russian food:
- Borscht or Red beet soup: soup made with red beets and vegetables that are cut into small pieces. This red soup is often served cold and is then blended with yogurt or sour cream from which the soup gets its pink colour.
- Soljanka: thick cabbage and vegetable soup with pickled mushrooms or vegetables that gives it a spicy flavor
- Blinis: thin Russian pancakes often served with savory or sweet fillings
- Porridge: made with local cereal, depending on available crops especially buckwheat, semolina and oats. It is cooked in milk for breakfast
One of the rarest and most costly caviar comes from the Beluga sturgeon of the Caspian Sea and costs up to 10,000 US dollars per kg.
Recreation in Russia: Soccer which in Russia is referred to as ‘Futbol’, and ice hockey are the most popular sports in Russia. Ice hockey was introduced to Russia only during the Soviet era, yet the national team soon dominated international competitions. The Soviet squad claimed more than 20 world championships between 1954 and 1991. Russia has also been famous in the international chess scene. The Soviet Union was able to produce top-ranked players by funding chess schools to find and train talented children. The best of these students were then supported by the state—they were the first chess professionals—at a time when no one in the West could make a living wage from chess alone.
Russia Fact Bingo Game Activity Booklet
You may enjoy teaching your girls facts about Russia while playing a game of bingo. In this bingo game there are 24 different Russia facts your girls will learn about playing the game. When you draw a fact listed on the bingo cards you can also tell your girls a little bit about what each of them mean. After one game play again and have girls tell you what each fact means. Learn more and get your Bingo game to play with your girls.
Group Games and Activities
“Rucheyok” [Stream]: Everyone can play. The players make pairs and line up. Then each pair of players holds each other hands and raises them to form a tunnel. A player without a pair stays in front of the tunnel- he closes his eyes, goes through the tunnel,and chooses a pair for him. This pair goes to the end of the tunnel. The player left without a pair starts the game all over again.
“Kolechko” [Ring]: 3 or more children can play in this game. For this game you will need: a ring or a button (or something small), that can be held in your palms. All players sit in a row, the leader stays in front of them with a ring in his/her hands. Players sit with palms together. The leader starts with the first player in a row by pretending to put a ring into the player’s hand and continues down the line doing the same. The leader secretly puts the ring into one person’s hands. When the leader reaches the end of the row he/she says: “Ring, ring go out to the porch!” [“kolechko, kolechko, vyidi na krylechko”] The player, who has the ring, should run out from the players’ row. The other players must try to catch and hold him/her.
Traffic Light: A line is drawn, and all children must start behind this place. Other lines should be drawn about 15 feet apart. The “Leader” calls out a color, and any child wearing this color can advance. Others without this color on can attempt to make it to the next line by running. However, if the “Leader” catches them, they trade places. The player advancing the farthest, or getting to the last line first, is the winner.
P’yanitsa: This is much like the American card game of War. Typically, when children play this game, it’s a two-player game. All of the cards are dealt to players, face down. Taking turns, each player turns the top card over, face up. Whoever has the highest-ranking card each time collects both cards, returning them to the bottom of their stack. The player who runs out of cards first is the loser.
Russian Nesting Dolls: Make your very own nesting dolls. There are a lot of options online to find blank dolls usually in a set of 5. The original set of Russian nesting dolls represented that biggest doll represented a strong female matriarch who is the main symbol of the Russian family. Then the smaller dolls represent sons and daughters. Get a 5pcs DIY Unpainted Blank Wooden Embryo Russian Nesting Doll.
Quick Fact SWAP Idea
Bring all the facts the girls are learning together with these easy and free SWAP ideas related to Russia. All you need is a printer, scissors, hole puncher, beads, and safety pins to put together. SWAPS4Free has a number of different variations of SWAP ideas for this country. Check them out here and get printables and directions to make yours with your troop.
If this is still not enough Russia inspiration. Checkout my Russia Pinterest board where I share all kinds of other great ideas people have shared online for Russia that you can incorporate into your event. I enjoyed learning more about Russia, I hope you did too.
Before You Go…
Here are few other around the world ideas I have shared in the past that may be great for your event as well if you are doing more than learning about 1 country.
- Airplane Ride Activity Girls will take an airplane ride around the world.
- World Trefoil Game Girls will learn the meaning of the Trefoil pin.
- 12 of the Best Resources on the Web to Plan Your International Event Here you will find a pile of amazing resources I have found online that will help you plan your event.