Panettone and Teaching Kids About an Italian Christmas


Teaching Kids About an Italian Christmas by baking a panettone together.

I have to make a concerted effort to teach my girls about different cultures.  Their ancestors have been in America for generations, and they have no living relatives who were even born outside of the state where we live!  While they have friends who share different cultures with them, they don't learn it through their family.  So this year, even though we are not Italian, I decided to spend a day teaching Lena and Maggie a little bit about Christmas in Italy.  

This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links.  If you use these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.   Click here for my full privacy and disclosure policies.

We started by finding Italy on our world map.  I pointed out the country, and then showed them where we live and how we would have to travel to get there.  I also introduced them to other geographical terms related to the area-- the Mediterranean Sea, the Alps, and the capital city, Rome.  

Next we read a couple of story books that featured Italian Christmas traditions.  While they may not be the most sophisiticated source of information, the Strega Nona books do a nice job of introducing some basic Italian culture.  There are also Italian words and phrases sprinkled throughout that we practiced saying.  Merry Christmas, Strega Nona is about a Christmas feast.  Strega Nona's Gift does a great job teaching kids about the MANY different Christmas season special days that many Italians celebrate.  It was more informative than Merry Christmas, Strega Nona but the story was not quite as compelling.

Then it was time to get down to business and make our panettone.  Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas cake.  They started popping up here in the United States several years ago, premade and sold in a bright red box.  My family tried one and wasn't crazy about it, but I figured that a fresh one must be pretty darn good, for it to have made it to tradition status in Italy!

I used this recipe from  It's complicated, and takes some time, so plan ahead if you want to do this!  I made the dough the day before baking the cake, so it was able to rise overnight and was ready for the girls to help with the fun part the next day.  Lena and Maggie were able to measure flour, use the microplane, press out dough, and sprinkle the fruit bits.

This dough was really lovely to work with, and wasn't too delicate or sticky for the kids to handle.  They loved getting to help with such an elaborate and complicated baking project.  It rose nicely, baked up golden brown and crackly on top, and was delicious to eat!

Seriously, how gorgeous is this?

Buon Natale!

Christmas in Different Lands 2014 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post was written as part of the Multicultural Kid Blog series, Christmas in Different Lands.  Dozens of great bloggers from around the world have shared their Christmas traditions, which you can see (along with other multicultural Christmas ideas) on this fantastic Pinterest board.


activity animals art author back to school bears bees bird black history book extension book list books budget butterfly cats chalk chapter books children christmas cinco de mayo circus coins colors construction cookie craft crafts culture curriculum dentist different dinosaurs discovery table diy doctor dogs dolls Earth Day easter elementary fabric fall family family theme farm fathers day fine motor first grade five senses flowers food france fruit game geography gift gift guide gross motor grownup halloween healthy history homeschool ideas independence day insect insects invitation jungle keepsake kids kindergarten kindness kinesthetic learning lego letter of the week literacy lunch math menu resource mothers day music my body nature numbers obstacle course ocean organization origami ornament outer space painting paper parenting play play dough pops preschool preschool resource pretend printable process art pumpkin quiet time rainbows reading roundup recipe recycle Roundup science season second grade sensory Seuss sewing shapes snack snacks soup spanish spring st. patrick's day summer sweet bite Thanksgiving toddler toys transportation trees tutorial united states valentine vegetarian washi tape weather weekly theme winter yarn
What Can We Do With Paper And Glue: Panettone and Teaching Kids About an Italian Christmas
Panettone and Teaching Kids About an Italian Christmas
Teaching Kids About an Italian Christmas by baking a panettone together.
What Can We Do With Paper And Glue
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy