Activity: Exploring Venice with a Picture Book and Discovery Box

Over the past month,  we have been exploring Venice as part of The Little Book Adventure: Project #8- Explore the World through Picture Books.

The idea for this challenge of The Little Book Adventure was planted in mid-2011 when Windy Hollow Books sent me a copy of Chase through Venice. This book found a way into my heart immediately, having been one of the many millions of people who have visited and loved Venice. I was excited to share Venice with Cam, and I thought a complementary discovery box would be a great way for her to gain a better understanding of this unique city.

If you’ve been to Venice (or even if you haven’t), make sure you read our book review of Chase through Venice for more details.

It has been an amazing experience for Cam. Let us know how your ‘picture book travelling’ went. You can also see some more wonderful book travelling ideas here.

Inside the Venice Discovery Box


  • Chase through Venice by Sally Gould and Laura Peterson
  • Map of the world, Italy, Venice and a train boarding pass to Venice.
  • Personal photos of Venice
  • Italian flash cards ( I made these using words that are featured in the book and some other common Italian words)
  • CD of multicultural songs (Kids Songs from Around the World)
  • Pasta machine
  • A plain mask
  • A Murano glass fountain pen

Opening the Venice Discovery Box

The Venice Discovery Box led to:

Comparing family photos of Venice with the illustrations in the book:

Making our own pasta for dinner:

Learning about Carnevale: Cam looked at Carnevale masks online for inspiration before making her own:

Dressing up for Carnevale: singing and dancing to some Italian songs:


Testa, Spelle, Ginocchia, Piedi (Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes):

Creating Swirled Glass Vases:

We used instructions from Centsational Girl:
a) Squirt paint into the bottom of the vase

b) Swirl the vase continuously so that paint sticks to the sides of the vase

c) Add extra colours of paint as you go.

d) Continue swirling the paint towards the opening of the vase

e) Place the vase upside down over paper, draining any excess paint

f) Let the vase dry for approximately 2 days before it is ready to use

Colouring the Italian Flag with paper:

Activity: Exploring Venice with a Picture Book and Discovery Box


  1. I’ve always wanted to go to Venice. I love the picture book Gabriella’s Song, set in Venice.

  2. So many great activities – we will be trying the swirled glass :-) My mum is in Venice at the moment, so great to share this with Dino Boy!

  3. Wow, wow….WOW! A box filled with so many treasures to play and explore with…..I absolutely love it!!

  4. Wow! Such a wonderful list of activities. Your box reminds me of the continent boxes that are used in Montessori but this is way more exciting than any continent box I’ve seen. What a fabulous way to immerse Cam in learning about another culture.

  5. I bought this book for my friend’s little boy for his first birthday – his mum is Italian and I wanted a picture book set in Italy. I will have to share this post with them :)

  6. Gosh, there are about 4 posts here at least! lol. What an amazing way to discover another area of the world! I just love your discovery box and those vases are fabulous! (ahhhh, love Venice, want to go back!). Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Oh my! I will have to revisit and revisit this series! I’m truly in love, with the books, the food, the activities! All of it! Job well done mama!

  8. What a fantastic idea….so much learning and fun in one little box! You guys have been so busy….love those vases and masks….had to read this post a few times so i can remember all the great ideas!!!Well done Mummy x

  9. The art you came up with was gorgeous! Esp. for a toddler. Unfortunately, the pasta you made gave me a noodle craving. :-( But what a way to teach your kids about different places in the world.

  10. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Tots! I featured your post on In Lieu of Preschool: Off to pin now! Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button! :)

  11. Thank you SO much for sharing this. Max will be going on trips like this in the future :) Also, I can’t help but think what a perfect birthday present a box like this could be for his cousins!

  12. Love the excitement as she opened the box, and what fun activities! Thanks for sharing at the Culture Swapper!

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