To learn more about our environment, start local! Can you identify any trees in your neighborhood? Can your children? In this exercise, kids will do a little research about local trees, and make an identification guide of the trees they find. You might be surprised how quickly kids can learn to identify trees by their leaves, seeds, bark, and overall shape!
I am thrilled to introduce Jenny Buccos, the Series Creator & Director of the multi-award winning ProjectExplorer.org educational series. She began her professional career with Credit Suisse First Boston managing global media projects in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and New York. In 2003, before the existence of YouTube, she founded the online video site ProjectExplorer.org as a means to educate students about global cultures and histories. To date, she has directed/produced more than 400 incredible short films for students. Continue reading
As Earth Day approaches, our attention is focused on tangible ways to help protect our environment. One easy and virtually free way for kids to go green is to start a backyard compost bin. Composting is a natural way for organic (previously living) materials to break down, into a nutrient-rich soil that we can use in our garden. Did you know that in the US we make about 4.43 pounds of waste per person each day? (see epa.gov) That is 250 million TONS of trash per day! We make too much garbage and 13.4% of the waste produced in the US in 2010 was yard trimmings, 13.9% was food scraps. We could be composting this waste, recycling it, and returning it to the ground!
Here are reasons why it’s important to compost, instructions on how to do so with kitchen scraps, and resources (books, clips, and games!) to learn about composting at home. Continue reading
I am part of a world-side, diverse group of bloggers called Multicultural Kid Bloggers who write about their experiences in multicultural parenting. Every month we host a different blogging carnival, which focuses on a relevant topic, and includes perspectives from (literally) around the world. For example, we discussed teaching heritage to your children, and talked about winter traditions around the world, and the importance of family traditions. Join us on facebook, Twitter or pinterest to meet other multicultural, globally-minded parents.
This month’s carnival is all about our Spring traditions. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Around the World, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, Canada, Celebrations, China, Europe, Malawi, Mexico, Poland, The Americas, The Netherlands, United States
Tagged spring, traditions
Emma Thomas from The Expat Hub shares with us some education options for expat children in families moving abroad.
When you are planning a move overseas the list of things to organise can seem frighteningly long, and when you’re moving abroad as a family there’s even more to consider. One of the first things families intending to emigrate have to consider is what education option would best suit their children, but making the right choice can be tough.
To help make the decision that little bit easier we’ve taken a look at the pros of the three most common overseas-education options: local schools, international schools and homeschooling. Continue reading
Finding similarities and differences when reading fairy tales from around the world hones kids’ critical thinking skills, and helps them to focus on the details. Even the Common Core Standards includes this in one of their “Reading Literature” standards:
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures (RL.2.9.).
There are many reasons to read fairy tales to children- especially because they’re whimsical, creative, and fun! Today we’re looking at Gingerbread stories. Continue reading
Posted in Around the World, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, China, Europe, Food, France, Ireland, Literature, Mexico, Norway, Russia, The Americas, UK, United States
Tagged fairy tales, fiction children's books, folktales, Gingerbread Man stories
I remember as a child I would be chastised to turn off the light and go to bed, but I would sneak in a flashlight, just to be able to finish the chapter of a thrilling adventure book. Books have the ability to transport us anywhere in the world. Multicultural books help us imagine what it would be like to experience life from a different perspective. Here are 6 reasons to teach our children using multicultural books. Continue reading
I am frequently asked “What are the best apps for kids to learn geography and practice map-skills?” I put together a list of 8 of my favorites: the first 3 are interactive atlas/map apps that are fun to explore (especially when parents/teachers and their kids explore together!) and the final 5 are engaging geography games that even adults will enjoy! Continue reading
It’s that time again! Time to learn about the world in our February Culture Swap!!! If you’re looking for ways to incorporate more cultural traditions this month, you’ve come to the right place. This link-up will include crafts, book recommendations, history on holiday traditions, cultural customs, food recipes- a multitude of ideas to help you teach your kids about their community, and about the wider world. The link-up below will be open for the entire month of February (with another coming in March), so check back often to see new posts!
Globally-minded parents and educators: I’d love to see some posts for some winter and spring traditions around the world- Lunar New Year, Carnaval, Purim, Ayyám-i-Há….. or just learning about any cultures! Do you have some cool gift ideas to help your kids learn about the world and global cultures?
What have you been doing this month to teach your kids about the world? Have you tried any food or done any cool art projects from other countries? Learned another language? Read books from another culture? Share your ideas here so we can all learn from you!:) If you don’t have a blog or web site, write your ideas in the comments! Everyone can benefit when we share your best ideas. Continue reading
Here is a list of service projects and opportunities for kids to volunteer within their community that will empower kids with responsibility, engage their compassion, and offer them the chance to affect the lives of others. Service projects to serve the elderly, service projects working with younger children, service projects that help the environment… locally and globally, kids can make a difference!
People celebrate carnival around the world the week before Lent, a Christian period of fasting and reflection. Traditionally held in areas with large Catholic populations, carnival often includes a parade with costumes and music- yet each country has their own unique traditions. Let’s look at some unique ways people celebrate carnival around the world.
Carnival in Europe
Creative Commons Photo by: David Edgar (2006)
Posted in Around the World, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Celebrations, Dominican Republic, Europe, France, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Russia, The Americas
We’ve been invited to participate in the “100 Acts of Kindness” project, where participants are challenged to accomplish 100 Acts of Kindness over the next four weeks and participate in each weekly challenge (there will be four simple ones). We decided to challenge ourselves to do as many Random Acts of Kindness that we could think of in a day. I told the kids to think of ways we could be nice to others, and show them kindness and gratitude without expecting anything in return. The kids had great ideas!! Continue reading
Often times, lessons to help kids learn about other countries are geared toward older children. This is a lesson plan to present a new country to kids as young as preschool- in a way that they will remember! They will explore and learn about other countries using their five senses: seeing, touching, listening, tasting, and smelling their way to discover a new place. I recently presented this lesson about Ethiopia in my son’s preschool class, and the kids loved it. It can be easily adapted to any country, with a bit of research.
I am a strong proponent of getting kids outside, no matter what the temperature. As long as we’re dressed appropriately, I let the kids play in the freezing snow in Chicago, or at the park in 100+° in humid Houston- and I love to help them observe how nature changes with the weather. Last spring we made a duct tape bracelet on a nature hike, gathering treasures along the way. I wanted to display their nature collection this winter (on a visit to Chicago) and we found a great way to do so: ice sun catchers. Winter crafts for kids are more fun when you get the kids outside!
A couple of months ago I was interviewed by MSN’s “Mom’s Homeroom” about incorporating geography lessons into our daily lives, and also teaching about culture at home. You can see the first video, plus silly pictures of the taping here. In the second video (click on the picture below) I give tips on how we integrate our sons’ birth cultures into our family life. You might notice me glaring over the camera at my 4 kids, who were precariously close to knocking over the lights while I was being interviewed:)- fortunately nothing was broken and they had a fun time playing with the microphones!
They also included a brief article I wrote of 5 ways we’re teaching about culture at home. Though written for adoptive families, any family can follow the tips to learn about world cultures at home!
What do you think? Time was short, and I may have missed important ways to incorporate culture at home. What are your favorite cultural activities with your kids?