Getting in better shape, improving finances, de-cluttering, moving up careerwise- we all have resolutions that we repeat every year. Determined to be successful, we put pressure on ourselves to achieve more, do better, and work harder.
But then I thought about what post really embodies my family, our values, and what was memorable for us in 2012. I think the article on “The Importance of Family Traditions, and a Look at Ours” is the perfect snippet of one of our favorite times of year. Family rituals help to create memories that the kids will carry with them even as they grow up and have their own families. I loved brainstorming with my kids about what they love to do in the winter as a family, and then gather the pictures together, and share the post with them when I was finished. I hope that readers were inspired to make up some new family traditions that they can share with their family for years to come!:) Please link-up your favorite activity of 2012 in the linky below, or share it with us in the comments. Happy New Year!!
Are you looking looking for board games that are fun and educational for your kids? These geography games are outstanding to help kids learn about different countries, practice their map skills, and have fun with their family and friends.
I am pleased to introduce Maria L Hughes, a children’s book enthusiast and online publisher for Children’s Bookstore. She enjoys blogging about reading and children’s books. Today she’s sharing 4 simple books, teaching tolerance and compassion through endearing stories.
It’s never too early to begin instilling positive attitudes about acceptance and tolerance in your children. The important thing is to expose your child to those who might be different than him or her, and children will often sympathize with others that they’ve become familiar with. It’s also important, however, to simply encourage the idea that accepting differences is important and that hateful behavior is not beneficial for anyone. Here are some books that do both: exposing children to differences in others that they might not even know exist, and teaching tolerance while showing that kindness can benefit not only the one who needs it, but also the one who gives it. Continue reading →
This guest post is written by award-winning multicultural musician “DARIA-” Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou.Thank you so much for sharing these great music videos with us!
All over the globe, people of the Jewish faith are preparing to celebrate the festival of lights. This year, Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah, Chanukkah or Chanuka) begins at sundown on December 8 and ends on December 16. Although foods, traditions and music vary slightly from place to place and country to country, these two kids Hanukkah music videos share some of the joy and fun that is a universal part of this winter holiday.
Mia is back with her second in a series on celebrating Chanukkah with kids. Mom to son Judah, age 5 ½, and wife of Dan, she also works as a teacher coach. Though raising her son in a Jewish home, diverse and multicultural values weigh heavily in making daily parenting choices. In her spare time, she enjoys acupuncture, meditation, walking the dog (Mooshu), cooking delicious plant-based superfoods, reading and writing, and volunteering as an advocate for cancer awareness and healthful living. You can find her at her blog, Remission Statement. Last time she shared the meaning behind Chanukkah and a recipe for potato latkes, and this time she’s sharing a simple- but elegant- craft.
There are lots of ways to get creative around the winter holidays. Take one search on Pinterest and you will be overwhelmed! One idea is to brighten up your windows with some Chanukkah shapes, giving them a stained glass effect. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to prepare some of the materials in advance, making it easier for them to participate. However, if you have older children who would rather have more control over the final product, you can simply supervise!
I scrounged around for some pink and green tissue paper – blues and golds would be more authentic.
It’s that time again…… let’s learn about the world!
It’s time for the December Culture Swap!!! If you’re looking for ways to incorporate more cultural traditions in your December, 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 December, so check back often to see new posts!
Globally-minded parents and educators: I’d love to see some posts for holidays around the world- Christmas, Chanukkah 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.
I am so excited to announce that today’s guest post is written by Mia, mom to son Judah, age 5 ½, and wife of Dan. She works as a teacher coach for Children’s Literacy Initiative, a non-profit based in Philadelphia, helping to improve the quality of instruction in inner city schools. Though raising her son in a Jewish home, diverse and multicultural values weigh heavily in making daily parenting choices. In her spare time, she enjoys acupuncture, meditation, walking the dog (Mooshu), cooking delicious plant-based superfoods, reading and writing, and volunteering as an advocate for cancer awareness and healthful living. You can find her at her blog, Remission Statement. Not only do we get to learn about the meaning behind Chanukkah (sometimes seen spelled “Hanukkah”), she’s also shared a recipe for potato latkes!
In a few weeks, the Jewish holiday of Chanukkah (pronounced with a *ch* at the beginning as if you are trying to clear your throat) will begin. In the Jewish religion, holidays begin and end at sundown, adhering to the lunar and Jewish calendars; as Chanukkah is celebrated for eight nights, Sunday, December 8 is the first night of Chanukkah this year, and Sunday, December 16 is the last night.
Giselle Shardlow, children’s author of Kids Yoga Stories, is back for part 2 of her series on Yoga for Kids. She hopes to inspire children by drawing from her experiences as an international primary school teacher, yoga teacher training graduate, world traveler, mother, and yogi. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter. Her yoga-inspired children’s books and other creative resources can be found at www.kidsyogastories.com, or on her facebook or twitter pages.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sasha, of Global Table Adventure, who is making 195 meals, from 195 different countries in 195 weeks… Truly eating her way around the world with her husband (affectionately known as “Mr. Picky”) and her the adorable, adventurous, almost 5 year old daughter Ava.
With gorgeous, tantalizing photographs (that you only wish were scratch and sniff!), her web site is part cookbook, part armchair travelogue, part video-culinary review by her daughter… whether you love to cook or you love to eat, this is an amazing educational experience in world cultures and anthropology from her kitchen to yours. Continue reading →
Have you ever wondered how to host an exchange student? Here are some wonderful programs available that allow families to host a student from another country for 2 weeks to an academic year! By opening your homes, not only do you share your knowledge about your own country, traditions, food, celebrations- you also get to learn about another culture and language firsthand. Continue reading →
Seven year old Viviana, (my oldest daughter) sat in the mulch at the base of the slide, watching as the other kids ran by, laughing and playing. Whenever any of the kids got a little too close, she would ask them to be careful: “Please- you’ll scare her…. she’s protecting her babies.” Vivi had the self-appointed position of bodyguard, and she was taking it seriously; she wasn’t going to allow anyone near the mother duck, who had unfortunately laid her eggs under the stairs of the slide. Continue reading →
I had a fascinating interview with Charlotte Stroumza, Safe Spaces Project Coordinator for Girl Forward, an amazing non-profit organization in Chicago that provides adolescent refugee girls with individual mentorship, educational programs, and leadership opportunities.
Becky: When did you first become interested in international issues? How important is it for our youth to learn about the world outside of their local community?
As far as I can remember, I have always been interested in discovering new cultures and considered what affects other countries as important as what affects my home country. Continue reading →
YoBlocks are personalized photo blocks that are handmade in Brooklyn, New York. Eco-friendly, they are made with sustainably-sourced wood, organic paint, and a water-based sealant. But wait for the best part: the photographs!!!! You can choose from their collections of everyday objects, food, or their international pictures of China, Ethiopia, Peru, or New York City…. OR you can upload your own pictures and make the blocks specifically about your child’s life.
I am in love with these blocks because I have a set for each of my kids that they still enjoy (and my kids are in their adorable promotional video!:). YoBlocks is giving away a set of 10 blocks!!! Here’s how you can enter:
If you’d like to learn more about the company, they were recently mentioned in a Huffington Post article. Also check out their etsy store to view their predesigned sets and more. I love the blocks because I point out pictures of Ethiopia, China, or Mexico, and show them important places, foods that are eaten, landscapes, and the vibrant colors of the markets. My kids really love these blocks (who doesn’t like to see cute pictures of themselves?), and when they are finished playing with them, I can see them passing them on to their kids when they’ve grown up. I hope you win!!!
I am thrilled to introduce our guest poster: Giselle Shardlow, a “Kids Yoga Stories” children’s author. She hopes to inspire children by drawing from her experiences as an international primary school teacher, world traveler, mother, and yogi. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter. Her first two children’s books, “Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats” and “Sophia’s Jungle Adventure” can be found at www.kidsyogastories.com, along with other creative resources for children ages three to seven. This is the first in a series of three about “Yoga for Kids.”
When I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training in 2005, I wanted to deepen my practice and gain an understanding of the history and culture of yoga. Learning about the ancient yoga principles transformed my life on and off the mat. For me, yoga is about being human and about living in happiness, health and harmony.
With such a deep message, it made me wonder how to share this with children. Here is what I learned about yoga and how I hope to share with kids: Continue reading →