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!
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
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
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
While searching on-line for resources for Tet, the Lunar New Year celebration in Vietnam, I found a wonderful poster a fellow adoptive mom made for her son’s class. I asked Priscilla Holberton to share her activity here. Priscilla tries to keep up with all things Asian and adoption in Washington, DC on her web site MyAsianKidDC.com and blog MyAsianKidDC.wordpress.com, where she recently wrote her own Kindergarten lesson plan using the toys that she has collected over the years. She is the adoptive mom of a five year old boy who was born in Vietnam.
Last year, when I decided I wanted to include information about the Chinese Zodiac in my presentation of Lunar New Year in my son’s pre-K, I searched on the Internet but never found a poster-size illustration. I have been looking again this year to no avail, so I decided to make my own. Continue reading
I am tickled to host some very impressive guest writers today: Austin Molina, with help from Anthony Molina and Shaw Molina. They shared with me how families and children celebrate Christmas in The Philippines. Some say that The Philippines has the longest Christmas celebration in the world- beginning with singing Christmas carols in September, and ending after Epiphany in January! I was so excited to learn more from the Molina boys- not only are they intelligent writers, they are also the sweetest little family!!!
Austin, Shaw, and Anthony and little cousin Teia
Christmas in the Philippines is called Pasko. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year is “Maligayang Pasko” and “Manigong Bagong Taon!” Continue reading
I’m pleased to welcome back 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. Here are some of her favorite books about Hanukkah for kids!
When we were first married, my husband and I lived and worked in London for a bit. I taught English at a local college, and had the pleasure of becoming friends with many of my wonderful students. One lovely woman, Janka, and I have been able to keep in touch through facebook. I am so excited to have her share with us the traditions around Christmas in Slovakia, plus her extra-special recipe for the most delicious, spiced honey cookies you’ll ever try! D’akujem vám- thank you!!
I will talk mainly about the differences between Slovakia and Western Europe, and possibly to the USA.
So the first difference is that our Christmas (Vianoce) is very much driven by Christian and mainly by Catholic tradition. For us the first Christmas holiday day is Christmas Eve – in Slovakia it is called Generous Day. This has a reason, we get the presents already on this day )
Thank you to my friend Janka Kožíková from Bratislava, Slovakia for sharing this soft, honey & spice cookie recipe with us!
Christmas in Slovakia is a beautiful time of year- and no family would celebrate without making these delicious, soft honey and spice cookies. Continue reading
Family traditions are all of the special things that families do together on a regular basis- whether it’s daily (always eating dinner together), weekly (Friday night movies and popcorn), monthly (taking our kids on “date nights,” or “super-noches” as we call them), or yearly (driving around to look at Christmas lights). In our hectic lives, routine customs create special memories of your family having a great time together, that your kids will remember and probably pass on to their family.
When we took the many hours of parenting classes required to adopt our two sons, they emphasized the importance of family traditions as a way to strengthen family bonds, teach our new children our family values, and give our kids a sense of identity and security within our family: “The Smith Family always makes pancakes on Sunday mornings” or “The Lin Family plays football together every Thanksgiving” or “The Morales Family always makes a birthday sign for the birthday child.” Repeating and emphasizing that your family does it together, helps families to bond with their child, as they are included in the “we.” In reality, not only adoptive families will benefit from creating special family traditions- all families will enjoy family rituals and become stronger as they incorporate them into their lives. Continue reading
My good friend Laura Rossi of Como, Italy, mother of 2 beautiful children, shared with me some of the many Italian Christmas traditions taking place during the month of December.
Used under Creative Commons, image by S. Deepak from Kalpana.it
Christmas traditions in Italy are based heavily on the religion of Christianity, and on the Italian holiday calendar. Christmas in Italy isn’t only the special day of December 25: throughout December and January there are a number of religious holidays to mark the festive season.
DECEMBER 6: La Festa di San Nicola. This festival in honor of St. 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.