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
The first Olympics were first held thousands of years ago in Olympia, Greece during a festival to honor Zeus and the other gods. Every four years, athletes from around Greece competed in physical competitions. The first time the world officially revived the Olympic Games into the current international sport competition was in 1896. Olympics are a celebration of global friendship, unity, and peace- because of this, I believe the Games offer numerous lessons to our kids. Learn (with your children!) about the Olympics and international goodwill with the following links. Continue reading
Last week our friends moved away; they were British expats, living in the US, and now moving to Canada. We wanted to give their daughter something small and special to take with her, so she would remember her time here. All over pinterest I have been seeing DIY shrinky-dinks: plastic that could draw on, and then heat in the oven to shrink down. We decided to commemorate the 3 flags as beads on a bracelet.
My good friend Susan English was recently invited to a Diamond Jubilee party with her daughter. Games, snacks, and friends: what a lovely way to teach kids about what’s happening in another part of the world! Here’s her guest post about the party.
Scones in the garden, with strawberries and an Easter egg:)
Scones (either rhyming with “Jones” or “John’s”) are fluffy, buttery quick breads that are originally from the Britain and Ireland area. There are plenty of legends claiming scones are specifically from Scotland, or Wales, or Ireland- and I am not going to pick a side. I will simply say that this wonderful recipe was given to me by my Irish sister-in-law, whose mother brought it from County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland. These light and airy scones are the perfect accompaniment to some hot tea (with creamy milk of course!). Making foods from other countries is a tangible way that kids of all ages can open their eyes differences, and widen their palate. I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like bread, so I propose scones as your first culinary experience of eating your way around the world. Continue reading
My daughter was born an animal-lover. She’s the kind of kid that saves tadpoles from drying up puddles (thousands right now in buckets in my backyard). The type that questions zookeepers why the social lemur was alone in a cage (he had gotten in a fight with his “wife” and had his tail bitten off). She was the one that protected a mother duck’s nest from kids at the park for hours while her friends played.
In a recent school project that involved reading nonfiction books, she requested books on animals or famous animal scientists. With Earth Day coming up, I immediately thought of Jane Goodall: a beautiful role model for animal lovers and kid who want to protect our Earth.
Photo credit: Jeekc, taken in Hong Kong on 24 October 2004. Creative Commons.
English Christmas Pudding (aka “Plum Pudding”), a typical dessert for the holidays made of dried fruit. Photo Credit: Musical Linguist
Christmas is a holiday honored around the world, and each country has their own unique way of celebrating it. It’s fun to learn the different customs, and teach your kids what other kids are doing this time of year. Did you know that the customs of singing Christmas carols, hanging stockings by the chimney, and even holiday greens such as holly, ivy, and mistletoe all originated in England? I asked my dear friend Rachel Harrop, from Manchester, England to share with me her favorite parts of Christmas in England. Continue reading