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As Native American Heritage Month approaches, this post from Crystal’s Tiny Treasures on First Nations Activities for Kids takes on special significance:
Thank you for linking-up, and we can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!
Here is a simple but fun game to reinforce virtues like kindness and generosity. For the past year I have been helping teach character-building classes for Monkey and several friends. I wanted a fun way to review the lessons we had already learned, and I know from experience that this group of 4 and 5 year olds learns best by doing.
So here is a “gate” game, inspired by the upcoming Bahá’í holiday the Birth of the Báb. I wanted to reinforce the symbolism of the Báb as the Gate for Bahá’u’lláh, but it’s a fun activity for kids of any background, since who doesn’t want to be a gatekeeper for their friends??
Character Building Game: How to Play
One child stands at the front with his/her hands out to the sides, like a gate (in a doorway if possible!) Then s/he gives clues (either verbally or with charades) about a particular virtue, like generosity or patience. (For young children, an adult or older child can help). The other children try to correctly guess the virtue in order to be allowed through the “gate.” The first through the gate becomes the new gatekeeper.
For older children, you could make the game more challenging by not allowing them to use common words as clues for particular virtues. So for “patience,” for example, you might forbid the gatekeeper to say “waiting” or “time.” You could also challenge the other children to recite a piece of Scripture about that virtue in order to get through the gate.
For Bahá’ís, you could have the gatekeeper give clues about people from Bahá’í history, like Martha Root or Tahirih!
Happy Birth of the Báb to those celebrating!
For the past year I have been having fun playing around on Instagram (IG). I use the word “playing” very deliberately because of all the social media platforms, Instagram is most “just for fun.”
Even super heroes have to nap!
There is an unwritten rule among bloggers that IG shouldn’t be used as simply one more way to promote your website. Instead, it is best when it shows the behind the scenes, spur of the moment photos. In my favorite IG accounts, you really do feel like you’re hanging out in someone’s backyard or peeking out from their front pocket as they explore the world.
The weather may be beautiful now, but the rainy season is coming! Time to test out the gear. View on Instagram
Sometimes IG feels to me a bit like a labyrinth with many tunnels and undiscovered alleyways to chance upon. One way to explore is to start with an account that you like and start clicking on the hash tags that they use, in order to pull up photos with a similar topic. And since we’re all about raising world citizens, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite hash tags to explore for multicultural families:
#mkbkids – Of course you know that first and foremost I’m going to recommend our own hash tag for Multicultural Kid Blogs (and friends!) – #mkbkids. (We use this on other social media as well!) This is a fun way to follow along with our members and their friends. And now, any IG photos with that tag with show up in the sidebar of the Multicultural Kid Blogs website! And now through the end of this blog hop (and beyond??), we will also be featuring our favorite IG photos with this hash tag on the MKB Facebook page! #multiculturalfamily and #mixedracefamily- These are smaller hash tags, but still fun to follow.
One of my absolute favorites to follow is #mixedracebabies (shown below).
Other similar (but smaller) hash tags are #mixedracebabiesig, #mixedracekids, #perfectlyblended – Get ready for cuteness overload! These adorable mixed race kids are just stunning! #childrenoftheworld, #global_kids, #globalkidsclub also have beautiful portraits
Travel lends itself very easily to Instagram. #globalnomads (shown below), #backpackingaddicts, #wanderlust, #globalnomads all have wonderful photography. And I love #blackadventuristas!
These hash tags are much smaller but are a great way to connect with like-minded folks: #bilingualbaby, #bilingualkids, #bilingualism, #globaled, and #globaleducation (shown below).
#global_family (shown below), #globalvillage, #global_portraits, #globalportraits, #heritage are all great to find photos from around the world. I also love #girlseducation and #girlsrights.
Are you on Instagram? What are your favorite hash tags? We want to see your family, and the beauty of diversity… help us showcase families from all over the world! Join us for an Instagram Blog Hop honoring MKB’s second anniversary and families around the world! How to Join In Be sure to visit our wonderful co-hosts, plus enter our giveaway and link up your Instagram profile! Follow and use #mkbkids on Instagram! We’ll be sharing our favorite Instagram photos with this tag on the MKB website and Facebook page!
Blog Hop Co-Hosts
Be sure to follow them all in the linky below (#1-18)!
Multicultural Kid Blogs LadydeeLG Sand In My Toes Mama Smiles Kid World Citizen All Done Monkey In The Playroom the piri-piri lexicon Finding Dutchland European Mama MarocMama Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes Lou Messugo American Mom in Bordeaux The Mommy Factor World Music for Children My Favorite Multicultural Books Chasing the Donkey For the Love of Spanish Smart Tinker Raising World Citizens Entre Compras y El Hogar
Our Prize Package – Enter for a chance to win!
One winner will receive this fabulous prize package! It includes: A 3 month subscription to Green Kid Crafts, valued at $60. For three months, you’ll receive a different-themed Discovery Box packed with 3-4 unique and engaging activity kits designed to foster a child’s creativity and confidence while helping to raise the nation’s next generation of creative leaders. For kids ages 3-10. US Shipping Only Little Humans by Brandon Stanton, donated by Smart Tinker. From the author of Humans of New York, this new work from photograph Brandon Stanton focuses on “littlest humans of New York – the ones who get back up when they fall, who have an impeccable taste in fashion, and who love with all their hearts. With spare text and a mix of all-new exclusive photos and fan favourites, Little Humans is sure to appeal to fans of HONY and those who have yet to discover it.” Digital download of the album “Birds of Love” by Elika Mahony. “Birds of Love” is a treasury of uplifting words and inspiring songs on the theme of love and marriage. It includes a diverse five song album from varied sources with five additional instrumental tracks for live performances and background at special events. Please note: The subscription for Green Kid Crafts is for US shipping only. In the event our winner is located outside the US, s/he will receive the remaining items, and we will draw another winner from the US for the Green Kid Crafts subscription. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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It’s time again for my monthly post for “Around the World in 12 Dishes,” the series in which each month participating bloggers travel the world with their kids by cooking a dish from another country and perhaps reading a book, doing a craft, or learning fun facts about it.
I posted earlier about our dress-up play to learn about Saudi Arabia. Today I am sharing our experience making Magic Cake! This is an absolutely delicious recipe for semolina cake with lemon rosewater that I borrowed from my amazing friend Sasha of Global Table Adventure!
Monkey was fascinated with the idea of a “magic” cake! I called it that because after you bake it, you pour on top a heavenly concoction of lemon juice, sugar, and rosewater. This perfumed syrup forms a lake on top – which magically disappears by the next morning!
The real trick of this recipe is to get the right kind of semolina. (You can get all the details and see a photo in Sasha’s post). Otherwise the syrup won’t soak into the cake properly.
Covered in a glistening lake of lemon rosewater syrup
Ready to eat!
We also learned about the geography of Saudi Arabia by tracing a map and filling it in. This went much better than when I asked Monkey to make a flag during our last unit!
What magical adventures have you been having with your kids?
Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Maroc Mama, Creative World of Varya, Glittering Muffins, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids’ Makings, The Educators’ Spin On It and The Mommy Talks.
If you try a dish from Saudi Arabia, we’d love to hear about it! You can link up your dish or craft here to share your post on all the participating blogs:
I’m excited to be participating in the Halloween Crafts and Activities for Kids series from All Things Kids! See details at the end of this post.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. I appreciate your support!
Halloween Books that Encourage Working Together
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
A trio of animals lives together in harmony, enjoying their daily post of pumpkin soup, until one day the duck decides he doesn’t want to measure the salt, as he normally does. He wants to stir. In the ensuing battle, the friends discover the importance of valuing everyone’s contribution – and sometimes changing things up so that everyone has a good time! I should add that it was thanks to this book that Monkey tried pumpkin soup for the first time!
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
A witch dreams of pumpkin pie, but when her pumpkin proves too big to pick on her own, a cast of scary Halloween ghouls comes by to try their luck. Each fares no better than the witch, unless a bat has a clever plan, which requires that they all cooperate. Will their desire for pumpkin pie overcome their dread of working together? Spoiler alert: the book ends with a party!
Speaking of parties, this gentle story of Turtle and Snake preparing for a Halloween bash is perfect for beginning readers. The book follows as step by step the pair go through their to-do list (made of pictures plus simple words). Monkey loves reading along as they check items off their list, building anticipation until at last it’s party time!
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
This beloved book is now a favorite of ours as well. It is a tale of a generous witch who always has room on her broom for new friends. Her kindness is repaid when her companions team up to scare away a terrible dragon who threatens the witch. In the end, the witch makes a new truly magnificent broom perfect for all of her animal friends.
Halloween Activities that Encourage Working Together
Playing a Halloween game
Decorating jack o’ lanterns
Doing a Halloween craft
Throwing a Halloween party
Handing out treats to trick-or-treaters
How does your family have fun together at Halloween?
Looking for some great Halloween Activities and Crafts for your kids? Be sure to check out these wonderful posts from the members of All Things Kids! And don’t forget you can also follow All Things Kids on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest!
Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tail on All Things Kids: Fingerprint Pumpkin Art for Five Little Pumpkins
Craftulate: Halloween Window Decorations
House of Burke: Candy Corn Shaving Cream Sensory Dig
Where Imagination Grows: Halloween Math Games: Counting with Ghosts
All Done Monkey: Halloween Books & Activities that Encourage Working Together
The Sugar Aunts: Hanging Ghosts Craft with Recycled Containers
Little Bins for Little Hands: Quick And Easy Slime For Halloween Sensory Play
Mamas Like Me: Straw Blow Painting Spider Web
This post is part of the month-long series 31 Days of ABC. See below for details!
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
Since Monkey loves carnivorous plants, it is only fitting that in our house “C” is for carnivorous plants!
He draws them alongside robots, he builds them out of play dough, and he frequently asks us to play a “fly trap” game with him. This involves making your hands into a Venus fly trap, while his hand becomes a fly you have to capture! Even Little Monkey can say “fly trap” as he squishes his hands together with appropriately gruesome sound effects.
So we jumped at the chance to take Monkey to the carnivorous plants exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco recently.
Monkey was enthralled, getting to see up close the plants he had previously seen only in books and videos.
For this ABC series, I wanted to tie carnivorous plants more directly to the alphabet, so I came up with a fun little letter craft, based on one of the ways that many carnivorous plants trap their victims.
Many carnivorous plants, like the sundew, catch insects when the unsuspecting bugs land on the plants’ sticky surface. So, in their honor, we put together our own sticky “C’s” to catch some insects.
First I cut “C” shapes out of colored paper then laid each on top of contact paper, so that the sticky side of the contact paper showed through the “C.”
I cut up a few bug shapes to get them started then let them add more, to practice their scissor skills. The boys had fun seeing the “insects” stick to the letter, usually with Monkey adding in some dramatic cries from the insects.
Since Monkey also knows Spanish, we talked about how the carn- in carnivorous is like carne (“meat”), since carnivorous plants eat meat.
For More on Carnivorous Plants
In case you missed it, be sure to check out our fun carnivorous plant food creations.
The Monkeys really enjoy this video from BBC One. It is very well done, and so much better than watching home videos on YouTube of guys feeding spiders to their Venus fly traps. (Yes, we’ve watched those as well, though I wouldn’t recommend them!)
Although this says it is for older readers, Hungry Plants by Mary Batten really keeps Monkey’s attention. It explains the plants in text that is very readable without being watered down.
Carnivorous Plants by Cynthia Overbeck is much more dense, but Monkey still loves it. It covers a wide range of plants not found in some other books.
This last one I only just discovered as I was putting together this post, so we haven’t read it yet but definitely will soon! Elizabite: Adventures of a Carnivorous Plant by H.A. Rey looks just delightful, and a fun book to read alongside the more scientific ones.
This year I am proud to once again be hosting the collaborative series 31 Days of ABC. Each day throughout the month a different blogger will share alphabet learning activities and resources. Be sure to check out the full schedule, and link up your own alphabet posts below!
This may by far be my strangest post yet, but indulge me: Monkey loves carnivorous plants. Fascinated by them. As a result, we all know about not just venus fly traps but also pitcher plants, waterwheels, and sundews.
And so, like any good mother, I try to feed my son’s interests (sorry, couldn’t help it!) plus inject a little fun into the whole proceedings.
Thus, our carnivorous plants food art – enjoy!
Carnivorous Plants Food Art
Venus Fly Trap
Ah, those poor little beans, caught in a clever tortilla trap!
Note the trigger hairs inside the trap itself. Watch out, raisins! You don’t want to touch those!
Ay, poor cranberries, caught in a sticky honey trap!
The hapless raisins, forever stilled by the plant’s evil jello walls
And finally, the innocent chocolate chips take a final slide down the slippery ice cream slopes to their doom.
How are you having fun with your kids lately??
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
It’s October, so now we can officially go crazy for Halloween! Okay, okay, we’ve already been getting excited for the past month, I admit. But now I feel like I can really go to town!
One of our favorite Halloween picture books is one we discovered a couple years ago, The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis. This is a marvelously fun book to read. The text bounces along, just as the runaway pumpkin does as it thumps and bumps its way down the hill of the Baxter farm. As the enormous pumpkin crashes through the barn and splatters through the pig sty, the family members try to catch it, as they dream of pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup. Yet it is the father who comes up with a clever plan to stop the pumpkin’s rolling and move it into the kitchen so Granny can begin cooking.
The boys and I adore this book, and it’s hard to read without bouncing in your seat, at least a little. So I thought it only appropriate that we should do a pumpkin rolling experiment to explore the book further.
I wasn’t brave enough to let the boys have at it with a full sized pumpkin, so we used several mini pumpkins instead. Our quest was to find the “best” way to roll pumpkins using our couch cushions. Where did the pumpkins roll the straightest? The furthest? The fastest?
(This would be even more fun to do outside; unfortunately we were stuck indoors because of bad weather and colds).
The Monkeys tried rolling their pumpkins over the arm rests (not very successful) and along the surface of the cushions (better) before we pulled the cushions out at tried them at different angles. Needless to say, they enjoyed racing their pumpkins down the cushions and around the living room!
What We Learned:
- Pumpkins roll straighter on a smooth surface.
- Pumpkins roll more quickly the steeper the angle.
- Pumpkins can roll far even if they aren’t going very quickly – as long as a little brother doesn’t stop them first.
- Rolling pumpkins – and climbing on the couch – is fun!
This post is part of an AWESOME Halloween Read and Play Blog Hop. Make sure to check out the other book based activities from fantastic bloggers!
LalyMom- Five Little Pumpkins- Clothespin Activity
Mama Smiles- Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?- Felt Board Activity and Coloring Pages
One Time Through- Magic School Bus: Haunted Museum- Spooky Sound Experiments
Planet Smarty Pants- The Picky Little Witch- Halloween Cupcakes
Study at Home Mama- 10 Halloween Books and 50 Activities Don’t forget to check out the Halloween Read and Play Pinterest Board which features ALL these great activities!
I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Save Mart Supermarkets. I received Thomas Cookware items to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
No matter how much I try to plan ahead, weeknight dinners seem to always be rushed in our house. So I love having a healthy, yummy dish like these Weeknight Parmesan Noodles I can pull together quickly for my kids – with minimum cleanup! Best of all, it’s something both my boys love to eat! Seriously, if it were up to Monkey, we would have this every night!
Recently I made Parmesan Noodles (see recipe below) with my new Thomas Cookware from Save Mart. I loved that it was so easy to make in a single pot – I didn’t even need a colander! The lid is cleverly built so that it’s also a strainer, saving me a cooking step plus one less dish to clean – priceless! And when time came to wash the pot, I got an extra surprise with how easy it was to clean.
Thanks to Save Mart, now through January 20, you can earn this high quality cookware simply by doing your regular grocery shopping. Every $10 you spend earns you a bonus stamp, which you can use towards your choice of pots and pans from Thomas Cookware, exclusively at Save Mart Supermarkets!
I love participating in rewards programs, and this is a great one. Why not put your dollars to work earning you some great new additions to your kitchen? Cook like a pro with this top quality cookware!
I am always impressed with how friendly and helpful the staff are at our local store, and how open and airy it is. Save Mart carries all the name brands we find at other stores, often at lower prices. Plus we ran into some fire fighters in our recent trip, which I consider a high stamp of approval!
And now on to the recipe! Enjoy this quick but tasty weeknight version of the kid classic macaroni and cheese!
Weeknight Parmesan Noodles
Makes two generous kid-sized servings or three adult side servings
1/2 lb pasta
Butter or margarine, approx. 1/2 T
Grated Parmesan cheese, approx. 1/4 c
Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain noodles then stir in remaining ingredients and serve.
That’s it! Hope you enjoy as much as my Monkeys and I do!
Making a home escape plan in case of fire — it was one of those things I kept meaning to do, along with make an emergency disaster kit (still need to do that one!) Luckily, thanks to Fire Prevention Week, we finally got it done!
I have to say, it was so much easier and less time-consuming than I thought it would be, and the boys loved it! Little Monkey, of course, just had fun running around the house and pointing at things, but Monkey really understood what we were doing and was totally focused on the task.
This wasn’t the first time we’ve talked about fire safety, of course. Like most little kids, the Monkeys love fire trucks and firefighters, and we’ve been to a number of open houses and demonstrations at our local fire stations. But this was the first time we really took a good look at exactly what we should do if there were to be a fire in our home.
My favorite resource if the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). They have wonderful materials for fire safety and fire prevention for kids, plus a guide to escape planning for families. Monkey loved their interactive online book about making a fire safety plan.
As we did our fire safety plan, we followed the NFPA guidelines, plus we used – believe it or not – a copy of last year’s Fire Prevention Week LEGO magazine! As a way to reach more kids, NFPA last year partnered with LEGO magazine to create an issue all about fire safety, including a section about making a fire safety plan. You can download full instructions and a grid similar to the one we used from NFPA’s website.
First we picked our outdoor meeting spot – in our case, across the street. Next I drew a map of our house. Next we walked through each room together, drawing the windows, doors, and smoke detectors. We also made sure each room has two ways out. I also went over with Monkey where the latches were for all the windows.
He also practiced the proper way to feel a door to see if it was hot, using the back of his hand. We also practiced crawling on the floor to avoid the heat and smoke. (This, of course, disintegrated into chaos for a bit as they did up their role playing to the hilt! There were a lot of dramatic falls and crashes before we re-focused for a snack).
We’re not done, of course – we still need to review our plan periodically and practice, as well as other tasks like checking smoke detectors regularly. But I feel like we took a big first step, and now we’re much more prepared should a fire occur.
How are you preparing your family for an emergency?
I am so excited to team up with some bloggy friends to gather ideas for fire safety for kids! As Fire Safety Week is coming up next week, we wanted to put together some ideas to teach our little ones about fire safety, and see yours as well! Be sure to visit the other participating blogs, and link up your own fire safety for kids post at the end.