Jun 122014

Exploring San Jose Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

I am so thrilled to be participating in the incredible series put together by my friend and fellow Multicultural Kid Blogs board member Annabelle of piri piri lexicon.  In this series readers get a chance to tour neighborhoods from all over the globe – from France and the Brazil to Kansas City and San Francisco!  Go to the main page for a full schedule of stops in this virtual world tour.  Here is my glimpse of San Jose Costa Rica.

Although we live in the US, we frequently visit Costa Rica, where my husband is from.  During our visits we spend the bulk of our time visiting family in the country’s sprawling capitol, San José.  As is the case with many large cities, San José has many different areas; this is only a glance at those where we spent our time.  Most tourists are more familiar with the beaches and rainforests of Costa Rica, so it is fun to introduce you to the capitol, where so many Costa Ricans live far from the surfboards and the monkeys (though not that far from the volcanoes!)

1. Playground / play area

Exploring San Jose, Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

I saw a number of nice playgrounds around San José, but they seem to be a relatively new concept.  Back in the “old days” people tended to congregate in plazas, as in so much of Latin America.  Now many Costa Ricans view the plazas as unsafe, and instead tend to hang out at the mall or on their own streets.  This playground was new since our last visit, and the entire time we were there I never saw any kids playing.  I mentioned this to a friend, who assured me that kids do play at the playgrounds, but only during certain times of day, to avoid the heat.


2. Local mode of transport

Exploring San Jose Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.comOutside a weekly farmer’s market

Once upon a time, everyone got around by bus.  While for many people this is still the case, more and more people are buying cars.  Because they are relatively expensive, it is unusual for a family to have more than one car, and they tend to be small.  But everyone’s preference would be to have some kind of hardy 4 x 4, a necessity once you leave San José and travel onto the less reliable country roads.  (Roads are notoriously difficult to maintain in tropical countries, plus Costa Rica is particularly hilly and mountainous).  If you are without a car but don’t want to take the bus, many people don’t mind paying a bit extra for a taxi so they can get where they are going more quickly.


3. Typical house/building

Exploring San Jose Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.comA quiet neighborhood in San José

4. Street nearby

Exploring San Jose Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

This neighborhood is very quiet.  Most people stay in their own homes, and usually the only person you see walking around is the “watchaman,” or neighborhood security guard.  In another part of town, however, the scene is very different.  There kids were usually hanging out in front of their houses and playing games in the street, and there was a much stronger sense of community.

5. School, nursery or other education facility

Exploring San Jose Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

This photo is of a local elementary school.  We happened to be there on presidential election day, when this photo was taken.  The school was being used as a polling station, and you can see the yellow and red flags of one of the political parties.

Exploring San Jose Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.comA view inside the school


6. Market, supermarket or other shopping outlet

While more and more people are shopping in malls and grocery stores, I couldn’t resist posting photos of the still thriving farmer’s markets, or ferias.  In many neighborhoods there are also produce trucks that drive by so you can buy your fruits and vegetables right outside your doorstep!

Exploring San Jose Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

Exploring San Jose Costa Rica {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

You can see more of my farmer’s market photos in this Wordless Wednesday. You can also follow my Costa Rica board on Pinterest:


We hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of San José, Costa Rica! Be sure to visit the other stops in this tour of neighborhoods around the world!

Show me your neighbourhood around the world
May 142014

I was provided with a complimentary review copy of Down South; however, all opinions are my own.

Many thanks to my dear friend and West Virginia native J. Pearce for allowing me to share her beautiful pictures here.

West Virginia holds a special place in my heart.  When I was small, my grandparents bought a summer home there, and as I grew up we spent many vacations at their cabin out in the country.  My sister and I passed many happy hours reading in the hammock, helping in the garden, picking blackberries, and mapping imaginary worlds out in the woods.

Travels with Charlie: WEST VIRGINA Coal Experiment {Booking Across the USA} - Alldonemonkey.com

Photo courtesy of J. Pearce

Travels with Charlie: WEST VIRGINIA Coal Experiment {Booking Across the USA} - Alldonemonkey.com

Photo courtesy of J. Pearce

It is difficult to exaggerate how beautiful West Virginia is.  When my brother married, it was no surprise that he and his bride-to-be wanted the wedding to take place at the West Virginia home.  The ceremony was outdoors, in front of the cabin, set against the backdrop of the woods and the rolling hills.

Travels with Charlie: WEST VIRGINA Coal Experiment {Booking Across the USA} - Alldonemonkey.com

Photo courtesy of J. Pearce

We live on the West Coast now, and my grandparents sold the cabin years ago, so I was glad for the opportunity to introduce my son to West Virginia through the Travels with Charlie book on the Southeastern states, Down South from Blue Apple Books.Travels with Charlie - Blue Apple Books

Down South is part of a series of books for young children about the states of the US.  Since Monkey loves maps (and I love teaching him about geography), I knew he would love this book, and he does!  He frequently asks to read his “Charlie book” and loves poring over the pages.  The books are so cute and creative – each state is featured with fun facts plus a map with cartoon renderings of the main state attractions.  Best of all is trying to find the dog Charlie hidden on each map!

One of the aspects featured on the West Virginia map is coal.  For good or for ill, West Virginia’s modern history has been powerfully shaped by the coal industry, and continues to be today.

Monkey loves geology (thank you, Magic School Bus!), so I decided that our extension activity would be a science experiment about how coal is created.

There are many versions of this experiment out there, but I found this tutorial very easy to follow, plus it was designed for just two weeks (as opposed to the four weeks required in others).  I’m sure the results would have been even better over four weeks, but I was still happy with how this turned out.

You can find all the instructions on the original post, but basically the experiment is about seeing how leaves, ferns, and twigs decompose, to get a glimpse of how fossils and coal are formed.

We left our leaves and ferns to rot for 14 days.  Here is how they fared:

Travels with Charlie: WEST VIRGINIA Coal Experiment {Booking Across the USA} - Alldonemonkey.com

Travels with Charlie: WEST VIRGINIA Coal Experiment {Booking Across the USA} - Alldonemonkey.com

At the end of the 14 days, I said it was time to explore the decomposed materials.  Monkey was a bit hesitant to poke around in the icky sand, but he warmed up quickly, and I had to keep Baby from plunging his little arm in up to his shoulder.  As I mentioned before, I’m sure you could observe more profound change over a longer period of time, but even over just the two weeks it was easy to see how the leaves (but not as much the ferns!) had started to decompose.  We were also able to observe how the plants left imprints on the damp sand, opening up a discussion of fossil formation.

This was a fun way to learn about geology, and Monkey had fun checking on our “sand experiment” as it progressed.

Have you ever visited West Virginia?


Booking Across the USA Trip 2 created by growingbookbybook.com

I am so excited to be taking part in the Booking Across USA Project, put together by the amazing Jodie of Growing Book by Book.

For more details and to enter the giveaway, visit the main Booking Across the USA page.  Be sure to also visit the other participants in the series for fun crafts and activities for all 50 states:

Growing Book by Book, Everyday Snapshots, Teaching in the Fast Lane, The Educators’ Spin On It, Crayonbox Learning, Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, 3rd Grade Thoughts, Mama Miss, Teaching Stars, Fabulously First, Lemon Lime Adventures, True Aim Education, Guided Math, Primary Inspired, Surviving a Teacher’s Salary, Second Grade Smartypants, The Brown Bag Teacher, The Preschool Toolbox, Country Fun, Picture Books & Pirouettes, One Lesson at a Time, The Resource(ful) Room, Creative Family Fun, Peace, Love, and First Grade, Edventures with Kids, Africa to America, Teach Beside Me, Elementary Matters, Inspiring 2 NH Kids, Pink Stripey Socks, Kid World Citizen, iGameMom, Second Grade Math Maniac, Rockin’ Teacher Materials, Great Peace Academy, Kathy Griffin’s Teaching Strategies, Journey of a Substitute Teacher, My (Not So) Elementary Life, Stir the Wonder, Kidding Around Greenville, The Good Long Road, Kathy’s Cluttered Mind, Curls and a Smile, Dilly Dabbles, Mama Smiles, Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts, Sprout’s Bookshelf, All Done Monkey, Growing Firsties, ALLternative Learning, Delightful Learning, Kids Yoga Stories, and Where Imagination Grows.

Feb 172014

Welcome to the first ever Vlogging Telephone from Multicultural Kid Blogs!

Wait!  What in the world is that??

A group of bloggers from Multicultural Kid Blogs has joined together to create a chain of videos on traveling with kids.  Each person in the chain answers a question from the blogger ahead of them and asks a question to the blogger that follows.  All of the questions relate to family travel, and trust me, they are some great questions!

In the video below, I am answering a question from Olga of The European Mama (today appearing on Multicultural Kid Blogs): “What is your secret to family travel?”

I am asking Michelle of MotherTongues, “What was the most fun detour you have made when traveling with your kids?”


For more on family travel, be sure to visit our Travel with Kids Pinterest Board and stop by our MKB Book Club discussion of Family on the Loose!

Jan 032014

Multicultural Kid Blogs Book Club reads Family on the Loose - Plus a Giveaway!

Like most people, we traveled quite a bit before having kids.  Afterwards…not so much.  I mean, travel with kids, while rewarding, is also a big hassle – or is it??

This winter, the Multicultural Kid Blogs Club will be reading Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids.  This amazing book is all about how to make travel with your family not only more fun but more practical for everyone involved.  I can’t wait to find out more, can you?

To get started, I am giving away a copy of this fantastic book – be sure to enter below!

Join the Multicultural Kid Blogs Book Club as we begin 2014 by reading Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids.

– In weekly posts, Multicultural Kid Bloggers will discuss Family on the Loose and share their own travel stories and tips.

– On March 6, Author Ashley Steel answers questions about the book and traveling with her family.

– Read along and join the conversation as we talk about our experiences and plan for new adventures!

The Book

– Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids is by Bill Richards and E. Ashley Steel

– This engaging book offers hundreds of easy-to-use ideas for turning travel with kids into a rewarding, enriching adventure.

– Bill Richards and E. Ashley Steel have traveled through North America, Europe and Asia with their two daughters. They bring vast experience and a wonderful sense of humor to their discussion of family travel.

– Read more about Family on the Loose on the authors’ website.


The Conversation

– Beginning Jan. 9, we will be posting once a week on different chapters.

– Join the conversation by following the participating blogs and leaving comments with your experiences, ideas and questions.

– To be notified of new posts by email, join the group list by emailing multiculturalkidblogs at gmail. com. Please put “book club” in the subject line.

– Share your ideas in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Google + Community.

– Link up your travel stories on Multicultural Kid Blogs.

– Follow our Travel with Kids Board on Pinterest.


These bloggers will be hosting the chapter discussions:

Where to get the book

Family on the Loose is available on Amazon.


Read more about the Multicultural Kid Blogs Book Club on our website

Multicultural Kid Blogs are dedicated to raising world citizens, through arts, activities, crafts, food, language, and love. You can follow Multicultural Kid Blogs on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. You can also subscribe to a feed of all of posts from the Facebook pages of all member blogs.

The giveaway

Enter here for a chance to win your very own copy of Family on the Loose!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aug 082013

Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga-inspired children’s books get children moving, learning, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write her stories found at www.kidsyogastories.com or on Amazon worldwide.

Same Language, Different Culture Confusion - Kids Yoga Stories on Alldonemonkey.com

Australian Waterfall

“The similarities are superficial, but the differences are fundamental,” an American man once told me about living in Australia.

When we live in another English-speaking country, some unexpected challenges can arise. We may speak the same language, but getting lost in translation is still easy because of the differences in our cultures.

Having lived in three English-speaking countries, I’ve noticed that the day-to-day life is quite similar, but the fundamental differences can either be a light-hearted surprise or a stop-dead-in-your-tracks experience. The awareness, appreciation, and acceptance of these differences can help families to integrate well into newly adopted countries.

10 questions to ponder while living in another English-speaking country:

1. Are the social graces different from what you are accustomed to?

Leaning in for a kiss on the cheek, as you would in Sydney, might catch someone off guard if they are used to getting a handshake in San Francisco. Awkward! In a place like San Francisco, it’s more common for strangers to strike up conversations in public, while people from other places might keep more to themselves. Noticing specific social graces might help you to fit in with the locals.

2. Does your accent or slang get in the way of effective communication?

While I was living in Australia, the cab drivers would often drive to the wrong part of town after mistaking my accent for my having requested a different neighborhood! You might have to get used to locals chuckling at the way you say certain words, like “tomato” or “process.” Aussies often add “ies” to the end of words, like “sunnies” or “cozies.” And they sometimes shorten words to things like “arvo” for afternoon or “uni” for university. Bring a flexible attitude along with your humor and compassion when faced with a challenging language situation.

3. Do they use a different word for the same thing?

I remember standing in the veggie section with a grocery list from my Aussie roommate, thinking, “Capsicum, rock melon, and rocket? What’s that?!” I soon learned that capsicums are peppers, rock melon is a cantaloupe, and rocket is arugula. And as a child in Canada, I was teased for saying, “What a palaver?” and “I’m peckish.”—phrases I’d learned from my British parents. You may be speaking the same language, but different words could be used in different countries. Trust me, you don’t want to be calling your flip-flops “thongs” in Australia.

4. Are there distinct social expectations?

You might be expected to attend birthday and holiday celebrations. Bringing a dish to a potluck dinner is common in San Francisco, but in Sydney, the host will probably provide all the food. Make sure you know if children are invited or not and if alcohol is acceptable. I also noticed that it’s perfectly okay to wait in line to eat at a restaurant in San Francisco, whereas that might be considered odd somewhere else. Social blunders can often be smoothed over by a laugh.

Same Language, Different Culture Confusion - Kids Yoga Stories on Alldonemonkey.com

Canadian Mountains

5. Are there any stereotypes that you should be aware of?

Canadians are known for being “nice” and for saying “sorry” a lot. And lot of people assume all Aussies are surfers. Whereas, Americans might be expected to know more about pop culture. Be careful of imposing stereotypes on others in your adopted country and pay attention if the locals have stamped you with a stereotype. It might just help to avoid an awkward social situation.

6. Are there personal questions you shouldn’t ask the locals?

In Sydney, it seemed okay to ask friends about their jobs, house costs, and salary. In San Francisco, that might be considered rude. I’ve had my fair share of foot-in-mouth experiences. Have you? Some cultures are more open to talking about their personal lives, while others keep information about their relationships, life’s challenges, and feelings to themselves.

7. Should you be aware of important traditions or holidays?

Halloween is not commonly celebrated in Australia, but it is very popular in North America. In Australia, no one wants to miss Australia Day in January. American Thanksgiving is a huge celebration in November here in San Francisco, almost bigger than Christmas. Though, that might not be the case all over America. Some cities are more expressively patriotic than others, which might influence how they celebrate their country-specific holidays. Embracing the local celebrations is worth the experience, and you can introduce your own traditions to the locals.

Same Language, Different Culture Confusion - Kids Yoga Stories on Alldonemonkey.com

American Forest

8. Is the humor similar or different from what you are used to?

Sydneysiders’ humor might be more dry, dark, and sarcastic, where other cultures might be more slap-stick, silly, or jokey. People in some cultures share humor openly with everyone, whereas some save their jokes for only their friends. Laughter in a movie theater may differ, as well. Yet another potential embarrassing situation in your new city is when a joke flops because the punch line didn’t translate.

9. Do you need to be sensitive to the way that you deliver your communication?

Australians may be honest and straightforward in their conversations. In contrast, Canadians might try to avoid confrontation. Cities around the world have different expectations for swearing, politically-correct language, and religious or cultural/heritage references. An innocent comment might be drastically misinterpreted.

10. Are manners expressed differently?

I found that Australians generally say thank you when they ask for something, like “I’ll have a coffee, thanks.” I’ve heard a few Americans say “uh-huh” in response to a “thank you,” which may surprise someone expecting, “You’re welcome.” Gratitude and manners may be expressed differently, but have no doubt that their intentions are the same. Be open and non-judgmental.

My husband and I will continue to ask ourselves these questions as we raise our daughter to be tri-cultural. I’m sure we’ll make some mistakes along the way, but we hope that she’ll feel as though she can fit into various cultures.

What are your same language-different culture confusion stories? We would love to hear from you!

Kids Yoga StoriesJoin the Luke’s Beach Day virtual book launch in June and July 2013 to celebrate an Australian-inspired yoga story. Also available in eBook format for your holiday travels. Get details and free kids yoga resources in your inbox by signing up for Giselle’s weekly Kids Yoga Stories Newsletter on her website, or check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.Giselle Shardlow


Jul 242013
 July 24, 2013  Kid Fun, Sacramento, travel 2 Responses »

California State Railroad Museum - Alldonemonkey.com on Glittering MuffinsOne of Monkey’s absolute favorite places to visit is the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.  It is wildly popular among his little friends as well, and we often go there for playdates.

I recently wrote an overview about the train museum for the wonderful Kids on the Go series from Glittering Muffins.  As a sign of just how busy things have been lately, I keep forgetting to post the link to the article here!  So, without any further ado, here it is, our tribute to one of our favorite spots to spend the day:

California State Railroad Museum {Kids on the Go: Glittering Muffins}

Jun 062013

Top Ten Ways to Learn Through Travel - Alldonemonkey.comThis post is part of the Top Ten Series from Kid Blogger Network organized by Becky of This Reading Mama.  (She is the same one that organized the wonderful ABC series this past winter).  All this week, 25+ bloggers are sharing Top Ten lists for keeping our kids learning this summer.  Be sure to check out the full list of participants.

Summer is when many families take advantage of vacation time to travel with their kids.  But did you know these family trips can also be educational?

If you have any doubt, just read this homeschool curriculum submitted by one mom traveling the world with her kids.  (Last I heard they were in Kuala Lumpur!) See below to find out how you can make your next family trip both educational and fun for everyone.

Of course, I recognize that travel – especially international travel – is not practical for many families.  But thanks to the internet and the multiethnic communities in which many of us live, it only takes a little creativity to replicate many of the lessons below even if your “travel” is only local.

Be sure to visit our Travel with Kids Pinterest Board for more tips, ideas, and tales of adventures.  Also don’t miss this wonderful series on the ABCs of family field trips from KC Edventures.

10. Learn the Mechanics of Travel

When our family travels, one of the main things our son learns about is travel itself: what airports, planes, buses, shuttles, and cabs are like.  Luckily, he is fascinated by vehicles and machines, so this was a big plus as far as he is concerned!  Before our last big trip we prepped by reading Richard Scarry’s A Day at the Airport, now one of his favorite books.  Older kids can also help make reservations and plan itineraries.

9. Do the Numbers

Travel can be a perfect way to reinforce math lessons.  As mentioned in this post about a trip through Thailand, traveling kids can learn currency conversions, timetables, bartering, and even budgeting.  (My major math challenge is always converting from Celsius to Fahrenheit!)

Top Ten Ways to Learn Through Travel - Alldonemonkey.com

Costa Rican Farmer’s Market

8. Explore Geography

This is obvious and yet bears repeating because travel is such a golden opportunity to teach geography.  As discussed in this great post about family road trips, travel can bring to life land forms and features like nothing else.  What better way to learn about time zones and climate zones than traveling through a few?  It is also a wonderful way to reinforce those map reading skills!  For younger kids, you can create a visual travel timeline that will help them understand where and when they will be going.

7. Use Your Senses

When visiting a new place, one’s senses can be overwhelmed with all the new sights, smells, and tastes.  Take advantage of this wave of sensations by helping kids isolate and explore them all!

Top Ten Ways to Learn Through Travel - Fantastic Fun and Learning on Alldonemonkey.com

Courtesy of fantastic fun & learning

Do a sound walk and see what sounds the kids can identify.  Visit a local farmer’s market and have them help with the shopping.  Go to a nearby park, and have them search for animal tracks.

As I mentioned at the beginning, you can do this right in your own neighborhood!  I love this scavenger hunt one mother did with her daughter at a nearby ethnic grocery store.

6. Wonder at Nature

One of the major benefits of travel is the chance to marvel at the natural world up close.  One of the biggest thrills of my life was the first time I approached the majestic Andes Mountains.  Truly no photo can do them justice!

What better way to teach children about nature than to bring them face to face with a platypus in its natural habitat, or explore the black sand of a volcanic island, or scramble over rocks at low tide?  Wherever you travel, be sure to expose your kids to the natural surroundings as well as the man-made wonders.

Top Ten Ways to Learn Through Travel - World Travel Family on Alldonemonkey.com

Courtesy of World Travel Family

5. Bring History to Life

Travel can also bring kids face to face with historical places, which can capture the feel of a time period like nothing else.  It is one thing to read about an historical figure, but quite another to visit the house he grew up in.  And reading about the hardships of mining life is definitely not the same as getting to go into the mines for yourself.  Ask about local historical sites and find one that is appropriate for your family.

4. Practice Another Language

If you are lucky enough to travel internationally, another bonus for your children is a chance to learn another language.  Even if they only learn a few phrases in the local language, it can open their eyes to other ways of communicating and teach them courage by trying something new.  If your child has already been exposed to another language, immersion travel – and particularly connecting with other kids – can give a tremendous boost to their studies.  This type of trip is especially important if you have family abroad, as it can help bridge any communication difficulties due to language.

Top Ten Ways to Learn Through Travel - InCultureParent on Alldonemonkey.com

Courtesy of InCultureParent

3. Appreciate Diversity

Travel can open kids’ eyes to different ways of eating, playing, thinking, and praying.  Whenever possible, connect with local communities to explore local customs with your kids.  The easiest way to do this is through personal connections, but you can also ask about local cultural sites or associations.  Most people are proud of their local heritage and flattered that you are interested, so don’t be shy!

Top Ten Ways to Learn Through Travel - Crystal's Tiny Treasures on Alldonemonkey.com

Courtesy of Crystal’s Tiny Treasures

2. Discover Unity

But even more important than teaching about diversity is helping kids appreciate just how similar we all are despite our differences.  When possible, take advantage of opportunities to connect to local people on a one-on-one basis, so that kids can get to know them on a personal level.  If you have personal connections, take advantage of these.  Otherwise, do your best to engage with local residents in a sincere way, and model this type of engagement to your children.

1. Get Involved

Take this new found understanding one step further and help your kids get involved in a local volunteer project.  Doing service in a local community will help kids truly connect and take ownership of the issues facing that part of the world.  It will also teach them that they can make a difference, and that travel can be empowering as well as entertaining.

Top Ten Ways to Learn Through Travel - Wold Travel Family on Alldonemonkey.com

Courtesy of World Travel Family

For more great ways to keep our kids learning this summer, visit the Top Ten page for a full list of posts in this series.

Jun 042013

Learning about Language in Papua New Guinea - Veritable Treasure on Alldonemonkey.comThis article was written by Chelsea Lee Smith, as part of a series of posts introducing the country of Papua New Guinea to children. Find all of the posts in this wonderful series on Multicultural Kid Blogs.

Helping children become comfortable with people who speak other languages is a great step towards preparing them to interact with people of other cultures.

If you have never had to communicate with someone who does not speak your language, it can feel very awkward for the first time.  Having courage to communicate – even when you have to keep trying and trying in order to get a simple idea across – is a wonderful skill for everyone to practice.  Imagine young children having this experience during childhood, how confident and comfortable they would be interacting with people of all languages when they are teenagers and adults!

Learning and practicing phrases from new languages can help children get used to trying to say new words.  You do not have to learn the whole language to have a meaningful experience!   Just learning a few basic phrases is a great step towards language and culture appreciation.

One interesting fact which you may not know is that Papua New Guinea (PNG) is arguably the most linguistically diverse country in the world.  With over 850 languages spoken, it is an incredible place to go and experience language diversity!  According to this site, there is one language per 215 square miles!

Learning About Language in Papua New Guinea - Veritable Treasure on Alldonemonkey.com

When I visited PNG for the first time a few years ago, my husband and I were running a basic family health initiative.  We were on a small volcanic island called Kar Kar, which we reached by boat from Madang.  We were surprised upon arrival to learn that even on the island there were two local languages (not spoken anywhere else in PNG), plus Pidgin and English!  So we spent half the time learning a couple phrases from one local language, and then the other half learning a completely new language.  What an experience in language appreciation!

The official languages of PNG are Pidgin (an English based creole), English, and Hiri Motu.  However English is only spoken by a very small percentage of the population (estimated 1-2%) and Hiri Motu becoming less and less common.  So if you are wanting to brush up on a few popular phrases to use in Papua New Guinea, it is probably best to learn some Pidgin.

Learning About Language in Papua New Guinea - Veritable Treasure on Alldonemonkey.com

Here are some English phrases and the translation in Pidgin, more formally called Tok Pisin.  Since the language is based on English, you may like to play this game with your child: say the word in Tok Pisin and then ask them what they think it means.  You both may be surprised at what can be picked up if you listen carefully!

Hello                                  Goo-dei
How are you?                 Yu stap alrait?
Fine.                                   Stap alrait, tenk yu.
What is your name?     Nem bilong yu wanem?
My name is…                  Nem bilong mi…
Nice to meet you.         Gutpela long bungim yu.
Please                                Plis

Here is the translation of a popular Bahá’í prayer (“O God! Guide me…”):
O God, soim rot long mi.  Lukautim mi.  Mekim mi i kamap olsem lam i lait na sta i lait tru. Yu Gat Strong na Yu Gat Pawa.

I hope you had fun learning a bit about language in Papua New Guinea!  To check out the other posts which will give you some more background about the Papua New Guinea (including pictures of children!), read the other posts in this series.

Chelsea - Moments a DayChelsea is the mother of two boys ages 2 and 4.  She is passionate about the education of children, specifically supporting mothers and teachers with materials that can will empower children become change agents in the world.  She has several blogs, her newest being Moments a Day.

May 122013

Sophia's Jungle Adventure - Giselle ShardlowEnter our contest below to win a copy of Sophia’s Jungle Adventure, a yoga-inspired children’s book by Giselle Shardlow

My Monkey loves to move!  Even when reading or playing a video game, he simply cannot sit still.  On a recent visit, my dad couldn’t stop laughing as he watched Monkey watching a video.  First Monkey was laying on his stomach, then sitting, then hanging over the edge of the couch, then upside down, and so on.  At our preschool playgroup, he is the same way.  He can’t just sit and sing the songs with the other kids.  He has to get up and dance.

So I was thrilled to come across Kids Yoga Stories, the yoga-inspired children’s books by author Giselle Shardlow.  Giselle bases her books on her own experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom.  She was kind enough to send us a copy of her wonderful Sofia en una Aventura por la Selva (available in English as Sophia’s Jungle Adventure), and Monkey loved it straightaway.  Finally a book that spoke to the way he likes to read – in motion!

As someone who has always loved yoga, I adore these books because they finally give me a fun, easy way to introduce my son to yoga.  I tried to teach him some movements myself when he was younger, without much success.  And as my own yoga practice has fallen by the wayside, so has my motivation to teach him.

Kids Yoga StoriesEnter Kids Yoga Stories, which make yoga fun for kids by setting the movements within the context of a story, so that each motion taught is linked to an action in the storyline.  Kids zoom like an airplane as Sofia and her family travel to Costa Rica (yes, our beloved Costa Rica!),  salute the sun with Sofia before she begins her hike through the jungle, and act like the monkeys and jaguars she sees.

Along the way, they also learn about the importance of saving the environment for these beautiful creatures, in a way that is easy for children to understand and therefore to care about.

The book is also a great resource for parents, who can refer to the full, illustrated list of poses and a parent-teacher guide at the back of the book.giselle-and-anamika1-300x200

Monkey loved acting out the story and imitating Sofia’s poses.  I was impressed with his attention to detail, as he even made sure to hold his hands the same way as she does.  Of course, he often decided to change things up a bit: “How about like this?  How about upside-down?  How about like a robot?”

This kind of creativity is encouraged by Giselle, whose motivation in creating these interactive books is to “get children moving, learning, and having fun.”  Mission accomplished!

You can find more about this and other books and resources from Giselle at Kids Yoga Stories or on Amazon worldwide.

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop - Button - May 2013

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

I am so pleased to be able to offer a copy of this great book as a prize to one reader, as part of the amazing Kid Lit Giveaway Hop!  Each participating blog (find a list of all of them at the end of this post) is running a book giveaway to celebrate Children’s Book Week.

The contests will all run through May 19, 2013, so see how many you can enter this week!

But before you do, make sure to enter below to win a copy of Sophia’s Jungle Adventure!  The winner can choose either the English or Spanish version of the story.


Enter now to win this great book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mar 102013
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop - Alldonemonkey.comHi, and welcome to the first ever Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!
Don’t you love being in on something new? I love that feeling of getting to participate in something that is just starting, especially when I know it’s going to be great!

That’s how I feel about the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! It’s a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids.  We can’t wait to see what  you have to share with us this time!

I am fortunate to be hosting this brand new blog hop with two of my favorite blogging buddies, Frances of Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes and Jody of Mud Hut Mama.  We had a lot of fun chatting with each other as we worked out the details.  Since we are in three different time zones (West Coast USA, East Coast USA, and Malawi), often I would be just starting breakfast, as Frances was thinking towards lunch, and Jody was preparing dinner!

(A big thank you to Frances, who came up with this idea and put in the bulk of the work to make it happen!)

It’s very easy to participate!  Just follow these simple guidelines:

  • Be a sweetheart, and kindly follow your hostess and co-hostesses:
  • Follow us via email, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.  Please let us know you’re following us, and we will be sure to follow you back.
  • Link up any creative kids culture posts, on anything from language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no  giveaways, shops, stores, etc.  When you link up your blog will also be shared simultaneously on our co-hostesses websites. 🙂
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="https://alldonemonkey.com/category/parenting/raising-global-citizens/creative-kids-culture-blog-hop/" title="Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2TlwB8obs5Q/UTDr2P8JEGI/AAAAAAAAGOQ/laky9JIEcGU/s1600/share+culture+button+2-email+small+size.jpg" alt="Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
  • Please  grab the button code above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post.  Note: By sharing your link up on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures,  and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest.
  • Don’t be a stranger, and share some comment love! Visit the other links, and comment. Everyone loves comments!
  • The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop will go live on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month and run for a week. The following blog hop we will each feature posts from the previous link up.  If you’re featured, don’t forget to grab the button below:
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="https://alldonemonkey.com/category/parenting/raising-global-citizens/creative-kids-culture-blog-hop/" title="Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ajb4TxSmYlI/UTDtNW_oCLI/AAAAAAAAGOY/g-TYeax5flc/s1600/featured+culture+button+2-email+small+size.jpg" alt="Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


Since we are just getting started, this week we are featuring a post from each of the hostesses, as a way of introducing ourselves.

If you are just getting to know my blog, a good place to start is my ABC’s of Raising a World Citizen series, since it includes some of my favorite posts and resources from around the web.

Frances and Jody are two of my favorite bloggers (and buddies), so I had a really hard time deciding which of their posts to feature!

For Frances, I chose this post about the Spanish immersion classes her son just began.  It has been fascinating to follow Frances’ efforts to raise her son to be bilingual.  She has great insights to offer, and I really admire her persistence.

Spanish immersion classes - Discovering the World Through My Sons Eyes

For Jody, I chose this post about greetings among the Kaonde people of Zambia, where she worked in the Peace Corps.  One of the things I love about Jody’s blog is her insights about the local culture.  This post tells all about the beautiful way the Kaonde welcome people to their village.



Now let’s see what you’ve been up to!

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