Worldwide Culture Swap – I discovered this amazing group of people online who organize, coordinate and connect hundreds of families in swapping packages from their respective areas of the world. Worldwide Culture Swap facilitates USA swaps and World swaps. For example, I traded a WA State package with families from Italy, South Carolina, Canada and Finland. So we received 4 packages individualized and full of love. In my efforts to Montessori home school these packages are the perfect way for me to start building our geography and culture work. Plus we met families from around the world whom I now consider friends.
Little Passports – Little Passports is beyond spectacular. They provide “an online global adventure for children” by way of Sam and Sophia who travel the world and report back. I guarantee Little Passports will inspire your family. Plus you will learn about geography, culture, language and history while enjoying the journey. My sons are a bit young for the recommended age of 5 but we tried it out recently because Mama was curious. Turns out at 3 and 1.5, they are too young to truly appreciate the experience but I loved it. My older son did get a kick out of the adorable suitcase, his own passport and the World Map. Here is a link to how Little Passports works so you can learn more and join up!
International Districts – To celebrate the Moon Festival this year, I took my sons to the Chinese neighborhood in Seattle's International District. We found a bakery to purchase and devour moon cakes, then wandered around the streets and into store selling foreign goods. My sons are young but I truly believe they benefited from the excursion. There are celebrations throughout the year in International Districts across the country so check them out or simply have a quiet stroll through the neighborhood.
Cuisine – Seattle is fortunate to have a wonderful Asian grocery market that makes for a great excursion even if you don't have a meal planned to prepare. Find your local international market (even if it is simply a small section of a typical grocery store) and study the food. Find a recipe online, buy the ingredients and create a feast. If that does not appeal to you, find an international restaurant, order something using the native language of the restaurant and try new food. Even if you don't have these types of places at your fingertips, go online, read about foreign cuisines, the history, the culture and how one country (or area of a country) differs from other parts of the world. For example, why is Argentina known for its beef? Is sushi really the most popular Japanese food and why? Why do the Chinese eat Moon Cakes to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival?
Music – I recently had a wonderful experience with my 3-year-old. We were journeying on a 3-hour road trip. To make the trip a bit more interesting, I bought the boys Global Children's Music for the ride. I knew the music would be fun but the learning opportunity was a surprise for me. My son was curious about the other languages, the singers, the countries and the instruments. The music opened up a whole line of questions that led to map work and a lot of conversation about culture (and cultural differences).
So, you don't have to get on a plane and take a trip around the world to be more Global. You can teach your children what it means to be global by bringing simple activities and ideas into your home. A wonderful children's book I highly recommend is called What Does It Mean to Be Global? by Rana DiOrio of Little Pickle Press for children as young as 4 years old.
Thanks for choosing to read this post today! I hope that we inspired you! Have fun!