Games Around The World—What’s Inside?

Games Around The World—What’s Inside?

GlobeTrottin' Kids has created a fun resource for families and teachers to introduce kids (first through third graders) to different cultures through games and play. For these age groups, play is the most effective instructional tool and I tested out some of the games with my kiddos. For the Fukuwarai game (similar to Pin The Tail On The Donkey), we used my handy eye mask and some sticky tack. The kids loved the wacky faces that resulted from their efforts.   With 35 games from 23 different countries, there are plenty of activities to keep us busy during the cold, dark winter in Sweden. I love the handy chart that clearly lists all of the items you'll need for each game. What's Inside? The PDF file comes complete with any playing cards or game sheets that are easy to print from your computer at home. Connect children to their peers around the world through traditional games like tag, hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, and dominoes. Each game card includes clear...
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Autumn Crafts And Foods For Multicultural Kids

Autumn Crafts And Foods For Multicultural Kids

I have the honor of hosting the Multicultural Kids Carnival this month and the theme is Autumn Crafts and Foods. I am admittedly not skilled in arts and crafts but fortunately, the bloggers of Multicultural Kid Blogs are here to hold my hand with some really easy and cute crafts. I can't wait to try some of these delicious recipes (hint: pumpkin is the secret ingredient for most of them!) I received so many submissions that I separated them into categories: Autumn foods and Autumn Crafts. I'm sure you will be inspired by these ideas.   Autumn Foods I want Olga Mecking from the European Mama to come to my house and bake some delicious German and Polish apple pie and her savory pumpkin bread.   http://www.europeanmama.com/savoury-pumpkin-bread-recipe/ Grab one of those ready-made pie crusts from the refrigerator section of your grocery store and some ripe and juicy plums and pears and make some French fruit tarts with Phoebe from Lou Messugo. Swedes will love this recipe as it features...
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How To Travel Light As A Family

How To Travel Light As A Family

  As a family, we have traveled all around Europe and the US on planes, trains, and automobiles but no matter where we are headed, we employ these core approaches to traveling lightly. As a mom of two kids, I found that I needed my arms to remain as free as possible to hold little hands while walking on busy streets or helping them up into their seats on the bus. Here's what worked for us:     1. Do laundry wherever you are We generally never pack clothing for more than five days and plan on doing laundry along the way. We stay at Airbnb apartments that usually have a washer on site and a kitchen. This has transformed our traveling experiences with children.     2. Backpack and baby wearing We prefer to use backpacks to keep our hands free for wrangling and carrying our children. Roller bags are good but you lose a hand and dragging it through Europe can be extra difficult over cobblestone streets. They...
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What Does A Bike Have To Do With Parenting? Everything

What Does A Bike Have To Do With Parenting? Everything

Imagine you are riding a bike up a hill. The hill isn't that steep, but it isn't flat either. You shift down into second gear and have to stand to pedal at the same pace. Once you get to the top of the hill, you look back, and you think, "Wow. I'm kind of out of breath. That was a longer hill than I thought." Now imagine that you attach a bike trailer, one of those really snazzy fancy ones with seats for two kids, to the back of your bike. You head up the same hill but instead of easily pumping up the moderate hill, the hill suddenly looks massive, and your progress slows to a crawl while your leg muscles scream with every pedal forward. At the top of the hill, you don't look back or reflect on your accomplishment, but you collapse into a heap and wonder how you're going to do it again tomorrow without killing yourself. [Tweet "You...
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I Still Need Him To Need Me

I Still Need Him To Need Me

  I bend down and kiss my five-year-old son good night. I motion to sweep his hair from his eyes when the back of his hand wipes my invisible kiss from his cheek and I catch my breath. This seemingly natural reflex is new—wiping off his mother's kiss—and it was not something I had expected until years down the road. I thought I’d have more time before this milestone. With my kiss, a small token of love, his hand brushed away that moment of tenderness and in its wake planted the seeds for independence. These are the same hands with fingers that curled tightly around mine minutes after he was born. The same hands that I held while helping him stumble-to-walk. The same I now hold while walking to preschool every day. The same hands that cradled my face on an afternoon to hold my gaze with his bright blue eyes and said, "Mama, will you remember these kisses?" as he proceeded to cover...
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The Delightful Sounds Of A Serene Swedish Summer

The Delightful Sounds Of A Serene Swedish Summer

We have lived in four houses in the four years since we moved to Sweden. I was tired of the gypsy life and after watching the real estate market climb 15% each year, the window of opportunity for owning a house was closing rapidly. If we didn't buy a house soon, it would be out of our reach. We had to move quickly. After three months of searching and watching houses disappear from within seven days (or less) of posting, we bought our house in a stressful bidding war. My husband hadn't even seen the house we had purchased when we were signing the closing documents. Can we really consider that a win? The house needed a new roof, new windows, and a whole host of other repairs but it was situated on the back of a beautiful golf course and overlooked a pasture full of horses. The horses weren't there when I saw the house, but I hoped the current owners...
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Make Your Corner Of The World A Better Place For Our Children

Make Your Corner Of The World A Better Place For Our Children

My mom used to tell me, "Always leave the world a little better than how you found it." That meant everything from picking up litter on the street to being a kind and generous person in daily life. Positive contributions were the measure of a good life. I gaze at the two tiny blonde heads that are watching a cartoon in the living room. I hear my son inform his sister that, "This is the last show, okay?" as he sets a self-imposed TV limit for them both. They have no idea what is happening in the news around the world. They don't know that prayers for love and peace have gone unanswered and that hate and violence are dominating the headlines, hashtags, and hearts worldwide. The innocence of childhood will protect them from those horrific realities for a bit longer. Our job isn't to shield them from the evils of the world but give them the tools and knowledge to combat the...
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What To Do When Your Child Tells You They Held A Gun

What To Do When Your Child Tells You They Held A Gun

"It was real, Mama. It smelled like a real gun. But we didn't shoot it, we only held it," my son tells me while sitting in his bubble bath. He is five-years-old. After asking multiple questions, he continued to insist that the gun was real. My worst nightmare has come true—he was playing with a gun with his friends unsupervised. [Tweet "My worst nightmare has come true—he was playing with a gun with his friends unsupervised."] It is summer, and our neighborhood has lots of kids around the same age. It is perfect because we all open our doors, and the kids run in and out of each other's houses—never getting bored or bothering the parents. It's an ideal setup. Sure, parents are nearby, but nobody is hovering. Like a pack of roving wild animals, this pack of boys moves in a group from house to house, and they often get into trouble. If someone starts to cry, all of the parents emerge...
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When You See Those Bizarre Behavioral Traits In Your Expat Kids

When You See Those Bizarre Behavioral Traits In Your Expat Kids

When you live far from family, genetics and certain familial behaviors, become quite apparent. In particular, there is one behavior that is so odd, so unique, that it cannot be explained—only seen to be believed. The women on my mother's side of the family display an uncommon behavior that I have only ever seen them do. Most people call them "armpits" but I like to call them "hand pockets" because my grandmother and aunts all tuck their hands into their armpits/hand pockets in a most unusual way—a default resting position. It's almost as if they don't have anything else to do with their hands, and they naturally find their way into their armpits, I mean, hand pockets. (My mom denies ever doing this herself, but I secretly think she also finds it a comfortable position.) While others may fold their hands in their lap or place their hands into their pants pockets, you'll find the women in my family standing around the kitchen,...
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5 Tips For An Enjoyable Field Trip With Young Children

5 Tips For An Enjoyable Field Trip With Young Children

Not many people would volunteer to chaperone twenty-two children between the ages of four and six when you don't speak the language, but that is exactly what I did. My main goal for the trip was completely selfish. I have been seeking out intensive language immersion opportunities and Swedish children don't understand English. My basic Swedish was going to get a workout and I figured, at the very least, that I could provide an extra pair of hands and eyes to help out the teachers. I'm pretty sure the kids thought I was a crazy lady because I accidentally switched the Swedish words for "gloves" and "wait." Luckily for me, shouting, "Gloves a little bit! Gloves a little bit!" while waiting for the bus did still get their attention, so I wasn't completely ineffective. While on the trip, I observed how Swedish daycare teachers fearlessly manage large groups of kindergarten-age children. Without a doubt, corralling that number of kids while venturing out in the big...
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