Life in the 1800s, I mean, in a Swedish stuga

Life in the 1800s, I mean, in a Swedish stuga

"Where's the chamber pot?" I asked my husband at 2 am. "You're kidding me," he mumbled. Wish I was, my dear, wish that I was. If you ever wanted to know what life was like before modern conveniences, then look no further than your nearest Swedish stuga. Stuga is Swedish for "cabin or cottage, " and they are generally pretty rustic—mostly because they were constructed sometime in the 1800s and electricity and running water were later additions.   Your classic Swedish stuga has low ceilings—people were shorter 100+ years ago—a wood burning stove in one or all of the corners, and if you have a fancy stuga, you'll have more than one room with big heavy wooden doors. For whatever reason, my daughter thinks opening and closing stuga doors is the funnest thing ever and it keeps her busy for at least an hour. Many of our Swedish friends have mentioned spending their Easter holidays and summer vacations "at the stuga," and we always thought...
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Pushing the Limits—The Role of the Firstborn Child

Pushing the Limits—The Role of the Firstborn Child

My approach to parenting involves a lot of shrugged shoulders and raised eyebrows to indicate that, "I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm hoping for the best." Based on my conversations with other parents, we're all in the same boat. A few months ago, I was asking a fellow American-in-Sweden parent at what age is it culturally acceptable for kids to bike by themselves to school and to friends' houses? The answer was a bit vague—well, depending on the distance, your kid's ability, comfort level, etc., etc., you know how it is. Basically, the advice was to launch the bike riding kid in steps. You slowly remove yourself from the equation and increase the distance and time they have on their own. For this American dad, he drops his seven-year-old daughter on the pedestrian/bike path, and off she bikes solo from school to home. He then follows along on that same route a few minutes behind her in case she...
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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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