Native American Cuff Bracelet Craft

nahm-2016-cuff-bracelet-craft

nahm-2016-cuff-bracelet-craft

My girls love jewelry, they love making it, so I decided to teach them how to make an easy Native American Cuff Bracelet Craft.

It is the Native American Heritage Month and we have been looking at different books and stories about Native Americans, that gave us a little insight into their culture and traditions.

Cuffs were worn by both women and men. They were made of some metals – usually silver, gold, often decorated by beautiful stones. There were also gorgeous beaded bracelets, colorful with unique designs.  And they have beautiful ornaments representing different symbols: protection symbols, animal symbols that represented friendship, companionship, love, freedom, and more.

We have simply Googled what typical Native American designs would look like and we found a whole bunch of beautiful ones here.

Before I proceed sharing our craft with you, I have to add a very important note: the following research and craft was made to honour thousands years old cultural heritage of Native American people. It is not meant to be any sort of cultural appropriation, neither to offend anyone. This blog is created for education purposes and, though, we probably will never be able to completely blend in one culture or another, we can help educate our children about the world with the attempts to make the learning process fun and exciting!

So, how did we make our gorgeous bracelets?

You will need just few tools that you probably already have at home:

Toilet paper rolls

Crayons / markers / paints

If desired – pieces of construction paper cut into different shapes

Glue

Scissors

Process:

  1. Take toilet paper roll and cut it into two parts.
  2. Cut the parts to make openings and try fitting them now on your hands – they will look like cuff bracelets.
  3.  Choose a design. You can first make it by drawing it with a pencil. Color your design
  4. If you like, you can make the designs by cutting the shapes (diamonds, triangles, ovals, and others) out of colorful construction paper and gluing them on your bracelet.

You can now make more bracelets to place on the arm, and even ankles!

I would love to learn together with my girls how to make beaded bracelets. Perhaps, next year??

 

Native American Heritage Month | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to our third annual celebration of Native American Heritage Month! All month long we’ll be sharing posts about sharing these rich cultures with kids. Find our full schedule of posts below, and don’t forget to link up your own as well! We’re also having a giveaway (see below for details and to enter!) You can find even more ideas on our Native/Indigenous Cultures Pinterest board:

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Native/Indigenous Cultures on Pinterest.

November 4
Open Wide the World on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Native American Heritage Month and Free Trilingual Printable
November 9
Kid World Citizen: Learn about the Seminole Indians

November 11
Colours of Us: 32 Native American Children’s Books

November 14
Crafty Moms Share: Native Americans of Cape Cod and Massachusetts

November 16
Crafty Moms Share: Review of Some of the Prizes

November 18
LarabeeUK: FUN|native American Small World Play

November 21
La Clase de Sra. DuFault on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Interesting Facts About the Mapuche

November 23
Gianna the Great: Halito, My Friends

November 29
All Done Monkey: Nazca Lines STEM Project

November 30
Creative World of Varya : Native American Cuff Bracelet Craft

Giveaway

Grand Prize Native American Heritage Month Giveaway 2016 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

 

Grand Prize

From MotherTongues: Himdag Walk in Balance T-Shirt (women’s or unisex, S-XL) US & Canada shipping only
From Quarto Knows: Native North Americans by Joe Fullman & History of Indian Tribes of North America, 3 Volume Set by McKenney and Hall US shipping only
From Abrams Books: Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People by S.D. Nelson, In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III, & Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson & illustrated by David Shannon US shipping only

1st Prize Native American Heritage Month Giveaway | Multicultural Kid Blogs

1st Prize

From Firefly Books: Ojibwa: People of Forests and Prairies, Iroquois: People of the Longhouse, & Encyclopedia of Native Tribes of North America all by Michael G. Johnson US & Canada shipping only
From Daria Music: Set of 2 Dance Whistle Kits from Crazy Crow Trading Post US shipping only
From Wisdom Tales Press: Red Cloud’s War: Brave Eagle’s Account of the Fetterman Fight by Paul Goble & Indian Boyhood: The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing by Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa) US shipping only

2nd Prize Native American Heritage Month Giveaway | Multicultural Kid Blogs

2nd Prize

From Wisdom Tales Press: Indian Boyhood: The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing by Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa), Custer’s Last Battle: Red Hawk’s Account of the Battle of Little Bighorn by Paul Goble, & Horse Raid: The Making of a Warrior by Paul Goble US shipping only
From Interlink Books: Pocket Timeline of Ancient Mexico by Penny Bateman US shipping only
From Kid World Citizen: Machu Picchu Lesson: Teach about the Incas in Peru! Reading, Crossword, Coloring (English & Spanish versions)

 

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V is for Virtues

orcas

Today I will be sharing about one of my favorite subjects – Virtues. This is something each and everyone has. And somethings each and every one of us should strive to improve.

There are so many virtues, and it is hard to choose which one to concentrate on. So I have created a super simple printable that allows you to play a draw game with your kids, and draw a virtue of the month. In fact, there are 19 virtues, in case you follow Badi calendar, which has 19 months!

What is a virtue of the month? It is a virtue you all agree to practice together. And to gently remind each other if someone doesn’t speak the language of virtues, or forgetting about this virtue.

What is the language of virtues? I first read about it in the book called Virtues Guide by Linda Kavelin Popov (with Dan Popov, Ph.D, and John Kavelin). In this book the concept of the language of virtues is explained as when we replace the words of blaming and shaming with words such as courage, helpfulness, and flexibility, which empower positive shift in child’s and adult’s behaviour.  The whole concept is based on a principles of peace and consultation, where through using virtues, we tap to the very soul of a child, and adult alike. It can be quite a process, but once started and with persistence, one can really reshape the world around!

So, back to printable! I chose 19 virtues, they are: Patience, Kindness, Love, Helpfulness, Appreciation, Excellence, Truthfulness, Forgiveness, Obedience, Gentleness, Cleanliness, Self-Discipline, Generosity, Courtesy, Joyfulness, Peacefulness, Compassion,Unity and Creativity.

What do you do? You print out the list either on stiff paper, or laminate it after printing out. Cut the  virtues out, and using a box, or a hat, let a child take a turn to draw the virtue. Talk about it. Explain to children clearly what this virtue represents, and the ways of practicing it. Decided right there and then how you will remind each other about this virtue. For example, you can emphasize that the action or the word wasn’t kind. Ask your children to use a better word, or expression.

What to do when the child is upset and doesn’t cooperate? Give him time to calm down. Reassure him, ask him to use the words, tell him it is ok to be upset, but it is time to calm down, and then you can talk.

During these months that you set on exploring the language of virtues, come back to my blog and check out my Virtues Series – you can find some ideas and activities here, too!

Of course, it is not possible to avoid all other virtues not listed here! So give yourselves a head start – and you will see how easy it will become with time!
31 Days of ABC - October 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com

After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!

So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!


31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Creating a Preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum

A – October 2

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Apple Scented Glitter Glue and Apple Craft

B – October 3

Witty Hoots: How to Make Fabulous Button Bookmarks

C – October 4

Preschool Powol Packets: Construction Truck Preschool Action Rhyme

D – October 5

ArtsyCraftsyMom: Printable Dinosaur Alphabet Sequencing Puzzle

E – October 6

Preschool Powol Packets: Elephant Art Project and Thailand Lesson

F – October 7

Spanglish Monkey: Spanish-English ABC Flashcards

G – October 8

Royal Baloo: Simple Ghost Painting Project

H – October 9

Peakle Pie: Hide and Seek

I – October 10

Look! We’re Learning!: Insect Activities for Kids

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: Olmec Jaguar Craft

K – October 12

Preschool Powol Packets: I Am a Kite Action Rhyme for Preschool

L – October 13

Raising a Trilingual Child: Letter Learning with a Multilingual Twist

M – October 14

Creative World of Varya – M is for Motor Skills

N – October 15

Peakle Pie: Narwhal Fingerprint Pictures

O – October 16

For the Love of Spanish: O es de Oso

P – October 17

Little Hiccups: P is for Places, A Travel ABC Book

Q – October 18

All Done Monkey: Bilingual Letter Craft – Q is for ¿Qué? Q is for Question

R – October 19

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

S – October 20

Crafty Mama in ME: Patterned Paper Plate Snake

T – October 21

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Puerto Rican Flamboyant Tree

U – October 22

Witty Hoots: How to Make Awesome Unicorn Headbands

V – October 23

Creative World of Varya – V is for Virtues

W – October 24

Scribble Doodle and Draw: Winter Letter Craft

X – October 25

All Done Monkey: Coding for Kids – X Marks the Spot

Y – October 26

Our Daily Craft: Yarn Craft Basket and Books for Kids

Z – October 27

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Learning Spanish at the Zoo

123’s – October 28

Hispanic Mama: Fun Activities and Resources to Teach Numbers in Spanish

Prewriting – October 29

Sugar Aunts: Pre-Writing Lines Fine Motor Activity

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

The Jenny Evolution: ABC Alphabet Books

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

The Kindergarten Connection: Alphabet Clip Cards

Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!

 

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally! Giveaway ends Monday, November 7, 2016 at midnight Pacific Time.

Kidloland

3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!

Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle: 31 Days of ABC Giveaway

The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)

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Diwali Inspired Ideas For Kids

diwali-1

Growing up in Russia, I caught the whole Bollywood and Indian infatuation times. And I had my share of being crazy about movies, songs, languages, actors, clothes and food of India.

I knew India had two big holidays – Diwali and Holi. And it was my childhood’s dream to take part in these two holidays. I have been to Indian 3 times since, but unfortunately, so far I haven’t been able to make it for either one.

Today I am sharing Diwali Inspired Ideas for Kids that you can use when celebrating the Festival with your children, or organizing an India Themed party.

Diwali is a New Year in India, according to the Lunar calendar, it moves dates every year. It is a gorgeous, colorful event, filled with lots of festivities, food, and presents.

Let’s start with decorations:

Traditionally, the houses are cleaned and decorated with lanterns, lamps, lamp designs, flowers, and Rangolis.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

What can you do at your home with minimal resources:

  1. Decorate your walls with cut outs of OM sings
  2. Collect flower pettles and keep them around the house in small patters
  3. Decorate tea light holders with glitter.
  4. Fill up bowls with water, add petals to them and place tea lights into the bowls
  5. Make Rangoli crafts, or actual Rangoli with chalk, rice, lentils,and other items you can find handy (you can see some ideas below).

Here are some wonderful crafts you can do with your kids for Diwali:

Rangoli with Dyed Rice from Jennifer’s Little World

Diwali Lantern from InCultureParent

Paper Cup Decor from Art Platter

Lentil Rangoli and Lights from Putti’s World

 

Clothes and accessories:

People wear new clothes, women decorate their hair with flowers and hands – with Henna designs, some men wear turbans.

Source: India Bazaar

Source: India Bazaar

I have written a post for my friend Leanna at All Done Monkey on a quick idea for an India inspired costume.

What you can do at home with minimal resources:

  1. Play dress up with your kids after learning about Indian clothes
  2. You can make decorantions on hands and feet with washable markers or paints

Food:

Lots of food, especially sweets, is made to enjoy with family and friends. People also offer food at the temples.

A quick and easy recipe you can share with your children you can find over at Kid World Citizen – Doodh Peda.

You can also make Chapati with your kids  – the easiest bread recipe.

Here are some great links from my fellow bloggers that you are use and incorporate

Diwali Activities for Kids from The Educator’s Spin on It

100+ Diwali Ideas from Artsty Crafsy Mom

Diwali Ideas for Kids and Teachers from Kiddy House
Diwali for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post is part of the annual Diwali for Kids blog hop from Multicultural Kid Blogs! See the posts below for great ideas on celebrating Diwali with children. You can find even more ideas from last year’s series and on our Diwali Pinterest board:

Maple and Marigold on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Celebrating Diwali in Canada
Weaving Ideas
ArtsyCraftsyMom
Maple and Marigold
Creative World of Varya
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes
My Little Moppet
All Done Monkey
Growing Up Gupta

Kidzlens
The Educators’ Spin On It

M is for Motor Skills

m-is-for-motor-skills

m-is-for-motor-skills

As a mom of 3, and a teacher. And an early educator, and a baby massage instructor. I often talk about Motor Skills.

These two words are not something complicated – they merely define how we use our muscles. Or rather, when, with what skills.  Developing motor skills is important as it helps the overall physical and intellectual growth of the child. But often we don’t even use these words, we just know that our child needs this or that. However, assisting our children with the motor skills development in natural playful way is just what we need!

So, there are two types of motor skills – gross motor skills. And fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are involved in big movements our children (and us!) do – walking, moving, jumping, swimming etc. Fine motor skills are when we do smaller actions  – picking something up, coloring, writing etc.

I would like to share few examples of every day activities you can emphasize with your children. When you read what I write below, you will probably go: “oh yes, I do that with my kids! Pfft”

Understand me clearly: I am not trying to discover a new territory here. But I am merely reminding you of what you probably already do is AWESOME! And if you are looking for ideas in motor skill development – well, here are some!

And so, let’s start with Gross motor skills

  1. Ball games. There are tons! You can find some of these in my post here
  2. Running. Yes, let them run! Just, of course, in places where they won’t bump into any corners
  3. Swimming. If you have a chance to introduce swimming to kids – go ahead! And since I believe in early introduction to water and swimming, I will be the one encouraging you to go ahead with it! Water elevates the weight which makes it easier to float, but harder to move in it. So swimming is a great way to make those muscles work.
  4. Jumping. Oh yes, we all jumped as kids. I remember jumping from the height of our first floor window. Thankfully, it wasn’t high. But now you would never make me, unless in danger, do that! So I suggest safer jumping – from small sturdy chair to another, across puddles, jumping up and down, jumping from one point to another!
  5. Crawling and climbing. I put these two together as they are so similar! With a difference that one crawls on the floor and over the obstacles. And climbing is usually up up somewhere! I am very glad our windows have big windowsills (and secure windows!) which makes the need for climbing and jumping easier to satisfy: I have a carpet under the windowsills, so when they jump, they don’t get bumped as much!
  6. Walking. Oh, this is my favorite one – walking is absolutely awesome! I don’t have to tell you that. It is harder when you are a parent with a toddler who just started to walk and constantly wonders off. But hey, that’s some making up for missed exercise!

Shoot me with more examples of gross motor skills – I will update this list and credit you!

And now, Fine Motor Skills!

  1. Picking up using fingers/hands. The joy and the disaster for a mom of a child who refuses to be fed and stuffs his mouth with food you put in front of him! But you know what? Mini Man picked up the spoon around 1.5 years of age. Miss A – at 1.  And I really can’t complain as they are not as messy as you see on some photos my friends post where the food is smudged all over that happy and proud face!
    This particular skill is later continued in picking up smaller objects – small balls, grains, beads etc. And the more you practice them – the better their eye-hand coordination is. And a lot of kids show better concentration in general!
  2. Sewing, knitting, and crocheting. These are all my favorite ones, and now my 8 year old and sewing bags for everyone! I could have started her on needles much much earlier (and it is actually a marvelous skill!) but there were never big enough needles for me to give her. But think of all that creativity a child can develop through sewing! Plus, and a HUGE plus, it promotes relaxation and calms the child down.
  3. Scribbling, tracing, and writing. I don’t even have to tell you about it. Let them trace and scribble!
  4. Coloring and painting. I put this one separately, as my own kids started coloring around 10-11 month of age. Yes, I gave them colors. Yes, with supervision. Yes, they tried eating them. Yes, we managed to live through half eaten crayons and pencils. Coloring is amazing! And you for sure will find it that putting a coloring child next to yourself when you are trying to catch up on a blog post  cook/clean, gives you few moments of relaxation, too! And I won’t even begin to tell you how much sanity painting saved me!

And again, I am asking you to share those other examples of fine motor skills activities with me!

 

31 Days of ABC - October 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com

After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!

So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!


31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Creating a Preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum

A – October 2

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Apple Scented Glitter Glue and Apple Craft

B – October 3

Witty Hoots: How to Make Fabulous Button Bookmarks

C – October 4

Preschool Powol Packets: Construction Truck Preschool Action Rhyme

D – October 5

ArtsyCraftsyMom: Printable Dinosaur Alphabet Sequencing Puzzle

E – October 6

Preschool Powol Packets: Elephant Art Project and Thailand Lesson

F – October 7

Spanglish Monkey: Spanish-English ABC Flashcards

G – October 8

Royal Baloo: Simple Ghost Painting Project

H – October 9

Peakle Pie: Hide and Seek

I – October 10

Look! We’re Learning!: Insect Activities for Kids

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: Olmec Jaguar Craft

K – October 12

Preschool Powol Packets: I Am a Kite Action Rhyme for Preschool

L – October 13

Raising a Trilingual Child: Letter Learning with a Multilingual Twist

M – October 14

Creative World of Varya

N – October 15

Peakle Pie: Narwhal Fingerprint Pictures

O – October 16

For the Love of Spanish: O es de Oso

P – October 17

Little Hiccups: P is for Places, A Travel ABC Book

Q – October 18

All Done Monkey: Bilingual Letter Craft – Q is for ¿Qué? Q is for Question

R – October 19

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

S – October 20

Crafty Mama in ME: Patterned Paper Plate Snake

T – October 21

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Puerto Rican Flamboyant Tree

U – October 22

Witty Hoots: How to Make Awesome Unicorn Headbands

V – October 23

Creative World of Varya

W – October 24

Scribble Doodle and Draw: Winter Letter Craft

X – October 25

All Done Monkey: Coding for Kids – X Marks the Spot

Y – October 26

Our Daily Craft: Yarn Craft Basket and Books for Kids

Z – October 27

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Learning Spanish at the Zoo

123’s – October 28

Hispanic Mama: Fun Activities and Resources to Teach Numbers in Spanish

Prewriting – October 29

Sugar Aunts: Pre-Writing Lines Fine Motor Activity

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

The Jenny Evolution: ABC Alphabet Books

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

The Kindergarten Connection: Alphabet Clip Cards

Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally! Giveaway ends Monday, November 7, 2016 at midnight Pacific Time.

Kidloland

3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!

Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle: 31 Days of ABC Giveaway

The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto {Multicultural Book Review}

megumi

Disclaimer:

I have been given this book in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are honest and my own. 

Working with Multicultural Kid Blogs is great in many ways: not only I get to meet some wonderful bloggers from around the world and learn from them; but I also get to review some of the most interesting multicultural books.

Today I’d like to share with you a book we read with my children called Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto by Alexandra Parsons (click the link for more information).

In the book a young girl, Megumi, goes on a trip with her grandfather. On the way she plays an imagination game with him, introducing numbers in Japanese to the reader.

The whole book is filled with  useful Japanese vocabulary which could be interesting to children learning about Japan, or preparing to take a trip there.

While counting and playing the imagination game, Megumi and her grandpa open the world of Japanese culture to the reader: its temples, its flag, its traditional scenery and nature.

It was fun trying to pronounce the words and then comparing our pronunciation to the one we found online – so different! But nevertheless, a lesson to learn, and my daughter, who speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, was quite interested in Japanese as well.

We really enjoyed reading this book. The illustrations seem simply but leave a deep impression on the reader.

In order to get a little big more familiar with Japan and Kyoto, we found them on the maps.

Then, we looked at some interesting facts, craft and ideas about, and related to Japan over at my fellow bloggers’ sites:

Japanese Sensory Garden from All Done Monkey

Japan Collection from Glittering Muffins

Books About Japan from Kid World Citizen

All About Life in Japan from Melibelle in Tokyo

We also made some fans from paper and decorated them.

And then, we made Japanese Udon to complete our evenings of taking a virtual tour to Japan with Megumi and her grandpa.

Have you ever been to Japan? Share with us your experience!

********************************

About the author:

Alexandra Parsons is a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar, and this book incorporates various aspects of the Japanese culture that she witnessed and participated in during her visit in 2005.  She is an English teacher and Learning Specialist at a private school and lives with her family and two dogs in Florida.

40 Things I wish I knew Before Moving to China

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It has been a while since I spoiled you with interesting posts. I had problems with my blog, then I was busy with summer vacation. 
Now that we are settled back to school I hope to bring you more of interesting read, craft, and other stuff.

Today a bunch of Multicultural bloggers are gathered together to bring you lists of 40 things to celebrate Leanna’s – our founder – birthday.

Naturally, I would like to share with you 40 things I wish I knew before moving to China. I had few friends chip in with their things!

1. I would move to China. In my list of countries I wanted to visit, or live in, China was not a priority.

2. I would marry in China. My husband is actually from Tanzania.

2. I would give birth 3 times in China. 

3.  I would stay here for over a year. It’s been 15 years, and still counting.

4. I would marry in China. 

5. Chinese laugh when they are nervous or uncomfortable. It would save me a lot of energy getting upset over people laughing in stressduk situations!

6. If you ever try to be polite and say you liked something, you stall be given that something and your Chinese friends will remember it and go out of their way to get it!

7. Public spitting is a norm. And with the time you simply stop noticing it. And then you laugh at the reaction of those who witness it for the first time.

8. Everything is met with “mei wen ti” (no problem), even when it is a huge problem.

9. You will not easily find your usual items of hygiene around here. May be some imported shops. Stock up on yours!

10. Things can be fake. Even if you bought them in a reputable store. I once bought a fake perfume from a very big store in Beijing. Oh well!

11. Bring tissues whenever you go.

10. Carry tissues or a roll of toilet paper wherever you go.

12. You can’t, apparently, publicly blow your knows in a tissue, let alone stick that tissue back in your purse. 

13. But you can clear your nose and throat into a nearby trash can. Or into the ground. (Gross for you – not gross here).

14. Learn to squat. It will be a great skill for time pass at the train station; and in the loo. 

15. Learn to use wechat ( a very popular messenger/mobile social network).

16. Don’t trust wechat translation. You will definitely stumble upon sentences that are nowhere close to the original.

17. Pedestrians yield to buses trucks cars bikes and motorcycles. So watch your steps!

18. Zebra crossing is no guarantee for an accident free passage. Learn to manoeuvre.

18. Sometimes red light means green light. And green light doesn’t mean all cars stop moving – you really need a crash course in understanding local road system.

20. You can sometimes find the biggest counterfeit market right under the immigration boarder control.

21. Chewing with mouth open shows you enjoy the food. The more you enjoy – the loud your chewing should be. I got over my pet peev of people chewing with mouth open here. 

22.  Mooncakes are mostly a tradition. They are given away in large quantities. They are rarely eaten.

23. “Guangxi” (useful relationships) are an important part of the culture. You have no idea how many times this wonderful cultural trait has helped us. 

24. It is a big sign of respect to be called “brother” or “sister” here. 

25. The term “ayi” (auntie) which may be offensive in another culture when addressed to a young female, in fact a respectful term here when addressed to a stranger.

26. Calling a woman “mei nü”(beauty) will warm up her heart to you. It is also used to call a waisteass or a sales woman, which is a very very polite term. 

27. Chinese are very curious people. They can ask you about your salary and cost of rent without any malicious or envious thoughts. 

28. Be prepared to carry a map around showing everyone exactly where you are from. 
29. Be prepared to answer various questions on leaders of your country. 

30. Avoid talking politics. It is really not a very comfortable topic.

31. People may tough your skin or hair. They can even attempt to touch your eyelashes. See #27.

32. People will be watching you and make a very direct eye contact. See #27.

33. People may march through your apartment and open your fridge to see what you eat. See #27. 

34. People usually talk very loud here. 

35. 10pm seems to be the time when everything quiets down here. If you make noise after 10 pm your neighbours can call the police on you.

36. Between 12 pm and 2.30 pm everyone takes a nap. However, shops and hospital emergencies work.

37. When people see that you can’t understand them speaking, they start writing for you. Because in China even if you don’t speak, you can usually still read. 

38. Chinese are very pure-hearted. I think the whole concept of “face saving” was created because of that.

39. Body language doesn’t work here. 

40. TAOBAO is the place find everything you need and more!

Bloggers share their lists of 40 favorite things

To celebrate her 40th birthday, Leanna from All Done Monkey has organized a virtual party, where each blogger shares her list of 40 favorite things, plus we are giving away a big cash prize to a lucky winner! Don’t miss these creative Top 40 lists, and be sure to enter the giveaway, which is open internationally. (Thanks to the Piri-Piri Lexicon for designing this beautiful series button!)
All Done Monkey: 40 Ways to Celebrate Turning 40

The Piri-Piri Lexicon: 40 Tips for Parents of Bilingual Children

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: 40 Things to Do with Kids in Puerto Rico

Play Dough & Popsicles: 40 Paper Plate Crafts for Kids

Hispanic Mama: 40 Books for Hispanic Heritage Month

Pura Vida Moms: 40 Best Cupcake Recipes

Globe Trottin’ Kids: 40 Ways to Go Global in the Elementary Classroom

Spanglish Monkey: 40 Dishes from Around the World You Should Try

Peakle Pie: 40 Free Family Fun Things to Make and Do

Witty Hoots: 40 Amazing Books to Read Before You Get Old

MommyMaestra: 40 Ways to Have a Multicultural Homeschool

MarocMama: 40 Things to Do in Morocco You Haven’t Thought Of!

Multilingual Parenting: 40 Ways to Motivate Bilingual Children to Speak the Minority Language

Creative World of Varya: 40 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to China

Pack-n-Go Girls: 40 Fabulous Travel Tips

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How Having Penpals Helped Me Blog

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When I was little, I used to love reading and writing. One more thing I loved – Bollywood movies.

I remember we would go to the cinema nearly every day while each movie is was running. I used to catch Bollywood movies on TV and try to sing and dance along. All of it later turned into me learning and performing Contemporary Indian Dance. But that’s not what I am writing about the today.

We used to have kids magazines and newspapers where there was a special section with children all over Soviet Union at that time, and later – CIS countries, looking for penpals. They offered exchange of hobbies, pictures and biographies of Indian actors, per se. And so, I was moved to start writing to these children.

Very soon, I had around 100 penpals. We sold to each other various items, exchanged pictures, trinkets. We told each other about our lives.

Among them were some children who were my friends in my grandma’s town, or whom I met in summer camps. I literally had letters coming in every day! I still sometimes see myself receiving these letters in my dreams.

So, writing to so many people on so many different subjects, moved me to write a diary. And then – short stories. My love for writing only increased with getting a computer and being able to type.

Fast-forward, many years later I became a teacher. And then – a mother. I started my first  blog some time between 2001 and 2003. It is still there.

And I moved onto LittleArtists in 2010, which evolved into Creative World of Varya.

Having all these experiences of writing and creating in my childhood, in my youth, and in my adulthood, I believe helped me not only be eloquent in my own  language; but later, when I was learning foreign languages, it helped me learn to express myself better in foreign languages.

I don’t have any connection with my childhood pen pals anymore. And I have honestly forgotten most of their names. But I will forever cherish that memory of having pen pals, of the experiences that help form who I am now.

Did you have penpals? Do you still keep in touch?

Exploring the Pacific Islands

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This year to honour Asian-Pacific Heritage month I have made a simple printable that will help you and your children/ students with exploring the Pacific Islands!

Just click on the image below to open a file in another window!

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As I mentioned in two of my previous posts, I have no direct relationship with the actual Heritage month since it is mainly honoured in the USA. However, I can absolutely relate to it granted our family’s diverse cultural background, and the fact, that part of our family lives in the United States and Guyana.

I think such heritage months should already become international since the United States itself has a very complex diverse population, that includes so many ethnic background from around the world!

Please do scroll down to see what other bloggers have shared! And hop over to our landing page to enter an amazing Giveaway!

 

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Welcome to our third annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway!

Do visit my posta from last year and 2014.

May 2
Pint Size Gourmets on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Mixed Ethnicity – The Children to Asian Pacific Islanders

May 3
The Art Curator for Kids: Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple

May 5
Crafty Moms Share: Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook

May 6
Creative World of Varya

May 9
Crafty Moms Share: Malaysian and Singapore Children’s Favourite Stories

May 12
All Done Monkey: Coconut Curd Recipe

May 13
Colours of Us: 30 Asian and Asian-American Children’s Books

May 16
Bicultural Mama: 11 Chinese Foods that Are Not Really Chinese

May 17
Wise Owl Factory: Vocabulary and Word Search Printable and Classic Stories

May 23
Miss Panda Chinese: Interview with My Son on Learning His Heritage Language

May 27
Pack-n-Go Girls on Multicultural Kid Blogs

May 30
Crafty Moms Share

10 Favorite Outdoor Ball Games

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Spring this year hasn’t been quite outdoor friendly in many places around the world. Here we had to get creative with the activities and outdoor games.

Playing with the ball is probably one of the easiest activities and there are just so many ways to play with it. It is fun. It is suitable and safe for any age group (well, except those teeny tiny balls!).

So I am happy to introduce you my 10 Favorite Outdoor Ball Games, some of which I play with my children, and some of which we played with my students in the past.

1. Football. Alright, I should probably call it “ball kicking”  instead, especially when it comes to playing it with toddlers. But once the kids learn to run forward and backwards with the ball, and run with it in circles, you can introduce them to the simple rules of football.

2. Volleyball. That’s another one I could call “throw and  bounce” as this is what pretty much volleyball is. I remember we used to play something in Russia called “pioneer ball” which was an easy variation of the volleyball and could be played in a circle, as opposed to bouncing the ball over the net.

3. Ping-pong or table tennis. It is such a fun game and it could be done with or without a table.

4. Tennis. Or a variation of it where you can just draw a line on the ground.

5. Grass hockey variation. You don’t need horses for that. All you need is a few sticks and a ball!

6. Lapta or its variations. This is a game we play in Russia. It is similar to cricket and baseball. While it is a team game, it can still be played just with 2-3 people.

7. Water ball games. Throwing and catching the balls in the swimming pool, racing for it in water – this could be so much fun! And if you manage to put a net – you can play water volleyball!

8. Ball treasure hunt. Just like the egg hunt but for colorful plastic balls!

9. Mini-golf. It is very easy to set up in your backyard or on a grassy area. You can simplify it to just hitting the markers, not the holes.

10. “Get the ball“. This is THE most fun game for toddlers. All you have to do is throw the ball and ask them to get it. Couldn’t be simpler but tons of giggles, and it helps with language development, too!

What are you favorite outdoor ball games?

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Please join us in this A to Z Spring Outdoor Activities Blog Hop hosted by Something 2 Offer!

Alligator Action Rhyme from Preschool Powol Packets
10 Favorite Outdoor Ball Games from Creative World of Varya
Chalkboard Pretend Play from Our Whimsical Days
Dandelion STEM Activities from My Bright Firefly
Froggy Fun Outdoors from Mrs. LeBlanc’s Learners
Growing Tuff Spot from Tuff Spot Play
Hiking Activities with Young Kids from Royal Baloo
Ice Play from Kori at Home
Jungle Gym Fun  from Something 2 Offer
Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Something 2 Offer
Mud Kitchen Tuff Spot from Clare’s Little Tots
Nature Art Project for Young Children from Uno Zwei Tutu
Obstacle Course from Play & Learn Every Day
Exploring Life at the Pond from Natural Beach Living
Rock Painting for Kids from Something 2 Offer
Ways to Play with Sidewalk Chalk from Crafty Mama in ME
Tactile Nature Letters with Free Printable Letter Templates {Montessori Monday} from Living Montessori Now
Underground Scavenger Hunt from Preschool Powol Packets
Water Play from My Bored Toddler
Xylophone Jars from CraftCreateCalm
Y is for Yellow Photography from Preschool Powol Packets
Our Zoo Atlanta Visit and Review from Crafty Mama in ME

Tips on Motivating Your Child to Learn a Minority Language

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I have mentioned on several occasions that our family is multilingual. My husband speaks 5 languages. I speak fluently 3. Our children are growing up trilingual as well.

I will admit, though, that it hasn’t been easy for me  to maintain our minority language – Russian – in the family. I don’t follow OPOL, I switch languages. I am also not the most consistent when it comes to speaking Russian to my children.

Actually, I was quite consistent till my older 2 turned 2. Then, they just chose English as their main language as it is the language in our home, and most of our friends speak English, too.

I have many times felt guilt of not being more persistent with teaching them Russian. Until one day, my oldest, who went through a stage between 3 and 4 absolutely despising speaking Russian to showing high interest in it and picking up more and more. And even asking me to teach her in a more formal way!

And then, my 3 year old, who is still refusing to speak Russian, suddenly started reciting Russian alphabet and numbers 1-10. Which happened due to her always enjoying playing with a so-called computer – an interactive toy we brought back from our last trip in 2015, that allows you to listen to the letters and words associated with them; and has some matching and guessing games. So, she learned the alphabet and she can recognise the letters in a complete random order!

All of this made me think that unconsciously I have been actually helping my children become interested in their mother tongue, which has become the minority language.

And so, I tried several things that have since been motivating for all 3 kids (with the youngest still using more English but understanding and replying in Russian when asked to).

So, here are the tips that motivate my children to learn their minority language:

1. Having books in this language at home and actually reading them to your children. In our home we encourage reading in general and our kids love books. They often ask me to read something for them.

2. Showing them cartoons in this minority language. Something so simple like Masha And the Bear (in relation to Russian), where there aren’t many words but they are quite repetitive. Kids love it and the learn the words and phrases, and what meaning they are  associated with. At least once a week when they asked to watch TV I give them a condition that it should be a Russian cartoon. They can take it, or leave it. In our case it is a 100% success.

3. Meeting other people who speaks this language and having a conversation in front of the kids. It can be a real conversation or a Skype call with your family. Let’s face it: kids are curious! They always listen on the background what you are talking about. They may not seem to be paying attention, but they are playing and learning. And at some point they WILL ask you what you were taking about and you can encourage them to learn the language.

4. Playing with other children who speak this language. This is not always possible depending on where you live. But grab any opportunity! Kids learn from each other.

5. Using technology: online learning programs, apps and more. All of this in combination and in moderation raises awareness, promotes motivation to learn this language.

6. If possible and affordable – sign them up for special classes. My oldest is not having fun learning Chinese characters. So we signed her up for a special calligraphy class where she is enjoying painting and writing the characters more than ever.

7. Visiting countries that speak this language is very beneficial, too. It can also be a virtual trio!

8. Avoiding pushing. No, it doesn’t mean not to try speaking to your child in this language. It simply means if they child is feeling very strong and is refusing – do not punish him/her, do not get frustrated, or discouraged. Revisit it again.

I hope these tips are helpful. Please share your own!