Articles by Stephanie Meade

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

21 Ideas for Families to Celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha

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21 Ideas for Families to Celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha
Ayyam-i-Ha is a period of hospitality, charity and gift-giving for Baha’is that is celebrated from February 26 to March 1. This is a festive time in preparation for the 20-day fast that follows. There are no set rituals to celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha, allowing people a lot of creativity in their celebrations. We put together a summary of many of the inspiring ideas we found around the web for celebrating this beautiful holiday. Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!   Crafts   Felt star bags for Ayyam-i-Ha treats from All Done Monkey Make your own 9-pointed star cookie cutter from Creative World of Varya Fun advent calendar and banner to count down the days of the fast from Nurturing the Tender Years Make an advent calendar to count down the days Craft a simple bird feeder to honor God through nature from InCultureParent Brighten up your home with this indoor paper flower garden and trees from Nurturing the Tender Years Fun virtue tree to teach kids the values of Ayyam-i-Ha from Mud Spice Beautiful homemade cheesecloth towels with stars and a game not to be missed from At Home with Momma Skyla   Games   A game to teach kids about unity on earth by Creative World of Varya         Recipes   Fesanjan, yummy Persian walnut pomegranate chicken Fool-proof Persian Rice  Gluten-free plum cake Easy chocolate-covered truffles   Ideas for Celebrating at Your Child's School This Baha'i mom in Maine raised her daughter in rural Maine, without much of a Baha'i community.  Read more »

Why Raise Global Citizens? An Interview with Homa Sabet Tavangar, Author of Growing Up Global

I have long been a fan of Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World, the bible (or Torah, Koran or Baghavad Gita in the true global spirit) for raising global citizens who will become the next generation of leaders, thinkers, doers and dreamers.  Read more »

Why I am Not Making Valentines This Year

When I was kid, my mom would take me to the drugstore to pick out my Valentine's cards each year  Read more »

Many Languages, One America: 25 Proud Bilingual Children

The multilingual Coke commercial that aired during the most watched American TV event of the year—the SuperBowl—was exciting.  Read more »

18 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Crafts, Food and Children’s Books

The Lunar New Year (also known as the Chinese New Year, Tet in Vietnam and Seollal in Korea) is the most celebrated holiday of the year across many Asian countries. The New Year flushes out the old and welcomes in the new, making space for happiness, wealth, luck and longevity. It’s a time to spend with friends and relatives and stresses the importance of family ties.  Read more »

6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids

We recently came back from six days in Nicaragua with five- and seven-year-old kids. Here’s what our family discovered and enjoyed across the country.   Granada       Granada is a great city to spend a couple days. It’s both a launching pad for day trips and a quant colonial city that is almost 500 years old.  Read more »

Raising Trilingual Children? An Interview Not to Miss!

It was really exciting to sit down and talk to Julia, a 27-year-old multilingual who was raised trilingual in Japanese, Portuguese and English and now also speaks Spanish. I was really curious about her multilingual upbringing and what she thinks her parents did right. Her big advice to us parents raising bilingual and multilingual kids: reading is just as important as speaking! Read our interview with her below to find out more.  Read more »

The Power of Immersion Travel

As I browsed a local Nicaraguan newspaper this morning at breakfast, La Prensa, my daughter noticed the kids page and asked to see it.   "Mama, it says 'seis diferencias,' six differences," she told me and continued on down the page.   At home she would never think of picking up something in Spanish to read over English and often times I face groans if I choose a Spanish book to read.  Read more »

Super Healthy Pumpkin Chia Pudding

This recipe works as not just a dessert but also as a really tasty breakfast or snack since it’s not a traditional pudding. Pumpkin is sky high with Vitamin A. Chia seeds have protein, are packed with Omega-3s and are an antioxidant. And there is no dairy used in the recipe but almond milk instead, making it both dairy-free and gluten-free. If you substitute out the honey, it is also vegan  Read more »

8 Awesome Pinterest Boards for Bilingual Kids

We love bilingualism and love browsing pinterest. If you're like us, then you will love these awesome pinterest boards related to raising bilingual kids to give you more resources on raising bilingual kids.     This post is sponsored by Piggy Press, an independent multilingual book publisher who publishes books in Spanish or English as the base language with Spanish, Mandarin, Kuna, French and Swedish as the second language.  Read more »

5 Fun Halloween Costumes with a Global Twist

1. Globe   Globe Halloween Costume/Geography Lesson   2. Eiffel Tower   Photo courtesy : goodcostumeideas.com   3. Gangnam Style   Photo courtesy : ibtimes.co.uk   4. Dalai Lama   Photo courtesy : pinterest   5. Frida Kahlo   Photo courtesy : Marion Vendituoli .  Read more »

A Multicultural Children’s Book about Anger

Anh's Anger by Gail Silver (author) and Christane Krömer (illustrator)   Anh’s Anger is a book that tackles the subject of children’s anger set within an engaging story. The book skillfully teaches children how to deal with their anger by simply embracing it.   When Anh gets angry that he can’t finish building his clocks before dinner and has a fit, his grandfather tells him, “Please go to your room and sit with your anger.  Read more »

Rainbow Pumpkin Craft with Melted Crayons

Let's get colorful for some fall decorating fun with crayons! These pumpkins can be made into creative, rainbowy masterpieces with just three items: crayons, a hairdryer and a pumpkin. Don't you love crafts that don't require much prepping. I know I do!     Materials Crayons Pumpkin (look for a white one) Hairdryer Matches   Instructions 1.  Read more »

7 Diverse Children’s Cartoons (where the main character isn’t the standard white one)

Stereotypes run rampant in much of our media consumption and children’s cartoons are no exception. Our children, no matter what their race or background, don’t see enough cartoons with diverse characters in different cultural settings. Where cartoons feature some diversity, more often than not the main character remains white but may have a black or brown friend.  Read more »

A California Public School Snapshot: What Makes Berkeley so Great?

This post was written for the blogging carnival on Schools Around the World over at the great educational site The Educator's Spin on It.   Berkeley, California has a unique school system compared to most of the U.S. In the majority of the U.S., your address determines where your child goes to school. That means that people with higher incomes and pricier houses, with a higher property tax base, have access to the good public schools.  Read more »

3 Big Mistakes Parents Make in Raising Bilingual Kids

Raising bilingual kids can often be hard work to ensure the child is getting enough exposure in the second language. While no parents mean to discourage their kids, make sure their enthusiasm stays on track by avoiding these big mistakes.   1. Correcting them: Children that are corrected too much in their second language will be reluctant to speak out of fear they will say something wrong.  Read more »

Why I Chose to Raise Muslims Kids when I’m not Muslim

“I wish I could eat pork like Eryn!”   It’s a harmless statement really. My four-year-old wishes a lot of things. She wishes she could have a dog and a monkey, she wishes she could “buy” a princess (I explained to her you can’t buy people but left the discussions of slavery and human trafficking for a later date), a certain dress or a stuffed animal.  Read more »

15 Ideas to Donate Your Child’s Birthday

I refuse to let my kids get gifts on their birthday. Now before you think I am cruel or strange, let me explain. My kids have enough stuff. They have all the things they could desire (except a pet), and generally don’t even play with a fraction of what they do have.     Since my kids celebrated their first birthday, I have felt pretty strongly they don't need more presents.  Read more »

What’s a Mosque Like? Glimpse Inside

Mosques are frequently portrayed in popular media in one of two ways: negative or evil. In the best light, mosques are seen as conservative, male-dominated places and in the worst light they are characterized as bastions of terrorism. Neither are true.   Here's a scene from mosque today where we went to celebrate Eid, the joyous celebration ending the 30-day fast of Ramadan.  Read more »

How I Learned to Be a Happier Mom

I didn't grow up in a very happy household. My parents saw the world as a menacing place, full of people out to screw you. "Life is a battle, you've gotta give it hell every day" was my mom's rough equivalent of "God bless you" when leaving the house in the morning. Like many Americans, my parents placed a high value on material possessions. Making money and acquiring lots of stuff was the mark of having made it and by default "happiness.  Read more »

6 Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Raise a Bilingual Child on a Budget

Raising a bilingual child in a country where bilingualism isn't a given can be expensive. When you don't speak a second language, can't afford private immersion school and tutors are too pricey as are the fancy language classes in your community, then what options do you have left? Here are six out-of-the-box ideas for helping you raise a bilingual child on a budget.  Read more »

Is all the Hard Work of Bilingualism Really Paying Off?

You know those moments when you have to pause, take a breath and remind yourself to take it all in? I had one of those language moments last weekend where the figurative waters parted in totally unexpected ways to reveal that all my hard work around my kids' language development is actually paying off.   The well-known bilingual children's musician, Jose-Luis Orozco, performed at our local children's library last weekend.  Read more »

6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan

We have read many books about Ramadan in our home, but these are our top six favorites.     1. A Party in Ramadan by Asma Mobin-Uddin is the perfect Ramadan book for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Centered around a Muslim child invited to a non-Muslim child’s pony party during Ramadan, the book adeptly bridges both worlds through a mix of Muslim and non-Muslim characters, while explaining some of the excitement and rituals around Ramadan.  Read more »

Creative Ramadan Calendar with Arabic Numbers

I’m always trying to find ways to make Muslim holidays exciting for my kids. It’s tough to do when Christmas, more omnipresent in the U.S., is much more glitzy and enticing.   The upside is that Ramadan is free from the commercialization that sends many people into overdrive at Christmas time and makes holiday grouches out of the best of us.  Read more »

7 Benefits of Raising Bilingual Kids

Being bilingual affords children (and adults) many advantages over the course of their lifetime. Here are seven benefits of raising bilingual kids that have been documented in research and studies.   1.     Bilingual children have a better ability to focus and ignore distractions in the environment. That’s because the part of the brain called the executive function, used for planning, judgment, working memory, problem solving and staying focused on what’s relevant is stronger in bilinguals.  Read more »

Ramadan Star and Moon Craft

Welcome to the July 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning About Diversity This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they teach their children to embrace and respect the variety of people and cultures that surround us. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.  Read more »

Tanabata Craft: Wish Tree (Tanzaku)

Tanabata is the Japanese star festival. It's a time when people make wishes for the year ahead. All wishes are written out and hung in bright colors on a bamboo branch. This festival is so colorful and vibrant, just have a look at some of these pictures from one person's home in Okinawa for Tanabata.   Materials: Bamboo branch or any tree branch if bamboo is not available Construction paper or other colored paper Scissors Hole punch String or thin ribbon Pens   Instructions: 1.  Read more »

Quick Gluten-Free Pizza with an Ethiopian Twist

Most days, dinner prep is a rushed affair around our house happening in the 30 minutes between arrival and ruined appetites (if I exceed 30 minutes then the kids bombard the kitchen to eat snacks instead of dinner behind my back). I am usually rushing to prepare something healthy before they shove some snack food into their mouths before I notice.  Read more »

It’s Easier Than You Think for Your Child to Drown

Since it’s summertime (across the Northern hemisphere at least) and time for the water, I wanted to share a reminder about drowning. My own child nearly drowned even though I was literally standing right beside her in the water. When children drown, they don’t splash or flail, they go under so silently and wordlessly, you don’t even know it’s happening, as this Slate article describes.  Read more »

10 Words You Can’t Find in English

There are few things that make me feel more alive than learning and speaking other languages. I especially love discovering words and concepts that don’t exist in my own native language. Here’s a list of 10 amazing words that you can’t find in English; perhaps once you’ve studied these you’ll be as enthusiastic as I am about learning a new language.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in Italy: Dutch, Dialect of Dutch, Italian and English

Welcome Angelique and Chanel!   Where are you from?   Angelique: I am from Maastricht, the Netherlands.   Where do you currently live and what countries have you lived in?   The Netherlands and now in Italy.   How old is your child and where was she born? What is her cultural heritage?   Chanel is seven.  Read more »

Cool Map for a Kid’s Wall

I have a little obsession with maps and globes. This was my latest find I loved from a seller on etsy! Here's a bunch of others maps that would be fun in a child's room: http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/07/10-best-world-maps-for-your-children%E2%80%99s-room/.  Read more »

Why You Should Travel and See the World

I love this quote! It has been replaying in my mind all day and makes me think about what I should change about my days. Do I live my days as I want to spend my life or am I always thinking along the lines of "I just need to do X for Y amount of time to be able to eventually do Z." Food for thought..  Read more »

Our Trip to Mexico: Drugs, Cartels and Violence?

I am standing in the middle of the dance floor at a glamorous wedding at a hacienda outside of Puebla, Mexico.     It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited with old architecture, lush grass, beautiful flowers and secret hideaways.            There is a large band on stage with entertainers; everyone is dancing, laughing and celebrating.  Read more »

Is My Daughter Singing in Korean?

My six-year-old was teaching this song the other night to her sister. I had to pay attention to see if this was a new Arabic song she might have learned from her babysitter but realized after a sec it wasn't Arabic or any other language we know. What was she singing? "Korean," she answered me flatly (in that, sigh mom, isn't this obvious way). "Chu-Hee and Jeehyun taught it to me.  Read more »

How Immersion Travel Helped My Kids Progress in Spanish

During our trip to Mexico, my children took to Spanish like a fish to water. They have been learning Spanish since September in afterschool time, initially for 20 hours per week and since November for five hours per week.   Our first stop in our 10-day trip was to Puebla for one of my best friend's wedding. My kids had so much fun playing with all the other kids, mostly nieces and cousins of my best friend’s family.  Read more »

7 Tips for Parents with Inflexible Travelers

I have a German friend who brought up his son from ages 10 to 18 in Costa Rica while he worked for German development cooperation. He's more than just a world traveler but a true adventurer—he has spent the last five plus years living in some remote provinces of Afghanistan, nearly getting blown up on one occasion. Despite raising his son during his formative years in Latin America, the son did not come visit his father while we were both living and working in Armenia.  Read more »

Meet a Couple Traveling the World for Six Years on Motorcyles

Just north of Akumal, Mexico and south of Playa del Carmen, my husband and I met an Australian couple on motorcycles. We parked next to them at the supermarket and as I waited for my husband to go find some guayabas, the country stickers on their motorcycles caught my eye. Could they be traveling the world on their motorcycles? Sure enough, they left Australia for Indonesia six years ago and have since been to 100 countries around the world and have "100 to go," foregoing only Iraq, Afghanistan and Burundi as they were told to avoid those by people in the border regions out of security concerns.  Read more »

Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

A favorite of my kids, these cookies have the texture of a brownie squeezed into a cookie with traces of coconut. We brought them to two different spring celebrations one weekend and they were a success everywhere. The ultimate test of gluten-free cooking in my mind is when no one can tell something is gluten free. That was certainly the case for these cookies  Read more »

Why OPOL Doesn’t Always Work

When we first had kids, I had understood there were two methods to make them bilingual: OPOL (one parent one language) or mL@H (minority language at home). In the first nine months of my daughter's life, we were OPOL and then some. My husband spoke Arabic to our daughter, I spoke English and we spoke French together. The language of the country was German but the languages of our community of frequent people in our lives were Spanish, German, French and Arabic.  Read more »

A Children’s Story Set in India: Bijoy and the Big River

Bijoy and the Big River By Meera Sriram and Praba Ram   What’s it like to grow up on a river that serves as your family and community’s livelihood? That’s the setting of this story that follows a day in the life of a young boy, Bijoy, growing up in Northeast India along the Burha Luit river.   Bijoy loves to swim in the river and spot xihu, an endangered species of dolphin, which is generally blind.  Read more »

Why Arabic is Dead and Spanish is Alive for My Kids

My kids hear Arabic every day from their dad but it’s amazing how much more of a hold Spanish is taking after seven months of learning it. They take Spanish several days per week in a small class with two friends. Plus many of their close friends are native Spanish speakers so we are socially in an environment with Spanish around us pretty frequently.  Read more »

Taking in the View of Tulum, Mexico

A perfect day in Tulum with my four and six year olds. Wish we were still there. .  Read more »

5 Games to Get Your Bilingual Child Talking

Encouraging your children to speak the minority language isn’t always easy. You may encounter resistance or face kids who understand the minority language but prefer to speak in the majority language. To boost their use of the minority language, make it fun! Here are five games that will help get your bilingual children talking. They’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize they are using the minority language!   Telephone I had a major bilingual “a-ha” moment this past week when playing the game of telephone with my kids.  Read more »

Malalai Joya: A Perfect Role Model for My Daughters

    My daughter's school has asked us to help contribute to an exhibit they are going to hold in the library on great female figures, either historical or someone in your family. I picked Malalai Joya to present because she's one of the most badass women alive. With unflinching bravery, Joya has stood up for women's rights in Afghanistan and spoken about the state of affairs of her country, overrun by warlords and corruption.  Read more »

My Language Journey

This past week I was interviewed by Plushkies, a company that makes lovies in the shape of countries, on their blog about raising global kids. They asked me why I think raising global kids is important. I told them it isn't important. It's a necessity. You can read all about it here:   Raising Global Children Day 1: Traveling to Morocco with the Five Senses   And this week another cool thing happened.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in the U.S.: Russian, Spanish and English

Welcome Lydia, Abigail and Max!   Where are you from?   Guatemala and Belize. I was born in Guatemala and raised in both countries during some of the worst years of civil war in Guatemala. My dad was Guatemalan and my mom Belizean.   Where do you currently live and what countries have you lived in?   I currently live in Berkeley, California.  Read more »

Easter Recipe: Aunt Angie’s Italian Cookies

I come from a family of Italian-Americans, at least on one side. The thing is, I am actually only one-quarter Italian, as my maternal grandmother is second-generation Italian and my maternal grandfather, Austrian. Yet my Mom and her five sisters identify solely with the Italian side. Visiting my grandmother growing up meant spaghetti with meatballs, eggplant parmesan, helping her dig up potatoes in the garden (she grew all her own vegetables) and chocolates “hidden” away in the same spot in a child-accessible cabinet  Read more »

My Attempt at a Bento Lunch

I am not a very creative lunchbox maker. Although I wish I could cultivate a sense of simple pleasure in making my kids' lunches everyday, I tend to approach making lunches as an obstacle in the way of my sitting on the couch at night and relaxing. (I always make them at night as I am sure I would run out of time in the morning.)   With extra time on a Sunday night (and admittedly feeling a little half-assed about my girls' lunches after combing lunchbox ideas on pinterest--pinterest is great at making your own attempts at all things crafty or culinary look substandard), I decided to try to do something fun and bento-esque (but I pause to even associate my B-grade lunch in the same class as Bento, cause it's not even close).  Read more »

My Daughter Asked the Tooth Fairy for a Gun

My daughter's letter to the tooth fairy last night included asking for a "gun" for her sister. Notice she has also asked for $100. She's six, where do they get these ideas? For the record, she got $2 and no gun. And what she was really asking for, was some gum!.  Read more »

Korean Barbecue with a Twist

Here’s a recipe for a simple family dinner, that is always a top favorite with my kids. Even though we’re a part Moroccan household, with one gluten-free daughter, we eat a lot of Asian food, not only cause we love it but also because so much of it is naturally gluten free.  I have never been to Korea so can’t make any claims to the authenticity of this dish, but I can guarantee its tastiness and kid friendliness  Read more »

February is African American History Month

The first historical figure in American history that my daughters learned about is Dr. Martin Luther King. My six-year-old recognizes him in every bookstore we go into it lately, as books on him are everywhere during African American History Month. She has enjoyed coloring in his picture and putting it up on our fridge.       But the thing my kids like the most is singing this song that my kindergartener learned at school and taught to her sister.  Read more »

How I Saved Valentine’s Day in 30 Minutes

I was sure not to fail on helping my kids make (or let’s be real—making for my kids while they kind of help) cute Valentine’s this year. But alas I did. With so many cute and easy ideas out there, like this from Rookie Moms, and this from Parent Hacks, not to mention all of these adorable and doable ideas from The Crafty Crow, I felt motivated--I was all over it this year.  Read more »

French Garlands of Light

This French store is a decorator's dream. You can make your own strands of lights or purchase larger globes of light to spruce up any room. And they make it really easy for you. Thanks to Oh Happy Day's blog post on decorating her kid's room in these lights, I fell in love with the pictures and clicked over to the French store.   There are so many gorgeous options!     They are also totally affordable at 22 EUR.  Read more »

Cesar Chavez for Kindergartners

This was daughter's homework book one day this week: Granted, both girls found the book a tad dull, as it is not always as fun reading historical accounts at that age as it is to read books where animals talk and unicorns make appearances, but I was glad they made an age appropriate book on such an important figure in U.S. history. The first two historical figures my older daughter has learned about in kindergarten so far are Dr.  Read more »

Dragon Craft from Paper Plates

Materials 4 white paper plates Paint—you definitely need some red Streams or tissue paper Pom poms for eyes Pipe cleaners Construction paper Stapler, glue   Instructions Let your kids paint each of the 4 papers plates in different colors. Make sure you have some red and gold (yellow) in there. Red symbolizes good luck and gold wealth.  Read more »

The Story of the Chinese Zodiac

“Many moons ago,” the story begins, “the people of China had no calendar.” So the Jade Emperor set out to rectify that. He created a calendar based on animals, giving each year a different animal. But he wasn’t sure which order the animals should come in, so he held a race for the animals to cross a wide river. As the legend of the Chinese zodiac unfolds in the pages of The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey (author) and Anne Wilson (illustrator), we learn how each year became a different animal.  Read more »

A Recipe for Lunar New Year (From My Kindergartner)

I woke up Sunday morning to quite a bit of banging in the kitchen. I was a tad concerned about someone getting hurt or something catching fire, as we don’t normally leave the kids in the kitchen unsupervised. They knew better than to use the stove though, right? But my kindergartner does tend to possess a degree of independence and ignore-the-rules confidence, especially when she feels she is doing right.  Read more »

Why Do You Speak Arabic, Baba?

Lately, my kids have had a lot of questions about language—why they have to take Spanish, why do we speak other languages. My four-year-old has also hit the typically four-year-old stage of really resisting my changing languages with her from English to Spanish. It makes her really angry and she will command me to “Speak English!” If a book happens to have a Spanish word in it, she will cover the page with her hand and tell me not to talk like that.  Read more »

Learning to Use Chopsticks at a Burmese Restaurant

In our family these days, we have developed a new obsession with Burmese food. My six year old and I had a lunch date on Friday after school at our new favorite Burmese place, Burma Superstar. I have no idea how authentic the food is, but we loved eating lotus root chips, noodles in coconut sauce with chicken and green tea salad. Even better, it was all gluten free! Eating gluten free, which she has had to since she was three, is pretty easy when you take advantage of the world's cuisines and discover how many alternatives exist.  Read more »

Lunar New Year Craft: Balloon Lantern

Inspired by this amazing photo of Chinese New Year decorations, we set out to make lanterns for the Lunar New Year. Ours is a faux lantern as it’s purely decorative and not made to house a candle. Source: Flickr –zTransmissions Materials: Balloon (inflated and knotted; the color doesn’t matter as you will take the balloon out at the end) Tissue paper (red is traditional) Glue Paint brushes Red or yellow ribbon Scissors Instructions: 1.  Read more »

Preserved Moroccan Lemon: Make-Your-Own

As a half-Moroccan household, you would think I would have embraced cooking with preserved lemon much sooner than I did. Truth be told, I was a bit intimidated by preserved lemon. I didn’t know how to make it and thought a fresh lemon slice would suffice just fine as a substitute. I was very, very wrong.   The first time I encountered preserved lemon (l’hamed marakad in Moroccan Arabic) was on my second trip to Morocco  Read more »

Hurray for Three Kings Day: Book Review

Hurray for Three Kings’ Day by Lori Marie Carlson (author) and Ed Martinez (illustrator) tells the story of the Three Kings tradition through the eyes of little sister Anita, Tito and Tomás. Although we read this book in English, it is also available in Spanish. In the introductory note, the author explains that she has combined different Latino Three Kings traditions to make the book appeal to various groups that celebrate the holiday.  Read more »

Japanese New Year Game: Fukuwarai

Fukuwarai, roughly translated as lucky laugh, is a traditional Japanese game played during the New Year's celebration. It's both educational and fun and aren't those the best type of games? One player is blindfolded and has to place the features on a blank face as the other players coach him/her. The object of the game is to place all the paper cutouts in the shape of the eyes, nose, and mouth on the face.  Read more »

Three Kings Craft: Make a Crown

The Three Kings, also known as the three wise men, tres magos or tres reyes, historically walked to Bethlehem over 12 days. To commemorate the Three Kings, make some crowns. All kids like dressing up, especially as royalty, so indulge their pretend play aspirations. Materials Any color construction paper or poster board Any shiny materials you have around the house and/or fake jewels Ribbon Glue Instructions 1.  Read more »

Multiculturalism at Work in a Kindergarten Classroom

Last week I volunteered for a few hours in my daughter's kindergarten class in Berkeley, California. I loved this glimpse of multiculturalism at work in her class that I witnessed.   Scene: I am sitting at a table with Chu-hee, Amir, Zaire and Rihanna. They are practicing writing “I like to” and gluing a picture of what they like.   Zaire asks me as he glues, “Who lives in your house?”   Me: Me, Jasmin, Lila and their Baba.  Read more »

Diwali Craft: Make a Lantern

Materials: Brightly colored tissue paper (in the spirit of Diwali) Sequins or glitter Glue and Q-tip to apply it Scissors Clear glass jar (transparent) Craft wire (or even heavier string could work) Beads Small candle Instructions: Cut the tissue paper into small pieces--depending on your child's age, they could also do this step.  Read more »

Eid Recipe: Moroccan Lamb with Prunes

Eid is a time for food, family and celebration. Lamb is a popular dish because of the animal that is sacrificed. Below is a Moroccan dish I learned from my mother-in-law (with some variations). She made this last time I was in Morocco with my family and an animal was sacrificed in celebration of my second daughter’s birth.   Serves 4 to 6  

Ingredients:

My Kids Can Speak Spanish in Six Weeks

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but they can sing! My kids started learning Spanish at the end of August for four hours per day after school for my kindergartner and two hours per day for my preschooler. It's amazing to see their progress in just six weeks. They can speak basic phrases and respond to simple questions and commands like "take off your shoes" and "wash your hands.  Read more »

Spanish at the Price of Arabic?

One month ago, we embarked on our official trilingual family journey, introducing over four hours of Spanish daily (via an afterschool program I created) to my oldest, and two hours per day to my youngest (due to different kindergarten and preschool schedules). My goal is for them to be fluent speakers of both Arabic and Spanish. Arabic is the language my husband has spoken to our children since birth, as we have diligently followed the OPOL method.  Read more »

Kids Marshmallow Experiment

A seminal study conducted in the 60s and 70s found that young kids who could delay gratification turned out more successful in school, received higher test scores on their SATs and were better able to cope with stress and frustration when they became teenagers. Apparently, delayed gratification is an intrinsic quality. Whether you can delay gratification or not can be clearly seen in children.  Read more »

Tipping the Bilingual Scale on Arabic Exposure

A few weeks ago, my husband I spent an inordinate amount of hours at work. It was one of those truly hellish weeks for working parents, where we both had important and long work commitments at exactly the same time, which made for a childcare scramble. Luckily, our babysitter was very accommodating (including arriving at the ungodly hour of 6:30 a.m.  Read more »

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak! All dressed in their new dresses for Eid and ready to spend the day at a party. (And that's the only face my three-year-old makes in pictures these days.)   .  Read more »

What Real Men Do

They play beauty salon and wear barrettes. (A pic of my husband and daughter from this weekend that makes me smile.).  Read more »

The Secrets of Writing a Multicultural Children’s Book

So you want to write a multicultural children’s book. You know you have a great story to tell but how do you know if it really works for kids? What makes for a great story? Is there a market for it? What do publishers look for? To answer all these questions and a bunch more, we interviewed Tessa Strickland, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of one of the leading publishers of multicultural books, Barefoot Books.  Read more »

Ramadan Craft: Star and Moon Banner

This year is the first I have gotten serious about Ramadan decorations. Now that my girls are three and five, they have a much greater understanding of holidays. My five-year-old gets excited by crafts and decorating and was eagerly looking forward to our Ramadan preparations.   My plan this year is to fill every window with stars and moons and decorate our doorways too.  Read more »

Do you want to see more multicultural books at Barnes & Noble?

Meera and I got talking after she wrote her fantastic article 10 Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids. We felt we had a responsibility to let Barnes & Noble know how we felt about their children’s book selection, particularly that multicultural titles are so poorly represented. So we put together this letter and sent it to them.  Read more »

My Children’s Identity (according to themselves)

Over the weekend, I announced I was going to cook Moroccan couscous for the first time. Usually, this dish is my husband’s domain. My kids seemed horrified. “But you’re not Moroccan,” My five-year-old informed me. “Only Baba can make that because he’s Moroccan.” “What are you Yasmine?” My husband asked. “I’m Moroccan.” And after a moment she added, “And German.  Read more »

How Bilingualism Can Fail in Multilingual Families

Raising bilingual kids, if nothing else, involves commitment. Bilingualism isn’t automatic. Long before having children or meeting my multilingual husband, I knew I wanted to raise bilingual kids. I was not brought up bilingual and learned the majority of my languages as an adult. As a result, I wanted my kids to have the gift of bilingualism from childhood.  Read more »

How iPad Language Apps are Making me Lose my Religion

I tend to be a bit anti-technology when it comes to my kids, who are three and five. I grapple with what the right amount of technology is, and whether I think technology in the classroom is a good thing. I tend to favor a Waldorf approach (although my children don’t go to a Waldorf school) of no technology in the classroom and at home. However, the iPad and its language learning apps may be changing my mind.  Read more »

Raising Bilingual Kids Talk

I recently participated in a talk on raising bilingual kids over at The Motherhood, with many great co-hosts. We had a fantastic time chatting about different issues we have encountered in raising bilingual kids as well as trading tips and ideas on the topic. The Motherhood put together a great summary of the talk, which can be found here for more information.  Read more »

How My Kids Made Me Like Valentine’s Day

I never cared much about Valentine's Day until my oldest daughter was two. That year at preschool, she received her first Valentine's Day cards. The box that they crafted to hold the Valentine's and all of the cards within it became one of her favorite things to play with for many months. Each day, she took out the box and sorted through all the Valentine's, sometimes ordering them and sometimes forgetting them in different places around the house.  Read more »

Children’s Books: 7 Global Favorites

One of the first things I found myself unconsciously doing when reading aloud to my kids was changing the word “Daddy” in stories to “Baba.” My kids, before preschool, had no clue what a “Daddy” was. Beyond the usual Goodnight Moon and other American classics, I gravitated toward more multicultural books to show my kids my own love of the world (and perhaps subconsciously to see if I could find any "Babas" in books!).  Read more »

Progress Report: Mission Arabic-Speaking Babysitter

This past week, we have had our new Arabic-speaking babysitter everyday for a total of 12 hours all week. From day one, she told me the girls understand her 100%, which we know already, it is just their speaking Arabic that has been problematic. In case you missed it, I talked all about that in "All I Want For Christmas is Perfectly Bilingual Children.  Read more »

Our Top 10 Articles in 2011

If you haven’t checked out all these great articles from our most read articles in 2011, then you definitely should get caught up on them now. Here are our InCultureParent readers’ favorites over this past year. 1. Why African Babies Don’t Cry 2. Breastfeeding in the land of Ghengis Khan 3. Reunited Outside the Orphanage Walls 4. Falling off the Opol Wagon 5.  Read more »

Global Giveaways

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Annice Johnson for winning the calendar and Laura Barta for winning the map! There are so many good things happening that we have not one but two giveaways. We’re celebrating reaching 1000 Facebook friends, plus it’s the holidays for many people so it’s good timing. It’s a feel good season all around.  Read more »

All I Want for Christmas is Perfectly Bilingual Children

When it comes to raising a bilingual child, I have several beliefs about how you can waste your time. I think it’s a waste of valuable second language reinforcement time if you don’t watch movies in the minority language, read books and listen to music in that language and most of all, have a babysitter or nanny in that second language. I would also never pay for private school if that education is not in another language.  Read more »

Moroccan Inspired Stuffing Recipe

One of the requirements for our Thanksgiving was that each family had to bring a dish from their country. We had Indian Samosas with chutney, South Indian idlis with another type of chutney, Mexican minced meat stuffing and chicken, a French beet creation (our French friend said it was French but didn’t have a name for it), baked brie in puff pastry, and another French potato dish  Read more »

Traveling with Kids Doesn’t Have to be a Burden

It’s been over a year since we took any trips on an airplane. I forgot how much I enjoy the hustle and bustle of airports, even with kids, as I love their excitement over the little things: Planes! Escalators! The scale at check in! I often hear about parents who gave up their jet-setting lifestyle when kids came along because travel was too much work.  Read more »

St. Nicholas Craft: Paper Shoe

By Carol Baicker-Mckee Children across Europe leave their shoes out on St. Nicholas day for St. Nicholas to come and fill them with candy. This is a fun craft which can double as a neat decoration or gift "box" in the spirit of St. Nicholas Day. Materials: Printed copy of the template, which is available as a pdf here Lightweight cardboard (I used some from an empty cereal box) Scrap paper (I used the insides of security envelopes, which I am absolutely addicted to these days--I have fits if anyone rips the envelopes when opening bills) Good glue, like Alene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue (and no, Alene's does not give me any kind of a kickback for mentioning their glues) Scissors Pencil for tracing the patterns Instructions: 1.  Read more »

Our Dia de los Muertos and Halloween Fun

This weekend we had a taste of all sorts of fall festivities and also celebrated Day of the Dead for the first time at a joint pumpkin carving/Day of the Dead celebration play date. (I must admit, these blended cultural celebrations are truly some of my favorites as they are the perfect reflection of how all the mixed families out there (and not solely multicultural families but also people who love incorporating diverse cultural elements into a celebration) create traditions.  Read more »

Cultural Faux-Pas: What Not to Bring to an Armenian Wedding

We were an unlikely group—a Russian, two Germans and an American, spanning over four decades in age. Max, the Russian, had only two things that rallied his national pride: his fondness for the word ‘motherfucker’ and his love of cigarettes—his teeth were so heavily stained from smoking they bordered on rotting. Gerhard was a German hippy—the real kind--who engaged in some serious German revolutionary movements back in his day and told funny stories of trying to hide the smell of his marijuana plants when his wife’s very square teacher friends were over.  Read more »

The Influence of Bilingual Preschool Teachers

Lately, both of my girls have taken to calling my youngest, Lila, “Lilita.” Although they do not attend a bilingual Spanish preschool, two of the three teachers are native Spanish speakers. While they have Spanish class on Fridays, the influence of Spanish extends beyond the songs and words they learn on that day. The Spanish diminutive has crept into their English vocabulary with ease.  Read more »

Ethiopian-Inspired Craft: Geometric Stamps

Geometric shapes in Ethiopian art trace back to 14th century Christian art, with geometric patterns found on crosses. The use of geometric patterns continues today appearing in popular forms like basket weaving. This craft takes inspiration from Ethiopian geometric patterns and encourages kids to make their own geometric art. Materials: Fruits or veggies like apples, limes, oranges, potatoes that can be cut into triangles Any other household objects that have a geometric pattern (bottom of egg cartons, pencil tops, beads, cheerios, etc.  Read more »

Giveaway Goodness: Win the children’s book A Party in Ramadan

Win the multicultural children's book, A Party in Ramadan, courtesy of Boyds Mills Press. Thanks Boyds Mills! A Party in Ramadan is a fantastic book about Ramadan for both Muslim and non-Muslim children alike. If you would like to read more about it, check out our review here: http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/08/a-party-in-ramadan/ (Please note we received the copy to giveaway after our review, at our request.  Read more »

8 Rules of Adoption Etiquette

With many multicultural families formed by adoption or expanded by adoption (and obviously not solely multicultural families), we felt it was important to address some etiquette surrounding adoption. Most people have friends who have adopted, but there are still many misconceptions about adoption. Sometimes people don’t know what’s alright to ask and what’s not.  Read more »

The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

We have a weird relationship to babies and sleep in the West. I was reminded of this when I spoke to my German sister-in-law recently (she lives in Germany and is married to my husband’s brother). She had just arrived back in Germany from Spain, where she was visiting her little sister who had just had a baby. My sister-in-law commented that the baby was great, except “she doesn’t sleep in her bed, only in the arms, so that’s a little hard.  Read more »

Mothers-To-Be: Pregnancy Around the World

Five babies are born every second around the world. These little global citizens hold our promises, deepest desires and intentions for the future. InCultureParent takes a look at the beautiful women across the globe giving birth to our future generation. In each of the countries represented, we also present its ranking in Save the Children's Mother's Index.  Read more »

Children’s Book Review: A Party in Ramadan

A Party in Ramadan by Asma Mobin-Uddin and illustrated by Laura Jacobsen, is the perfect Ramadan book for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Centered around a child’s pony party during Ramadan, the book adeptly bridges both worlds through a mix of Muslim and non-Muslim characters.   Young Leena is not yet expected to fast during Ramadan, but she has chosen to in order to partake in the celebration with her family, especially her Auntie Sana who is coming over for iftar dinner on the first night.  Read more »

5 Perfect Crafts for Ramadan

InCultureParent presents some of our favorite ideas from some very crafty Mamas for Ramadan crafting and decorating with our kids. 1. Moon Flashcards Ramadan is a great time to introduce little ones to some basic ideas about science and for older ones to become more familiar with how our solar system functions. These flashcards are perfect for teaching kids about the different phases of the moon.  Read more »

10 Best World Maps for Your Children’s Room

Every global citizen needs a map to inspire them. Maps are amazing tools for learning, imagining and playing. I can still remember my round globe that I spent hours spinning as a child--ah, the wonder at where my finger would land! InCultureParent found some of the coolest maps on the market for your little global citizens. Pssst...Looking for more cool maps and globes? Be sure to check out these: Gorgeous globe for a child's room Do-it-yourself globe for kids 02 10 1.  Read more »

Raising Bilingual Kids? You Could be Raising Them Trilingual!

I’ve made an interesting bilingual discovery with my own children that was confirmed by an expert in child bilingualism. Norma, one of my girls’ amazing preschool teachers, has been helping me out while my husband is away. She is a native Spanish speaker, and I have encouraged her to speak Spanish with the girls. Before she started with us last week, the girls have already impressed me with the many Spanish songs they have learned during “Spanish Time” at their school.  Read more »

Peruvian craft: Make a Mask

A mask is a must for celebrating the Virgen del Carmen. Make your own fun mask out of a plastic milk jug and other items you have around the house already. Crafts that use recycled materials get an A++ in our book.   Materials: Plastic milk or water jug Yarn or string Masking tape Paints, permanent marker, feathers, etc. to decorate Paint brush Scissors   Instructions: Carefully cut off the handle section of the plastic jug.  Read more »

Stories from the Peruvian Andes

A little boy, Kusikiy, on the island of Taquile in Lake Titicaca Peru has a concern. “I am worried the birds are not singing and the trees are sad” because it has not rained. The rainy season starts when the Llama Constellation travels above Taquile Island so Kusikiy endeavors to find a way to help the Llama Constellation find its way back to Taquile’s sky.  Read more »

Announcing the Winner of Speaking in Tongues

And the winner of the documentary Speaking in Tongues is.....Qalil Little! Congrats Qalil and we hope you enjoy it!.  Read more »

10 Healthy Kid Snacks From Around the World

Tired of crackers, cheerios and raisins? Try one of our snack suggestions from countries like Palestine, Brazil and Morocco for some new ideas to jazz up your snack repertoire.   1. Mexican Paletas (popsicles)   With flavors like coconut pineapple, cucumber chili and banana milk, these blow your average popsicle out of the water.  Read more »

Midsummer Recipe: Ginger-glazed Salmon Over Warm Potato Salad

After browsing many Scandinavian recipes for this issue, we struck upon one that is summery, Swedish-inspired and delicious. The place where we found it is sort of the Swedish stereotype—eh hem— Ikea . Just because Ikea makes some of the most popular furniture worldwide doesn’t mean they can’t cook as well so we thought we would give it a try  Read more »

Canadian Recipe: Poutine

The flashing-neon preface to this recipe is that this is our InCultureParent twist on poutine, the popular Canadian French fry specialty. Because we always try to feature healthy recipes, it didn’t feel right to us to encourage you to eat French fries, even if they are Canadian French fries. So we made our own variation of this Canadian dish, with baked sweet potatoes as French fries  Read more »

Don’t Ask ‘How Are You’ in Germany

It hadn’t taken me long upon arrival in Germany from Armenia to figure out that Germans didn’t do small talk. The taxi drivers didn’t chit chat like New York cabbies. Neither did receptionists, bank tellers, cashiers or anyone really. In fact, they didn’t respond much at all to my attempts at small talk.   Each day on my way to the office, I stopped at the same bakery to get a broetchen (roll) followed by Wacker’s café for my morning latte machiatto.  Read more »

Korean Craft: Make a Traditional Sam Taeguk Fan

The Sam Taeguk symbol is found on traditional Korean fans. It is a variation of the Taeguk symbol found on the Korean national flag. The Taeguk is comprised of two colors, red and blue. The red represents heaven and the blue represents earth. The symbol represents harmony similar to a yin yang symbol. The Sam Taeguk includes yellow to represent humanity.  Read more »

Hungry for Some Korean Bee-Bim Bop

When we started investigating a Korean-themed book to cover in May, the suggestion that came up over and over from many Korean-Americans and others was Bee-Bim Bop, by author Linda Sue Park and illustrator Ho Baek Lee, so we took heed. Bee-Bim Bop is an adorable, sing-songy book about cooking this favorite (at least one of my favorite) Korean dishes, bee-bim bop, which means mixed-up rice in Korean  Read more »

Announcing Our Kids Singing Contest Winner!

Thanks to everyone who submitted awesome videos of their kids singing in languages like Luxembourgish, Korean, Amharic, French, Spanish, Italian and German. We loved watching every one of them and also found it inspiring how many of you are teaching your kids songs in other languages.   But after this contest, we made a giant note to selves: this may be the last time we do a contest where we have to pick just one winner of adorable kids doing adorable activities like singing.  Read more »

Vaisakhi Recipe: Sarson Ka Sag

Sarson ka sag is traditionally a Punjabi dish, often made on Vaisakhi but not exclusively. It’s totally delicious, vegetarian and incorporates one of the world healthiest veggies—mustard greens—in a way that even your kids might eat. Mustard greens are an excellent anti-cancer vegetable, can lower cholesterol and have been known to be beneficial for colds, arthritis and depression  Read more »

Easter Craft: Design and Dye Eggs (Naturally)

Dyeing Easter eggs is one of the most popular Easter traditions, found in many parts of the Christian world. Here's an American way to decorate eggs that I learned growing up, with the twist of using natural dyes.   Materials: Candle and matches Natural dyeing agents (red cabbage, turmeric, beets) Pot White vinegar Salt Strainer Small bowls Eggs Large metal spoon Paper towels Drying rack   Instructions: 1  Read more »

Tradition Talk: When the Baby Loses His/Her Umbilical Cord

Q: What is the tradition in your culture when the baby loses his/her umbilical cord? What do you do with it? Is there any special celebration?   Japan: I am 47 years old and I have my own little umbilical cord piece in a little red box. My mother had kept it and gave it to me when I was grown up. In Japan, everyone keeps it as a memento. I also have my child's umbilical cord in a little box, even though she was born in the U.  Read more »

Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother

The 2010 Mothers' Index rates 160 countries (43 developed nations and 117 in the developing world) in terms of the well-being of mothers and children. If you're a mother in Europe or Australia, don't plan on moving. Norway, Australia, Iceland and Sweden are the best performing countries. The top 10 countries, in general, attain very high scores for mothers' and children's health, educational and economic indicators.  Read more »

Holi Crafts: Messy Paint and Hand-Traced Flowers

Let your kids get messy and colorful in the spirit of Holi. A large paint canvas or poster board will do. And let them go to town with their hands, brushes if they desire, and paints. We have created a couple paintings for our house like this.   Craft 1: Make a Painting   Materials: Canvas or poster board (large!) Paint   Instructions: First, change the kids into old clothes that you don't mind getting ruined.  Read more »

Holi Recipe: Thandai (Delicious Almond-Spiced Milk)

Thandai is a refreshing milk-based drink, accented with bold flavors. It is traditionally consumed in Northern India during the festival of Holi. You can find many variations of this recipe and nothing is quite set in stone so feel free to experiment with spices and proportions.  

Ingredients:

 

4 cups of milk (whole milk is best but you can substitute for low fat or soy)
½ cup almonds
1 T poppy seeds
1 t black peppercorns
4 green cardamom pods, crushed

 Read more »

Why Bilingual Children Prefer A Certain Language With Adults

I learned from the Speaking in Tongues film blog (which I am very excited to finally get to see this upcoming weekend) that Pyschology Today has a new blog on bilingualism, written by the expert, François Grosjean.   His most recent article is a fascinating look at why children connect languages to a particular person and why they are so adamant about it.  Read more »

InCultureParent Connections

Last night, I finally had the pleasure of meeting one of ICP's contributors, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang. Frances is a talented writer, journalist and activist and writes the witty and insightful Adventures in Multicultural Living column about her experience raising four multicultural kids. Here's a pic from our meeting.     On the other side of me is Saill White, the amazingly talented website designer and programmer who made InCultureParent come to life and whom ICP would be lost without.  Read more »

Safeguarding Multiculturalism

**Disclaimer: I generalize quite a bit in this piece about Germans and Americans. I am well aware that my generalizations do not fit everyone and I can find examples on both sides of people I know that do not fit into the descriptions offered. So before you would like to object that not all Germans are cold or selfish for example, I can say, I wholeheartedly agree with you and know many Germans who are both warm and generous.  Read more »

The Economics of Bilingualism

Not everyone has the same reasons for raising bilingual children. For some, it is necessity: a language particular to the country you're in, your family language, your parent's language. For my family, our kids learning Arabic is a necessity. Arabic is their father's native tongue and the language half their relatives speak. Not teaching them would be unthinkable.  Read more »

Embarrassing Language Mistakes: Pass the C#!ck

On my first visit to Morocco, I was introduced to my husband's family as his fiancée, even though we were just dating (since dating isn't a concept that Arab society openly accepts). Although I had traveled widely and had spent time in Muslim countries before, I was very, very nervous for this trip since I was the first woman my boyfriend was introducing to his family.  Read more »

Careful With the “R”! Japanese Language Mistakes

A Japanese friend wanted to learn English so she started watching CNN while on the treadmill at the gym to train her ears. It was during Obama's presidential campaign so words like "voters" and "election,” were jumping back and forth among the announcers and repeated all the time, so she was able to catch them.   One day she asked me, “I understand the meaning of "vote" but I don't quite understand the meaning of "election," with heavily-accented Japanese.  Read more »

Armenian Christmas Recipe: Anooshabour (Armenian Christmas Pudding)

This is a traditional Armenian Christmas recipe. In the early days, at every Armenian feast, Anooshabour was a traditional must!

Ingredients:
1 c. skinless whole grain wheat (also called shelled wheat berries)*
1 1/2 c. golden bleached raisins
2 c. dried apricots
3 qt. water

 Read more »

Armenian Craft: Weave a Carpet

More than its rich history, artists or cuisine, Armenia is probably best known for its carpets. While carpets are not synonymous with Armenian Christmas, they do represent something typically Armenian, so this month's craft is to weave a carpet. This is a fun project for kids and also good for fine motor skills. Materials Scissors Glue Various types and colors of paper Instructions 1.  Read more »

Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories

Japanese Children's Favorite Stories By: Florence Sakade and Yoshisuke Kurosaki Review By: The Editors   First printed the early 1950's, this is the third edition of the book. It contains ten classic Japanese fairy tales from the original printing together with ten newer stories. The stories are full of fantasy and provide a window into another culture without needing experience in the culture for children to appreciate them.  Read more »

Hanukkah Recipe: Noodle Kugel

By Stacey Snacks The Yiddish translation of Kugel is any baked pudding in Eastern European Jewish culture. My favorite is a noodle kugel, also known as noodle pudding. There are two types of noodle kugel: a sweet kugel and a savory one (which has no sour cream or cottage cheese). The sweet one (made with dairy) has to be served with a meal that is free of meat, and the savory one could be served alongside a meat dinner (making it kosher)  Read more »

Hanukkah Craft: Candle Magnets

By Carolyn Lanzkron Here's a quick and easy Hanukkah craft for kids. We made Hanukkah candle magnets by painting a couple of those promotional business card magnets that seem to breed behind our refrigerator. Materials: 2 junk mail magnets (you can always buy the magnets if your junk mail supply runs low) Paint Scissors Instructions: Cut one magnet horizontally into nine candles--8 Hanukkah candles + 1 for the shamash (the central candle on a Menorah used to light the other candles).  Read more »

Diwali Recipe: Kheer

As much as Diwali is a festival of lights, it is also a festival of sweets. There are so many amazing sweet dishes made in celebration of Diwali. Here we present one of them, Kheer, an Indian rice pudding. Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/2 cup basmati rice, washed and drained
4-5 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon rose water (optional but worth it)

 Read more »
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Agree with the thread. One example to point out is the arrogant walk on the right side to keep from bumping into each other...or you could just look where you are going like e rest of the world and ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] games from around the world or this site that shares German games or this blog post or this one too. You might find some ideas in this PDF or on TES resources or Streetplay you’...
From Five Fun Games from Around the World
[…] and a Polish Easter craft called Palma Wycinanka (cut paper palm). She also shares the interesting Czech Easter tradition of “whipping” girls and women with a special braided p...
From What’s Easter without a Whipping?
[…] InCulture Parent has a sweet Easter recipe for Italian cookies, and a Polish Easter craft called Palma Wycinanka (cut paper palm). She also shares the interesting Czech Easter tradition of...
From Polish Easter Craft: Palma-Wycinanka
[…] took me months to figure out that I was being rude (I am German, after all), and that the tutting was actually a very strong display of […...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
Dear Not Fluent, I think it's positive that you speak to your child both in Cantonese and English. Between 0-5 years, language learning is emotional, as opposed to adult learning, when you turn t...
From Do I teach my child my native language even though I am not fluent?
[…] from InCulture Parent has a sweet Easter recipe for Italian cookies, and a Polish Easter craft called Palma Wycinanka (cut paper palm). She also shares the interesting […...
From Easter Recipe: Aunt Angie’s Italian Cookies
I can relate totally. There is a point where one can adjust what read but what you read May not work at all. Mostly, it's going back to heart centered awareness not the mind that determines the bes...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I can totally relate to your list, as we are raising our son to speak English and French. People say really stupid stuff about raising multilingual children, but then again, people say really stupid...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
[…] spricht, begegnet man Menschen verschiedener Herkunft mit mehr Offenheit. Ein Beweis dafür ist meine dreisprachige Tochter, wie sie auf Koreanisch singt – dank einiger ihrer Koreanisch...
From Is My Daughter Singing in Korean?
Love this. I had read the other article and comments earlier, and was also horrified. One only needs to read more of your articles and blogs to know you are the furthest thing from a racist with a s...
From Do WASP Westerners Deserve Visibility in a Foreign Culture?
Your grandmother sounds like a very wise woman. I have 3 children and while it's a bit of an adjustment I have realized that things like babywearing, co sleeping and frequent nursing really are key ...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
@Calliope: Below is written with no offense given with the hope that none is taken. As this is just an online blog discourse, not some academic cultural theory debate and most importantly the commen...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
@Raymond Uhe I just wanted to say thanks for the post. Had I wanted to respond directly to this article, I imagine what I would have written would be quite similar. I've been living in Germany for s...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I agree. Culture affects it, most likely the default parentin...
From Intentional vs. Default Parenting
I believe that in America we have gone too far in protecting and isolating children from world realities. The helicopter parent mentality has taken over our thinking that kids must be shielded, gui...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
A birth in india. Would seem like a lot to take on. Indian. Have nautral cuts. I use senses and ear power during energy. Nutrients. Milk baths . If I ever visit Kenya. I would see for sure the schoo...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Sorry, meant Ivan's pos...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I am German, but mobed to the US when I was pretty young and nowadays only go back to Hamburg to visit once a year. I think nobody doubts that there are many lovely people in Germany, but I absolute...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
It's very funny that people (who aren't French) believe that French children behave all the time, eat everything and never throw tantrums etc. But French children are some of the worst-behaved kids...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
My thinking is that Japanese "spoil" their children. Not in a bad way, but in the way that most youngest children in the U.S. are treated. The result is that it often only takes a look from their ...
From Cross-Cultural Differences in Discipline in Japan
This is interesting to me, Ember, because I've married into a Mexican family and I find myself more often disavowing the cultural stereotypes they have about Americans. (People are generally surpri...
From Do WASP Westerners Deserve Visibility in a Foreign Culture?
[…] Last time we were in Berlin we didn’t really explain its history to the kids because they were too small. This time it’s different and it’s not always straightforward. I ...
From Making Sense of the Berlin Wall as a Multicultural Family
[…] by critics, but recently a couple of comments really got under my skin. They were in response to a piece I wrote about my mother-in-law’s journey to Canada—her first trip to the West. ...
From My Chinese Mother-in-Law Comes to Canada: A Foreigner in A Foreign Land
I also have a really picky eater! My 3 year old sounds exactly like this and, while not scared to travel, I do get very sad that he can't experience the joy of a fresh dim sum, a juicy steak or a tr...
From Managing a Picky Eater with International Travel
This is really interesting. We all came from different countries with different culture and beliefs. Here in the Philippines ear piercing with a new born baby girl is up to the mother's decision. So...
From The Great Ear Piercing Debate in Our Multicultural Home
Back in the mid-70's I refused to put on an nylon buttoned overall because it looked too feminine to me,so my mother came back with the Martinet in hand ( a childrens whip,looks like a flogger but t...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
The strangest playground in the world https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playmovie/back-to-the-land-an-adventure-play-documentary http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parent...
From Top 10 Most Imaginative Playgrounds Around the World
I used to live in Kenya, and I moved back to my home country. Yes, it is easy to be a working mom in Nairobi when you can get employ a lady from the village, or the slum, to come and live with you ...
From Why Being a Working Mother is Better
Please send me e-mail address to which I can send 2014 announcement of the Children's Africana Book Awards and an article from Teaching Tolerance on the importance of the work your website is doing....
From What We Are Not About
I breastfed my daughter until she was 3 1/2. We had to stop because I began taking a prescription and could no longer do it. I am a single mom and I work full time. In those early years I felt li...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
I also need to comment that SIDS is only given that name as cause of death is undetermined. It can be that a baby just stops breathing, their body doesn't alert them, and we don't know why. There ar...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Hi, I am 28 without children... I just like to read about medicine and various women's topics relating to it. I do not have any personal experience with breastfeeding. My question is aren't you conc...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
These books sound great and most of the titles are new to me. Thank you so much for sharin...
From A Year of Multicultural Picture Books for the Global Child
I appreciate the feedback everyone! And how sweet that this song even brings up memories of your mom teaching your sister this song as a child Bill! It's almost a year later and my daughter continue...
From Is My Daughter Singing in Korean?
I know this is old, but she is singing a Korean patty cake song my mom taught my sister as a chil...
From Is My Daughter Singing in Korean?
Lovely post! I nursed all four of our boys on demand and couldn't wrap my head about the whole scheduled feedings thing. We coslept and I did wear them a lot. With the twins, I sometimes felt like ...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Hi Nichole, We did not vaccinate against either and felt fine about that decision. Hope you have a great tri...
From 6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids
Thanks for the great post. We are going to Nicaragua with out two kids- also 5 and 8- in two weeks. Did you vaccinate the kids for Hep A and typhoid? I was not planning to but would love more thoug...
From 6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids