Category: Worldwide Culture Swap

“Learn and Play” Through Culture Packages

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A wonderful way of showing our son how to appreciate other cultures is by participating in a Worldwide Culture Swap. This past summer we participated in two culture swaps, and have received swap packages from other families across the globe! Our packages came from families from England,  Norway and South Africa!

Participating is a fun and tangible way of  learning to appreciate other cultures through the items we have received.   The packages vary by country and the ones that we have received have included items such as,  stamps, coins, sweets, pictures, flags, stickers, coins, a home-made DVD, pressed flowers, pencils and even sand with shells!  The letters that the families include in their packages gives us a better understanding of their culture, and we learn so much from them.

Some of the activities that we have done with the culture swap packages are simple, and fun for our 4 yr. old.  At this age,  little one learns through sensory play by touching the sand and shells from Norway, or savoring the apple flavored candy from England.  He loves to color, so I printed a map for each country, and had him color it and glue it on a large white scrap booking paper for him to use as a canvas.  I also let him glue some beads from South Africa to outline the map, dry pressed flowers, and he even made a flag of St. George.   Then we set off to look for the country in our global map. 
For South Africa, I had him color the map, and use the beads included to decorate the map. Then he had fun placing the animal stickers. We learned that they have 11 official languages in their country! Impressive!
South Africa map, beads, and colorful stickers. 
For Norway, we savored the exquisite chocolates sent to us, and he colored a map of Norway. We received pressed flowers that he glued on to the sheet, with some sand and shells from the local  beach,and a small flag as well. 
Norway flags, the map, pressed flowers, and some sand. 
For England, we made a craft with the materials the family included to make a St. George’s Day Flag collage. This flag is displayed during St. George’s Day (patron saint of England), and  patriotic events. My son also savored some sweets, and had some British custard! You can read about it here.  
Map of England, and the flag of St. George made from tissue paper. 
England sticker, and a homemade jigsaw puzzle that he put together. 
My son is learning to appreciate other cultures through the worldwide culture swap packages that we have received. It has been a learning process for all of us at home, and my son is having lots of fun!  We will be participating in another one soon. 🙂 
What fun ways to do you teach your children about other cultures? Would love to hear from you, please share, like or comment. 

Making British Custard From Our Culture Swap Exchange

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During this past summer we participated in a Worldwide Culture Swap Exchange and one of the countries in the group was England. You can read more about our worldwide culture swap here.   
In our wonderful package we received Bird’s Instant Custard.  I followed the instructions in the package. It was so easy to make! However, I was a little lost as to how to eat it? Warm? Cold?  It’s not a custard in the sense that I’m used to, and it kind of looks and taste like vanilla pudding but with a lighter consistency and flavor.  I had a spoonful of it when it was warm, and it wasn’t bad at all. However, little one didn’t like it warm. So I put it in the refrigerator, and once cool he seemed to like it. 

Not knowing how to eat the British custard,  I googled it. 🙂  It seems British like to use their custard accompanied to another dessert as noted here. It’s like how we use whip cream on our ice cream, or ice cream on our pound cake.  After much thinking, and researching we decided to eat it alone as is, and it was quite tasty!  Thank you so much to the wonderful family that sent us this yummy delish dessert from England. 

If you would like to learn more about how you and your family can participate in the Worldwide Culture Swap, you can sign up here. It’s a wonderful way to learn from other countries, their culture, and their food. 
Have you participated in the Worldwide Culture Swap, and received a food item? Please do comment and/or share. Thanks! 

Worldwide Cultural Swap from Norway and South Africa

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In the first Worldwide Culture Swap that we participated in we were paired with 4 more families. Two from the USA:  Florida and Hawaii (you can read more about the contents of these two states here), and two other countries:  Norway and South Africa.  We were assigned to Group 66!

We were very excited to receive swap packages from South Africa and Norway.

South Africa

In our package we received the following items: Rhino (little one loved this, since he doesn’t have one), cherry lip balm (handy for winter months), Inverdoorn Game Reserve & Iziba Safari Lodge brochure, Cape Town Diamond Museum brochure, map, fun animal stickers (my son’s favorite), lovely handmade flag of South Africa, bag of beautiful beads with their significance, and coins that are called Rand which is the South African currency (my favorite!), and of course a beautiful letter from the family.  The stamps on the envelope are beautiful, and the family also included a stamp in their package.

We enjoyed reading the letter, and had a good laugh too. They don’t have the elephants and lions roaming their streets (contrary to popular belief) I admit, I thought they’d have elephants roaming in their backyards. 🙂 Shame on me! The elephants, lions and other wildlife are in fact confined to nature reserves and wildlife parks. Little one has enjoyed playing with the rhinoceros (just what he needed to complete his wildlife animal collection), and of course, the stickers were a big hit!

Another interesting note is that they have eleven, yes eleven official languages! The family speaks three of them English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa (a local black language), how interesting!

Norway 

In our Norway package we received a Trondheim postcard which is the town the family that sent us the swap package lives in. A bookmark that has a beautiful midnight sun which is one of the things Norway is famously known for. They also included Norway flags that strung on a string, pressed flowers, and sand and sea shells that are from their local pebbly beach, and our favorite item in the package the Norwegian chocolate bars. I say favorite because all of us at home love chocolate! The pressed flowers are picked from their garden, and they are lovely! The picture doesn’t do them justice. 

Thank you so much for the families that participated in this culture swap package. It has been fun and educational for our family.  
Until our next swap package!  If you’d like to know more information on the Worldwide Culture Swap click here.

Worldwide Culture Swap: England! (Group 88)

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What a nice surprise to get home, and find in our mail box a package all the way from England! I was thrilled with the packaging, and the stamp that read: “Royal Mail!” with the picture of Queen Elizabeth. Ohhhh, I felt so special…:)

As we opened the package both hubby and our son were excited. Of course, my son instantly spotted the apple flavored candy, look at that smile! While my husband looked at the coins and flags.

I wonder who was more excited? My hubby or our 4 yr. old. 🙂

Now let’s go over the contents of our “Royal Mail” hahaha (I had to add last statement!):

~Flags of England and United Kingdom

~England Sticker

~England Bookmark (Homemade)

~Fact Sheet on England and United Kingdom

~A letter with pictures

~English money (coins)

~United Kingdom Jigsaw (Homemade)

~Seven beautiful stamps

~A cute package with colorful yarn and a homemade bookmark tag that looks like a gift! In it was a postcard of the Olympics :)with two sheets: a “Design a Medal” and “The Olympic Logo” so little one can color, and draw. Included also was an interesting fact sheet of where the Olympic medals are guarded and locked during the Olympics.

~Bird’s Instant Custard. In order to make this I will have to look for the equivalent in measurements for the US. 🙂

~An Oxford packet that included a collector’s pin, three beautiful postcards, and one of the University of Oxford, small map, and an Oxford pencil.

~Two homemade DVD’s. We enjoyed watching the DVD of the area where the family that sent us the package lives. We were also pleasantly surprised to see a Burger King in the main shopping area; and listening to the music in the background by the “buskers” (people who play music in the streets). Both DVD’s were fun to watch, and made us want to go to Oxford and visit. 🙂 Check out the video below:

~A St. George (Patron saint of England) packet beautifully wrapped with colorful yarn that included two coloring sheets, and a DIY St. George’s Day Flag collage kit.

 

We had lots of fun going through the contents, and learning about Oxford, England. A special thanks to the wonderful family that sent us this package, and that allowed us to post one of the videos.

Now we’re waiting on two more swap packages from Norway, and Qatar. Until our next swap!

Worldwide Cultural Swap from Oregon, Florida and Ohio.

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Receiving swap packages from around the country and the world is fun!

We participated in two swaps: Group 66 and Group 88.

In Group 66 we had South Africa (received, and will blog about it soon!), Norway (still waiting on the package); and two states: Hawaii, and Florida. We received both swaps from Hawaii (you can read more about it here), and Florida.

In Group 88 we had Qatar (waiting on the package), England (received, and will blog about it soon!), and we received both states: Oregon and Ohio.

Check out the wonderful packages that the families put together from Oregon, Florida and Ohio.

Worldwide Culture Swap from the state of Oregon (Group 88):

As usual our son was thrilled to see a box on our doorsteps. We received:

– A box of dry roasted Oregon hazelnuts. The state nut. 🙂

– A pencil.

– A postcard.

– A coin (a quarter).

– The Oregon official state map.

– A local map/guide of Portland, Oregon.

– A brochure of the Lewis and Clark historical park.

– Interesting fact sheet about Oregon.

– Two sheets of stickers.

– A “Thunder-egg” (geode) rock.

– A bag with raffia, and instructions on how to make a cordage.

– A letter with a picture of the family who sent us the package.

Of course, my 4 yr. old was excited to open the box, and looking through it’s contents. He immediately grabbed the stickers (he loves stickers). He was indeed fascinated with the “Thunder-egg” (geode) rock (he collects pebbles, and rocks at home). The Thunder-egg is also the state rock, and though it doesn’t look like much in the outside, once cracked open you will see an exquisite beauty inside. We haven’t cracked open the rock, yet. I’m going to have Daddy help with a chisel and hammer to crack it open.

Worldwide Culture Swap from the state of Florida (Group 66):

We received our swap package from the great state of Florida! I love looking at my son’s face filled with awe and amazement as he looks through the contents. In this swap package we received: 

~Pictures of the family’s home, and of the family. 

~Postcards of Florida. 

~Brochures of wildlife, and tourist areas of Florida.

~An alligator teeth – the most fascinating object in the package :). 

~”Points” – a replica of a very rare and expensive arrowhead made by the native people in the region. 

~Instant grits (a Southern favorite), which was delicious!   

~Lychee seed – comes from the lychee fruit that is sweet and rich in nutrient. 

~Sand, and a shell key chain.   

~Orange marmalade (quite tasty on toasted bread), and orange bubble gums.  

~A sponge. 

~A alligator iron-on transfer.  

I was very impressed on how well this package had been put together, the wildlife and points (arrowhead) brochure was neatly placed inside a clear bag. There were notes on all of the postcards, and pictures. I really appreciate the time this family has taken to get their swap package together.  My son loves playing with the sand, and then putting it back in the tin can.

Worldwide Culture Swap from the state of Ohio (Group 88):

This was another fun package!

~Ohio State Tourism Guide

~Two postcards

~Four Cleveland Indians baseball cards

~A handwritten note in a beautiful card with a picture of the family making the shapes of O-H-I-O! (Really cool!)

~An Ohio State symbols sheet

~Information on some mammals found in Ohio

~Information on Amish Country with a link

~A book titled “Presidents of the United States” (my favorite) and print outs of the eight presidents that actually came from Ohio. Ohio is also nicknamed “The Mother of Presidents!”

~A bag with sand with lucky stones, beach glass, and snail shells

~Two Ohio State coasters

~Brochures and maps of the area

~Sticker sheet with the name O-H-I-O

Thank you so much to all of the families that took the time to put together these wonderful packages. We have enjoyed them greatly, and we too hope you have enjoyed what we have put together for your family.

Until the next culture swap!

Worldwide Cultural Swap from Hawaii! (Group 66)

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So we received our 1st Worldwide Cultural Swap Exchange from Hawaii! Little one was thrilled with everything. He loved the leis and the turtle. 🙂 There were lots of postcards, a luau shirt (folded paper with instructions), fish made from palm leaves, stickers, US flag, macadamia nuts, a passion fruit jelly, calendar, and a newspaper, and lots of information on Hawaii. We have yet to sit down and go over everything, and I want to do so when I can sit with him, and point out on the world map where Hawaii is and go over the contents of our package. Thank you to the Bolger Family in Hawaii who sent us this!

Recibimos nuestro 1er paquete del Intercambio Mundial Cultural desde Hawaii. Mi pequeño estaba súper emocionado con todo lo que recibimos. Le encanto las flores, y la tortuga. 🙂 En el paquete encontramos muchas postales de la región, una camiseta tipo “luau” (en papel doblado con instrucciones), peces hechos de hojas de palma, calcomanías, una bandera de E.U., nueces, jalea de parcha, un calendario y mucha información sobre Hawaii. Aún tenemos que sentarnos a revisar todo, pero lo quiero hacer cuando tenga tiempo de sentarme con el, y señarle en el mapa dónde está Hawaii e ir mirando y leyendo el contenido de nuestro paquete. ¡Gracias a la familia Bolger en Hawaii que nos envió este paquete!

Updated! Our 1st & 2nd Worldwide Cultural Swap

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I first learned about Worldwide Cultural Swap from a post that Multicultural Familia had shared on their Facebook page. Of course, I was immediately hooked, and excited to join. I signed up and was contacted via email if I wanted to participate. Of course, that was a yes! So we were assigned to Group 66 with four other families from Norway, Florida, South Africa, and Hawaii. This is our 1st package representing Puerto Rico.

“Capias” of our wedding to show our Puertorican tradition. 🙂 For those who don’t know, here’s an explanation: (This is a note I added to the package with the capias) In Puerto Rico it is customary that the bride pins “capias” on her guests. The “capia” you see in your package is a wedding souvenir that the bride gives to her guests. This one is from our wedding in 2008. I saved a few, and how great it is to share it with you! The “capia” is made with a thin satin ribbon with the bride’s & groom’s name/wedding date engraved on them (It’s in English, because we married in South Carolina, USA; but I wanted to have some of my culture present in our wedding.) The ribbon is placed on a lace or other material with a decorative piece on top. A pin is included so that the bride can put it on her guests as a corsage or boutonniere. This way the bride is able to see all her guests, and give them a wedding souvenir.

Puerto Rico flag, and poster size colored copies of pictures taken from a Puerto Rico calendar.

A large map of Puerto Rico (with numbers on it, that can be matched to the pictures included – they have the numbers in the back of ea. picture). Smaller map with a legend.

Shells with sand (not pictured, but I added sand afterwards), pictures of Puerto Rico, and a Pineapple drink.

Coqui pin attached to a card.

History facts on Puerto Rico, a word search (for the older kids), Coqui fact sheet with a 2 coquis to color (for the smaller kids), a Coqui pin attached to a card.

We put everything in these folders, and glued a picture of us, with a letter directed to each child/children of the family that will receive our Puerto Rico package. 🙂

Updated as August 5, 2012:

We’re participating in our 2nd Worldwide Cultural Swap, and we’ve added mostly the same as above, except with some extra goodies. Check out at all the goodies that Mami has brought from Puerto Rico! All of this is for my Worldwide Culture Swap exchange! I’m getting ready for my 2nd swap with Oregon, Qatar, England and Ohio. 🙂 I have all my packages ready, though I didn’t include everything you see in the above picture, I did divide and saved some for some future swaps.

• History: A small pamphlet with the history of Puerto Rico and a word search for the older kids.

• Geography:

o Coloring page with information on our beloved “Coquí” this is ideal for the little ones to color with a “Coquí” key chain, and shells from Puerto Rico.

o 4×6 pictures and larger colored copies of Puerto Rico (small explanation will be on the back of the picture).

o A big map of Puerto Rico, and smaller one with the legend.

• Traditions: “Capias” (our wedding souvenir) traditionally used in weddings as a wedding favor or souvenir for guests.

• Music: Puerto Ricans love music, especially playing their “maracas.”

• Food: We decided to send some sweet treats our famous “Pilón” (Tropical lollipop with sesame seed) and our “Dulce de Ajonjolí” (Sesame seed candy).

• Also included in the package: Puerto Rico pencil, a few cards from a deck of cards, with the “Coquí”, postcard and a bag of Puerto Rico

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Music: Puerto Ricans love music, especially playing their “maracas.” “Maracas” is a rattle used as percussion instrument. It’s an instrument consisting traditionally of a hollow gourd filled with small pebbles or beans. “Maracas” are usually shaken in pairs as an accompaniment to Latin American music, very popular in Puerto Rico. We’ve sent you a small maraca in a key chain, and of course some plastic colorful one’s for you to shake and play some music. Little one has a few “maracas” and he loves to shake them and sing songs while playing.

We sent some sweet treats our famous “Pilón” (Tropical lollipop with sesame seed) and our “Dulce de Ajonjolí” (Sesame seed candy, and we’ve also included the recipe).