Belgium: Tattie holidays holiday x

Thankfully we no longer have to pick tatties during our Tattie holiday time in Scotland, a two week holiday in October which historically served to ensure a labour force for picking potatoes….

Instead we went on holiday to Belgium to visit Malika’s godparents, Pammy and Rob. They recently moved to the city of Gent to head up a brilliant new wood-fired bakery and restaurant called De Suprette.

This was our first time to Belgium so we decided to spend a night in Brussels and for old-times sake we stayed at the Scandic Hotel, Brussels, the Scandinavian chain which we often stayed during our time in Finland.

The location was fantastic – just a few minutes walk from the Grand Place and the Central Station but more importantly only a five minute walk from the Belgium Comic Strip Centre which was absolutely awesome!

Belgium of course is the land of Smurfs and Tintin, and the comic centre has a range of permanent exhibitions, illustrated with original artwork and unique objects. Simultaneously, there are also several temporary exhibitions.

Located in the heart of Brussels, in a majestic Art Nouveau building, created by Victor Horta in 1906, the Belgian Comic Strip Center opened its doors to the public on October 6th 1989. In no time this impressive museum became one of the main attractions of Brussels. Every year more than 200.000 visitors come here to explore  4.200 m² of permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Malika and Ameenah LOVED this place and we could have spent the whole day there drawing, hanging out in the brilliant reading room, playing in the Smurf replica house….and much more.

I would come back to Belgium just to visit this comic centre and I can not recommend it highly enough! xx

Portrait of the artist….






And the adjoining restaurant was great…

So much inspiration in the wonderful Art-Deco building x

Simply have to draw…

Would love to have seen more of the 100 years in the Balkans exhibition but the Smurfs won out!

And wow what a drawing of Brussels in the snow…

Smurf Kingdom

The reading room containing a selection of over 3,000 comics is open to the general public during all opening hours. Here you will also find comics translated into over 36 languages

And then we headed to Gent to see Pammy and Rob…we took the train which was a nightmare….lots of steps to navigate with a buggy is challenging!

And here is Pammy in the kitchen where she spends a LOT of time serving amazing food….Belgium of course is famed for frites and mayonnaise and chocolate but here we ate a lot of incredible sourdough pizza and hazelnut croissants – YUM!

Ultimate godmum – Pammy!

I always like to sit outside with the girls…..and I always bring blank drawing pads and pens to keep them entertained x


We loved this mural outside the restaurant!

But my favourite place was the Museum Dr. Guislain, which is a history of psychiatry and outsider art museum.

A fascinating museum about the history of psychiatry and mental healthcare. It’s an oasis north of the historical center in Belgium’s oldest psychiatric hospital (1857). The collections of outsider art or art brut are famous and their temporary exhibitions are intriguing. Easy accessible by tram no four to Rabot.

Wow – this place was great.  Although we didn’t actually see the history of psychiatry section as the lady behind the desk told me her children were frightened (and they were older than my girls), there are plenty of other things to see….The grounds alone are fabulous and well worth a visit as is the café with its giant, obscure statues…..and the outsider art section is amazing.

 I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Drawing, running, chaos

Beautiful building and Belgium’s oldest psychiatric clinic

The café is so charming and odd!

And finally…..the streets near Pammy and Rob’s apartment and restaurant….I loved the old tiled buildings…so so beautiful

The Godmother at work…

And Ameenah enjoying a juice break on a brilliant Tattie week trip to Belgium….I would recommend this country to everyone …charming, odd and full of quirky places to visit off the tourist trail…..hopefully Pammy and Rob will stay a while longer so we can visit again soon! xx


IMG_2000Emma Afif-Watt is a mum of two half-Moroccan daughters, Malika and Ameenah. She is currently studying for a Masters in Social Work and has spent the last five years working with adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues. Emma and her family recently lived in Finland for four months whilst she was on social work placement. Emma blogged about their experiences over at Family in Finland which offered insights into family life in Finland, travel, crafts and much more…



facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Bonus Prize for Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway: Tribal Nations Map

Today we are sharing our newly added Bonus Prize for our Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway!! This prize is amazing. It is a map of the Native American Nations with the Native names the tribes called themselves (where possible) and their original locations. The map is provided by Tribal Nations Maps. Aaron Carpaella of Tribal Nations Maps came up with the idea for this map because he loved to learn about Native American cultures and had not seen a map with the tribes’ own names on it.  He also has included pictures of the people, houses, etc. to get a wonderful image of the Native American traditional life.

In his own words, Aaron says the map provides ownership to the native people.  He hopes it helps them think of themselves as a group as well as each tribe, since as a group of Native Americans they can have more representation than each individual tribe. He also hopes this map will help document the tribes, including the ones that no longer exist.

As a non-Native American (who has always had a love and interest in Native American culture) I find the map fascinating. It is a look into a life that has been slipping away since Christopher Columbus came to the “New World.” It is also a piece of the culture one does not always get to see or know. Most people know the Native Americans by the names given to them by Europeans or other tribes. For example, on the map the Comanche are referred to by their name of  Numuunu.

This is the perfect addition to any Native American lesson or for anyone to delve more deeply into the Native American culture. To win it all you have to do is enter below. There are also three other prizes you can win!! The giveaway ends Sunday (as does Native American Heritage Month).

 photo 2014NAHMbutton-001_zpsc85ee76c.jpg 
Multicultural Kid Blogs is proud to host the first annual Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop & Giveaway! Link up your posts on Native American cultures below, and be sure to enter to win one of our great prize packages! For more great posts about Native cultures, be sure to follow our Native/Indigenous Cultures board on Pinterest!


November 3:
November 6:
November 7:
November 10:
November 13:

Our Giveaway

Newly Added! Bonus Prize 

 Tribal Map
1st Prize Package US shipping only
Children of the TipiChildren of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days, edited by Michael O. Fitzgerald
2nd Prize Package
Buffalo SongBuffalo Song by Joseph Bruchac
Jim Thorpe's Bright PathJim Thorpe’s Bright Path, by Joseph Bruchac
3rd Prize
Himdag postcard setPostcard set from Paper Papel Papier: pack of 12 craft postcards decorated with the word himdag (value $18). Himdag is from the O’odham ñiok language of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona and northwest Mexico. To embrace Himdag is to walk in balance, alone, with others, with nature, and with the Creator.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Native American Cultures Linkup

Now it’s your turn to share!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Call for Bloggers: Celebrate Christmas Around the World Printable Pack

Celebrate Christmas Around the World Printable Pack from Multicultural Kid BlogsAs part of our new Multicultural Kids Product Promotion Services, we are excited to announce the opportunity to review and promote the new printable pack from Multicultural Kid Blogs: Celebrate Christmas Around the World!

Celebrate Christmas Around the World Review: How to Participate

If you are a blogger, sign up using the form below. Once you receive your electronic copy of the printable pack, do the following:

  1. Write a blog review
  2. Promote through at least one social media platform
  3. Email your links to multiculturalkidblogs(at)gmail(dot)com.

Celebrate Christmas Around the World! | Multicultural Kid Blogs Printable PackDEADLINE to complete your promotion: December 9, 2014.

For more details on this wonderful new printable pack, visit our product page.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Multiple Cultures, Richer Lives


When we travel, my family makes the guys at passport control laugh. Sometimes we have quite a bit of explaining to do. Then they laugh again and shake their heads before waving us on. The four of us travel on three different passports and speak to each other in a mixture of languages, one of which has nothing to do with the passports. We’re not global citizens as such, but due to our multiple cultures we are definitely European citizens.

I’m Scottish, which means I travel on a British passport and speak English to my two kids. My husband is ethnically Hungarian but comes from the Banat region of Romania, so he travels on a Romanian passport and speaks Hungarian to the kids. We live in Germany, where our kids were born, and they travel on German passports. My two-year-old daughter speaks an eclectic mix of English, Hungarian and German with a few words of her own invention thrown in for good measure. So far my four-month-old son just makes cooing noises and spits up all over the place, but he’ll start speaking soon enough.

We just got back from a three-week trip to Romania, where we were staying with my husband’s parents. Obviously the main reason we went there was to see them and let them spend time with the kids, but another important reason was to teach our kids (well, our daughter mostly at this stage) about where their dad is from. It’s important to both me and my husband that we pass on not only our languages but also our respective cultures, so that the kids feel a strong connection to both of our countries and feel at home in both our cultures.

“Culture” to us is less about formal things like literature and music and more about how people live in a particular place. In my husband’s home town if you want milk you don’t go to the supermarket – you go and see the lady down the street who has four cows. If you want to take your kids horse riding, you don’t go to the stables – you go and ask the guy who owns the field opposite the house if your kids can sit on the back of one of his horses for a while. Want potatoes? Here’s a spade. Need the bathroom? The outhouse is over there. Have leftover food? Give it to the chickens. You get the picture.

My husband grew up in a place where people live closer to nature. My mother-in-law explained that this is partly due to the restrictions that were in place under communism. You could either stand in line for two hours every day and hope there was some milk left when you got to the front (it was rationed, so there was a limit to how much you could buy even if there was some left) or you could buy a goat and get far more milk than you needed every day and sell the excess to the neighbours.

Being a city girl from the other side of the iron curtain, this culture is at once totally alien and also completely fascinating to me. The people in my husband’s home town are not poor and primitive as they are often perceived in the West; they are resourceful and much less wasteful than people in most Western countries. And they eat way better. Romania doesn’t really have an organic food movement because they never really had non-organic food. Admittedly it’s kind of gruesome to know the name of the turkey you’re eating, but on the other hand you know exactly where it came from, what it was fed, and how it was killed.

My kids can only benefit from this culture. I want them to learn to love it and accept it as the most normal thing on earth. But I also want them to know and love my own culture and that of our adopted country. All three cultures are very different, with different customs, ways of thinking and ways of interacting with other people. By raising our kids with all three cultures we hope to open their eyes and their minds to yet more cultures so that no matter where they travel they will be aware of and interested in the way things are done there. With this heightened cultural awareness, hopefully they’ll notice not only the differences but also the similarities that are common to all cultures throughout the world and will realise that no matter where someone is from, their ideas and ways of doing things are valuable and worthy of respect.

That to me is a true global citizen.

lingolised To read more about our adventures as a multicultural, multilingual family, hop on over to I’m looking forward to your visit!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A Guatemalan Christmas

A Guatemalan Christmas


Lets take the imagination train to Antigua, Guatemala, on a beautiful Christmas Eve day. Now it doesn’t snow in Guatemala, so it is not a winter wonderland, a white Christmas. What a Guatemala Christmas has is tradition and so much of it: the sights, sounds, aromas and unity. Imagine walking down cobblestone roads, taking in the aromas of Manzanilla (chamomile) rings and at last you reach the main plaza where it is a magical twinkling park of joy.

You meet up with your family, friends, new friends, head to a free holiday concert, enjoy the the sounds and pick up a bunuelo (fried bread with a sweet glaze) as a treat. After the concert you go find a special gift and to your surprise when you enter one of kind shop you walk on top pine needles and the aroma is spectacular, like breathing in Christmas.


The artisan gift you bought is for the host of the gathering you are heading to, to celebrate until the strike of midnight and what a treat you are in for. Upon arrival you are greeted with warm hugs and welcomed to relax as if this was your home. The main attraction of the night is Guatemalan tamales, delicious corn dough wrapped in a banana leaf. After your meal you all chat, mingle and have a good time awaiting the strike of midnight. It comes, and it comes with a big bang! At midnight each household, each area puts on a firework show. Imagine the biggest, most spectacular firework show you have seen, and now imagine it on every single block, amazing – not the safest situation but amazing! You party until the wee hours, taking in the beauty of unity, friendship, family.


Crowds during Christmas in Antigua Guatemala

A Guatemalan Christmas morning has come and you continue to celebrate with others, spending quality time, time for a traditional family day. You unite for breakfast eating plantanos and frijoles negros before heading to church to give blessings and enjoying once again fireworks at noon and 6pm. A Guatemalan Christmas is truly one of a kind filled with comfort, love and culture – this journey is just a small glimpse of all that fills a Guatemalan Christmas.

We recommend the colorful and informative website Antigua a Daily Photo for a further look into Guatemalan traditions of Christmas and other days.

Thank you for taking this journey with me and please visit and like Ana & Zelli – Gracias!

Hi there, I am Ana from Alarcon Restaurants and I write a friendly blog about sharing the random little adventures my daughter Zelli and I take. Spreading the joy of exploring unique places and our true experiences at fun events/activities in Wisconsin and other places with YOU, our lovely followers. Myself originally from Guatemala and my husband (Ben) born and raised in Wisconsin with German & Irish backgrounds, we do our best to instill the importance of heritage and culture to Zelli (a Wisconsinite) and what a great state we live in with so many cultural events to part take in and do. We look forward in sharing our passion of finding happy spots and fun times with YOU and invite you to please join us in our adventures and lets have a good old time. We aim to BE HAPPY together!



facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Calling All Multicultural Families – We Need Your Food Stories!

sasha-is-a-cousinThe food we share unites us across borders – and yet it is also unique to you and your personal experience. Your food (and the stories behind it) connects you to your family in a very special way.

NY Times Bestselling author AJ Jacobs and the entire Global Family Reunion team want to hear your food story in anticipation of the world’s biggest, baddest family reunion to be hosted in NYC. The reunion – which attempts to prove we’re all cousins – is being filmed by Morgan Spurlock, of Supersize Me fame. MKB’s own Sasha Martin (that’s me!) will help select several stories to include in the Global Family Reunion cookbook that will be seen by thousands of people around the world.  For details and to submit your story, simply fill out the form

On a personal note – I’m so honored to bring this opportunity to the MKB community. It’s the perfect group to contribute stories to a global event. After all…

We celebrate diversity in heritage.

Even as Americans, my husband and I have very different backgrounds: my grandparents were from Hungary and Italy – my husband’s from the British Isles. Our cherished family recipes are very different – I eat tons of chicken paprikas, stuffed cabbage leaves, pasta, and cannolis. He’s meat and potatoes all the way! I’m sure you can relate – perhaps your heritage spans entire continents. Sharing these sorts of food stories is perfect.

We represent diversity within community.

Moving abroad creates a abundance of new food experiences. For those living in a new country even grocery stores become schoolrooms. When I lived in France, the cheese aisle of the grocery store was an endless fascination. But equally enjoyable was the simple act of eating a baguette, still-warm from the boulangerie. If you’ve lived abroad (or are living abroad) what food stories hold a special place in your heart?

What is your food story? Share it today.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Crafty Lesson for World Toilet Day!

World Water Crafts

This year the theme for the Brownies (part of the Girl Scouts in the USA) is the “Wonder of Water.” As an advocate for clean water in the developing world at World Moms Blog, I wanted to find a way to teach kids about the importance of clean water on the planet. One thing led to another, and before you know it I was making model toilets with my daughter’s Brownie troop on a Friday evening…

Why Toilets? 

 Did you know that 2 out of 5 people on the planet do not have access to a flushable toilet?

When I gave the girls, aged 7 and 8 years old, this statistic, it looked like this:

Doll Statistics

Showing the population as dolls really helped the stat resonate with the girls. Although, they explained that Rapunzel had magic hair, so she could probably get water, so she had to be in the group that did have water. So, I had to switch her over…

The next point I wanted to get across was that without access to clean toilets, disease can spread. For this topic, I read the group the first 4 chapters of a book called “Mimi’s Village”.

Mimi's Village

The story is about a girl in Kenya who had to fetch water (the thought of fetching water daily surprised the girls in the USA, yet, it’s a reality for many girls on the planet), and she was so thirsty. Her sister told her that she had to wait until the water was boiled to drink it. But, then the girl dropped her water on the way home, and had to return to the brownish stream to refill her jug. Being even thirstier, she took a drink of the water and became sick from it. We followed her story to the health clinic in the town over and beyond…

After the book excerpt, we talked about ways to make water safe for drinking, such as boiling. I showed them a picture of a Life Straw, an invention that filters the water, making it safe, right on the spot. We talked about how inventions can solve world problems. Which led to how the toilet was invented over 150 years ago!

Next, came the toilet making. I had contacted Hallie Tamez of WaterAid earlier in the week, and she sent me to a link with ideas for teaching kids about clean water. I chose “The Physics of Flushes and Flows” project, the perfect science and water experiment!

I asked the girls, “Who knows how a toilet works?” And before you know it, we were crafting our own model toilets to recreate the siphoning action — physics in action!

We had such a great experience at the Brownie meeting, so I am sharing this project, for sure!:

What you’ll need:

  • paper cups x 1 for each child
  • flexible straws x 2 for each child
  • tape
  • waterproof molding clay 
  • scissors
  • basin or sink
  • water

First, I poked holes in the cups toward the bottom ahead of time to make the process speedier. One cup for each girl.

Water Craft 1

Next, we took one straw and cut it on both ends, so there was one inch of straw on each side of the flexible bit. (See the pink straw in the photo below.)

For the second straw (the green straw pictured below), we left the long end of the straw intact and cut the short end of the straw, so it, too, equalled one inch from the flexible bit.

Water Craft 2

Next, we inserted the small side of the long straw into one of the ends of the shorter straw and taped the “pipe” connection. The girls really liked the idea of being plumbers!

Water Craft 2

Now that the pipes were complete, we inserted the small end of the straw contraption into the cup as pictured and used a piece of modeling clay for where the straw met the cup on the outside to prevent the cup from future leaks.

Water Craft 4Water Craft 5

Next, we headed to the sink to fill up our cup. When the water level in the straw became higher than the water level of the toilet, the water in the cup began to siphon out, creating the powerful “flush” that empties and cleans the bowl!

The girls got in a line at the sink, as I tested each of their model toilets, and they cheered when the tanks emptied! High-fives all around!

(TIP: The molding clay was a bit tricky and I couldn’t find the waterproof type recommended at the craft store. Using less of it seemed to work best. But, if you’re not winging the experiment for the first time as you are presenting it like me, then you have time to see what works best beforehand.)

For a full description and printable pdf on how to make a model toilet in your classroom or scout meeting check out WaterAid’s link of activities to do with children to teach about the importance of clean water.

If you try out this project, we want to hear all about it! And please tell us where on the globe you did it, too!

And yes, today IS World Toilet day. Remember the importance of each flush and help spread the word.

Photo credits to the author.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Call for Bloggers: Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs Expat Style

Call for bloggers to review Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs Expat Style | Multicultural Kid BlogsAs part of our new Multicultural Kids Product Promotion Services, we are excited to announce the opportunity to review and promote the new anthology on expat life in the Netherlands, Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs Expat Style.

Call for Bloggers: How to Participate

If you are a blogger, sign up using the form below. Once you receive your electronic copy of Dutched Up! do the following:

  1. Write a blog review
  2. Write an Amazon review
  3. Promote through at least one social media platform
  4. Email your links to multiculturalkidblogs(at)gmail(dot)com.

DEADLINE to complete your promotion: December 19, 2014.

About the Anthology

Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs Expat Style is about expat life in the Netherlands, as seen through the eyes of expat women bloggers.  The book covers a wide range of topics about everyday life as seen through the eyes of a foreigner. Some are funny. Others have a wealth of professional information. Yet other stories are sad, shocking or surprising.

This is a wonderful book for those who have lived in the Netherlands, have ever lived or traveled abroad, or who are interested in the human experience, as seen through the prism of these diverse lives.  This book will help you appreciate the many moments of beauty, learning and growing.Dutched Up! is a collection of tales by some pretty amazing women who have learned to rock their clogs, expat style.

The Authors

Dutched Up! was primarily edited by Olga Mecking and Lynn Morrison, with contributions from the following:

The European Mama – Olga Mecking
The Nomad Mom Diary – Lynn Morrison
Stuff Dutch People Like – Colleen Geske
Finding Dutchland – Rina Mae Acosta
The Three Under – Farrah Ritter
Neamhspleachas – Molly Quell
Currystrumpet – Deepa Paul
George With Ears – Zoe Lewis
Dutch Australian – Reneé Veldman-Tentori
Expat Life With A Double Buggy – Amanda van Mulligen
2 Little Monkeys in Breda – Rosalind Van Aalen
Olympic Wanderings – Caitlyn O’Dowd
Smart Tinker – Lana Kristine Jelenjev
Expat Since Birth – Ute Limacher-Riebold
Life In Dutch – Aislinn Callahan- Brand
The Non-Hip Hippies - Alexia Martha Symvoulidou
Naturally Global - Katherine Strous
Amayzmom – Shivangi Tiwari
Naija Expat In Holland - Tamkara Adun
Amber Rahim – Amber Rahim
Amsterdam Mama – Catina Tanner
Like A Sponge – Marianne Orchard
The Tini Times – Damini Purkayastha
Bardsleyland - Donna Stovall Bardsley
Foodlovas – Kerry Dankers
Social Fusion Amsterdam – Iulia Modi Agterhuis

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Bread Around the World: Recipes and Traditions

Bread Around the World

Whoever said that we’re all made of the same dough, we’re just baked in different ovens, has never made bread from scratch. Because there are just so many types of bread. It can be soft or crunchy, big or small, round or twisted into the most amazing shapes. It is also almost always delicious and comforting. There are practically no cultures that don’t have any kind of bread at all.

But with all this variety, what is bread, really? According to Wikipedia, bread is a mix of liquid and flour. The most common flour is wheat, the most common liquid is water. But sometimes, other types of flour are used: rye, corn, teff, chestnut, almond, rice and many others. Sometimes, the flour is very fine, other times it is coarse and whole grain.Some recipes call for milk, beer, or other liquids instead of water (for example this recipe calls for pickle brine and this one for broth)- depending on the taste and texture you want to achieve. Besides, check out Food Retro for other great bread recipes! For example, adding milk will result in a softer dough-these pain au lait look fabulous! Sometimes, fat (like oil or butter) are added as well.

sourdoguh bread

While many breads are unleavened, some calls for addition of raising agents. The most known are yeast, sourdough (which is practically wild yeast), baking powder, soda (like this Irish soda bread) or beer (which also includes yeast). Eggs can be used as leavening agent as well.To help with this process, sugar is added as “fuel” for the yeast.

rye sourdough

This is my pet. It is called Sourdough.

Speaking of sugar, I am amazed what the name bread refers to. For example, in English, bread can be sweet (like pumpkin or banana bread), while in Polish, ciasto drozdzowe (yeast cake) would be translated into English as bread.

Sometimes, other ingredients are added to the bread: nuts, olives, raisins, dried tomatoes, herbs and spices (caraway, z’atar, rosemary, fennel, sesame or poppy seeds and others). Sometimes, pulp of cooked vegetables or grains are used: pumpkin, potatoes, kasha, rice, nuts. Sometimes, even chocolate, marcipan, dried fruit or even strawberries. Some are mixed directly into the dough, while others are sprinkled on top (like on pizza). Cheese is a common addition to breads:yum!

Pumpkin Bread

Savoury pumpkin bread. Delicious!

As for shapes, most bread come in the loaf form we know so well. But there are plenty of ways breads can look like: flat and round like roti, naan and parathas. Sometimes, they are huge and flat, like Turkish breads- or this First Nations bannock. Others are crescent-formed (like croissants or Croatian Klipici rolls), long and slim like baguettes, braided like challah, Bretzels, round with a hole like bagels, or simple buns, or heartshaped like this pleteno srce (which means braided heart). Sometimes, they are more like little balls like this huckabuck bread. The possibilities are endless.

The taste and texture is different too. For example some are soft and chewy, others are fluffy, yet others are harder and grainy.

And there are so many things you can do with bread! In some countries, it is eaten for breakfast and/or dinner. Check for example the German Abendbrot! Sometimes, it can be eaten with a topping, like pizza (the recipe linked isn’t for classic Italian pizza but looks delicious nonetheless) for dinner or lunch- or first course. Sometimes, it is used in place of a spoon, to scoop up food. Sometimes, it holds a surprise like a filling-I would love to try these empanadas! it can also be used to wrap up a delicious filling, the way burritos do. The Dutch love to eat it for lunch (yes, with knife and fork) and it is topped with ham, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes and egg- a version known as gezond (healthy). In other countries, bread accompanies every meal like in Italy or France.

Twaróg - Polish Curd Cheese

Oh and did I mention the preparation methods? Some breads are baked, but what about fried breads? What about steamed bread like for example these Chinese steamed buns?  What about bagels or soft pretzels which you need to kind of cook first and then bake them? Some are also shaped into balls and then deep-fried, like krafne.And of course let us not forget the good old bread machine! This is a very basic recipe for bread maker bread.  And the cool thing is that a bread machine allows you to make other things, like brioches! So many great ways to make bread.

Best Buns

Yummy buns. I love how you put them apart from each other and they grow together while raising and baking.

And let us not forget the many traditions about bread. In Poland, newlyweds are welcomed with bread and salt. Also in Poland, a very Catholic country, bread was considered sacred and when it fell to the floor, it was supposed to be picked up and kissed! Again in Poland, it is a Christmas tradition to break the wafer before the meal: you can read about the whole tradition here.

Some cultures make special breads for special occasions. For example in Poland, special croissants with marcipan are made for St Martin’s Day, or Jewish people traditionally make challe for holidays. Even the German Abendbrot becomes more elaborate on holidays and for special guests.

And what to do with bread leftovers? Again, bread is the gift that always keeps on giving. How about this pudding? Or these Czech dumplings that are totally delicious? You can also add breadcrumbs to coat fried meat, to cover casseroles or stuffed vegetables, or add to meat when making meatballs.

In short, no bread is like another. With so many delicious and flavourful breads to choose from, one can never be bored! And I hope this post will inspire you to start making your own bread.

Besides, if you’re looking for great simple and diverse bread recipes, go no further than Babble!

What is your favourite? What are the traditions and recipes from your culture? How do you like your bread? Let us know in the comments!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Geography Apps: Real World Tools Engage Kids


Geography apps for teaching children  about the planet with real world tools.

Technology has radically changed how we see the earth and how we present information about the planet to children. For centuries, our view was limited to the immediate surroundings and abstract, static representations of other places. Now, technology lets us see much of the world in real time and observe how people work and play. These geography apps are real world tools that show children how the world connects and what is happening across the planet.

There are many geography apps in game formats, designed specifically for kids. Games are great for memorizing countries, states, and capitals, but real information captures the interest of children in a different way. Real information has a context and a purpose. It is not so much about labeling places as about how people interact with those places.

Below you will find several types of real world geography apps that appeal to kids and give them a better understanding of geographical concepts. They include geography apps for tracking flights and ships, photography apps and a variety of apps related to time and weather. I have included links to specific products, but there are many similar alternatives. Some of these geography apps have associated websites that let kids access the information from a computer, too.

An important note; these applications are NOT designed specifically for children. If you get the free versions, there are ads. There may be in-app purchases. The apps could include links that can take kids online. These are real world tools and, as with other tools, children should be supervised when they are using them.  

With time, these apps help children understand the geography of our planet. Places start to repeat and connections develop. Real world geography apps may not have the immediate entertainment appeal of games, but they add a dimension of reality and relevance that enhances learning immensely.

Flight Tracking Geography Apps
These apps let you identify planes flying overhead by pointing your phone to the sky. You can also watch planes move in real time on a map. The apps let you tap on a plane for flight and aircraft information. I confess that the first time I looked at these maps, the dense mass of planes in the air astounded me!

Flight Radar 24
See the map on the web.

Plane Finder
See the map on the web.

Ship Tracking Geography Apps
We spend a lot of time in Manzanillo, Mexico. It is a major commercial port, and that is where I first began to use Marine Traffic to identify ships. Marine Traffic, and other ship tracking apps, display real-time positions of ships worldwide. You can browse interactive maps with real-time ship positions.

Marine Traffic
See the map on the web.

Ship Finder
See the map on the web.

Photography Geography Apps
Photographs are one of the most effective ways for children to get a sense of place. Many talented photographers generously share their pictures of different locations through apps.

I like the photo viewer for Panoramio as a geography app. Panoramio is a photo sharing mashup owned by Google. Accepted photos can be accessed as a layer in Google Earth and Google Maps. Find the app here: Photo Viewer for Panoramio You can also check out the Panoramio website.

Stuck on Earth is another wonderful app for exploring the world through photographs.

Time Zone Geography Apps
Realizing that it is day in one place while it is night in another is how children begin to understand the movement of the Earth. Time zone apps let children see and compare time around the world.

The World Clock has a wonderful day/night map. You can scroll the darkness with your finger to convert the time. It also has information about selected cities.

Geography Apps for Weather and Natural Phenomena
Kids can learn a lot of geography from apps that track weather, earthquakes, and volcanoes.

World Weather Radar shows you the current weather conditions and the moving map for your location or a preferred location worldwide.

Volcanoes shows volcanoes on a map and provides information about them. It shows over 2000 currently active volcanoes.

QuakeFeed is an earthquake app with a variety of different map options. It uses feeds from the USGS and is an excellent educational tool.

The apps I mentioned are directly related to geography, but there are many others that include geographical concepts to present information about a topic. Consider your child’s interests and look for related real world apps. You will find tools for fishing, following soccer leagues, bird watching and more. Tapping into technology you can help children better understand how places and people connect.

Photo Credit: flickingerbrad via Compfight cc

Spanish for Kids on Spanish Playground.


Jennifer Brunk blogs about strategies and resources for teaching Spanish to children on Spanish Playground.



facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather