MKB World Cup for Kids: Wrap-Up

MKB World Cup for Kids: Wrap UpIt is hard to believe that what began as a casual chat among a handful of bloggers nearly a year ago turned into one of the most rewarding projects I have worked on in my blogging career.

The World Cup for Kids project is a collaborative project involving 21 bloggers from all over the world, exploring and celebrating the countries participating in the 2014 World Cup for football/soccer.

Each blogger adopted one of the countries (some bloggers took on more than one), and every time that team played, the blogger wrote about some aspect of the country – language, culture, food, etc.

The result is a stunning collection of articles on a broad range of countries, a rich resource for teaching children about the world.  Find them all here.

In addition, several members created an activity pack for children, and one blogger compiled video clips of children around the world talking about why they love the World Cup.  There are also a number of other wonderful articles about the World Cup in general and what we can learn from it.

You can see all of them and even more resources on our World Cup for Kids Pinterest board:

MKB One World Futbol World Cup Giveaway: Help Needy Kids Worldwide with the Power of PlayFinally, near the end of the World Cup, we were fortunate enough to work with One World Futbol on a campaign to donate FIVE of their virtually indestructible footballs to kids in needy communities worldwide.  (Read the announcement on the One World Futbol page).

Multicultural Kid Blogs set a goal of reaching 1000 page views on our campaign post, and although in the end we fell short of this goal (706 page views), One World Futbol was so pleased with the support we received and the enthusiasm from our worldwide community that they are generously (and happily) helping us to donate the two footballs anyway (yay!)

YOU, our readers, chose where we will donate the One World Futbols, and the winners are:

Ethiopia Reads has successfully worked with Ethiopian communities to provide excellent early education and literacy programs in both urban and rural environments.

Project Pelota Eterna distributes One World Futbols to underprivileged children and youth throughout Honduras.

As for the member bloggers who were vying with one another to donate a One World Futbol to an organization of their choice, the three winners were, in order of votes (that is, social shares on their posts):

1. Diana of Entre Compras y el Hogar: donating to Coaches Across Continents

2. Eolia of La Cité des Vents: donating to Fesakam e.V. for educational development in Cameroon

3. Leanna of All Done Monkey: donating to the Mustard Seed school for homeless children in Sacramento, USA

And so, as we bid adieu to the World Cup for 2014, we say a big THANK YOU to everyone involved, and above all:

See you in Russia in 2018!

MKBWorld Cup for Kids  thank you

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Top 10 Ways to Learn About the World with the World Cup

World Cup learning activities for children.

This post is part of the School’s Out! Top 10 Summer Blog Hop (see below for details).

The FiFa World Cup combines sport and culture on an enormous scale. How can you help kids learn from an event that spans the globe and a full month? Explore these 10 features of the World Cup to help kids understand more about the tournament and the world.

10. The Sport

Soccer starts conversations and establishes connections all over the globe. Whether your child is already a fan or is new to the sport, the World Cup is an opportunity to learn more about the beautiful game. Mommy Maestra and Delightful Children’s Books have lists of soccer books for children.

9. The Countries

Each team playing in the World Cup is a country waiting to be explored. This map from Activity Village is an excellent place to start. Use these articles organized by country to learn more. Look for a new post on each country, each time its team plays! This World Soccer Cup 2014 Activity Pack also has great materials to help children learn more about the 32 participating teams.

8. The Mascots

Each World Cup since 1966 has had an official mascot. These cartoon characters are a fun way for kids to see where the tournament has been played. The designs show a typical feature of the host country, such as a costume or animal.

The mascot for 2014 is Fuleco. He is a Brazilian three-banded armadillo, an endangered species found only in Brazil. Fuleco has his own website, and even has a Twitter account where he shares kid-friendly information about the World Cup in English and Portuguese.

Ideas for using the World Cup for summer learning.

7. The Songs

Each Fifa World Cup has one official anthem and several other songs used to promote the event. The anthem is usually in several languages including English, the official language of the host country and Spanish. In addition to being a fun way to practice language, the songs introduce kids to artists from different nations.

The 2014 official song is We Are One (Olé Olá) by Pitbull and featuring Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte of Brazil. The song is part of One Love, One Rhythm: The 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Album.

6. The Ball

Learning about how the soccer ball has evolved gives kids a glimpse into the history of the game. Read the about the ways the ball has changed.

In addition, each World Cup has an official ball that you can read about on Soccer Ball World. This fun 30-second video shows the evolution of the World Cup ball from 1966 to Brazuca, the official ball in Brazil.

5. The Players

World Cup players will capture the hearts of children and teach them about much more than soccer. Players share their feelings about winning and losing, fitness and what they value. Kids can read an interview with Lionel Messi in Time for Kids and a 24-hour food diary by Uruguayan player Diego Forlan. They can also read player anti-discrimination interviews with both men and women that FiFa has collected as part of an anti-racism and anti-discrimination campaign.

4. The Languages

The World Cup offers language learning opportunities for children of all ages and levels. Beginners can practice numbers with scores and statistics, days of the week with a schedule in the target language and pronunciation with players’ names. More advanced students can read biographies of players on the team web site and watch player interviews on YouTube. You can adapt these ideas for learning Spanish with the World Cup to any language.

3. The Host – Brazil

From amazing animals to soccer stars, Brazil has everything to capture a child’s imagination. The Embassy of Brazil in London has many resources to teach kids about Brazil. Be sure to check out the activities under Brazil in the Primary School Fact Sheets and Brazil for Kids, a 24-page copyright free publication. National Geographic Kids is also a good place to start to explore this vast country.

2. The Games

Countries, individuals, languages and cultures come together each time two teams face each other in a World Cup match. The games are a chance to talk about the different elements, and above all, the sport. Undoubtedly your child will have questions as she watches. Follow her lead and learn together as you look for information. You can find the complete schedule here.

1. The Big Picture  

The World Cup is a natural springboard for talking to kids about the shared human experience and the challenges that face us as global citizens. Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff said in her welcome, the 2014 World Cup will “be the Cup for peace and against racism, the Cup for inclusion and against all forms of discrimination, the Cup for tolerance, for dialogue, for understanding and for sustainability.”

Help your child learn about global concerns by reading about initiatives like the One World Futbol Project and The Homeless World Cup. FiFa also has a variety of social responsibility projects. There is an Anti-Racism Project with player interviews and a campaign where kids can send in a selfie with #SayNoToRacism banner (a random selection will be shown before the quarter finals). In conjunction with Sony, there is a photo contest for young photographers. Learn more about the contest and follow the link in the article to vote for your favorite picture.

Be sure to follow our World Cup for Kids board on Pinterest:


Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Agência Brasil under Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Brasil

schoolsout-2ndannual-button-500This post is part of the School’s Out! Top 10 Summer Blog Hop organized by This Reading Mama.  For a full list of all the amazing posts in this series, visit the main page.  Be sure to check out Top 10 Ways to Travel the World Without Leaving Home and Top 10 Tips for a Road Trip with Kids.

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World Cup: Introducing ball skills

With the FIFA World Cup kicking off in just 42 days, footy fever is mounting in our house. This year we are blessed to have two teams to cheer on from the sidelines, Australia and Croatia. They are both (thankfully) in different groups and with any luck they’ll both be in the final.  As exciting as that is, the very best part of the World Cup in our family is that its perfect timing to begin teaching our toddler how to kick a ball, and perhaps even shoot a few goals of his own.

Introducing ball skills, or any forms sports for that matter to children are great ways to help children form social skills like sharing, taking turns, following directions and being a good sportsman. Having such a big sports event like the FIFA World Cup as a focus in the house provides a focus for staying active to keep their little bodies (and ours) fit and healthy, all the while having fun out in the sunshine and developing coordination skills.

world cup mkb

How to introduce football to kids

Its important to think about how old your child is, and keep the activity age appropriate, while also encouraging them to push into a new skills set. Here are some fun ways to bring football to your children.

  • Head into your own yard and and help your child get comfortable with kicking the ball when no one else is watching. Show them how it’s done and be encouraging, even if they miss.
  • If you have a toddler, a regular size football, even a children’s one will be too heavy to kick. Try finding a small beach ball or similar to use. This way they won’t be discouraged.
  • Head to your local park with your football and take turns kicking the ball back and forth with your child.

world cup soccer ball

  • Encourage your children to play with other kids at the park, making sure they each take turns.
  • Ask your child to kick the ball in different directions, and to practice using the left and right legs.
  • Once they’ve mastered the basics of kicking, set up a few cones or similar and practice kicking between the two objects. Something like a garbage bin or some big rocks will do the trick!
  • For smaller kids, you could use a pop out tunnels (like the ones used for cats) and place the ball and one end and ask your child to kick the ball through to the other side.


  • If football is something that your child is enjoying, you may want to think about purchasing childrens goal set.
  • For some kids not touching the ball will be hard to resist. Make up games to help then just use their feet – hand in the pockets always works a treat.
  • For older children, watch the World Cup matches together and talk about what they see and how they can implement what they see.
  • For extra fun, why not learn new words in different languages. Goal or ball for instance.

                       Goal                Ball

Dutch             doelpunt         bal

Finnish           maali               pallo

French           but                  ballon

German         Tor                  Ball

Italian            goal/rete         pallone

Latvian          vārti               bumba

Moroccan     gol                 korra

Portuguese   gol                 bola

Spanish         gol                 pelota/balon

Swedish        mål                 boll

Welsh            gôl                  pêl


Whatever you decide to do, have fun! Give lots of praise and hugs and kisses whenever they hit the ball or score a goal.

Enjoy the World Cup!

CTD LOGOAuthor: SJ Begonja from Chasing the Donkey. SJ is an Australian expat who packed her very typical life & shifted it along with her Croatian Husband and Son to rebuild the old house they inherited in Croatia. She blogs about raising a bi-lingual child, travelling in Croatia.

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World Cup for Kids - Multicultural Kid Blogs
You can read more from our World Cup for Kids series. You can also follow our World Cup for Kids boards on Pinterest.
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Making Meaningful Connections with Kids through Sports – Pennies of Time {World Cup for Kids}

We are excited for the World Cup coming up in June! Sports events like this are a great way to connect more with family and friends, share camaraderie (or even friendly competition), and create opportunities to learn about different countries and cultures.

Sports events inspire action in many different ways from gathering together to watch the matches and creating opportunities for all of us to learn more about the sport.  Our family loves attending sporting events with our friends!

As a mom of boys, I am on the look-out for ways to meaningfully connect with my kids.  I have found that actively participating in sports with them has been fun, a way to build relationships with them, and a way to reinforce lifelong skills like:  sportsmanship, discipline, and listening.

Here are some ideas to use with your family while we all wait for the World Cup to begin in June:

1.  Invite your family and neighbors to have a Warm-up Party for the World Cup.  Create the opportunity for others to share their favorite sport, team, special skills, or silliest story while on the field.  The adults and older kids can teach the group favorite tricks or tips for their favorite sport.  (I really enjoy learning pitching tips from my husband and it is really cool when Mom can pitch the ball correctly.)

2.  Hold “World Cup” matches in your backyard or at a nearby field with small teams or partners representing the countries going to the World Cup.  Teams can wear the country’s colors and shout-out cheers in the countries national language.   

3.  If you don’t have enough people to do pull together a whole team for a match, then make it simple with challenges like:

    • Who can dribble the ball back and forth with their partner the fastest?  
    • Who can kick a ball into the goal from the furthest distance?
    • Who can juggle the ball the longest?
    • Get the kids involved with designing the challenges together.  

4.  Get outside and play games with your kids!

Connecting with children in a positive way 
through sports in our families AND our communities is important.  

Here are four organizations that support and making meaningful connection through sports in communities. 

Street Child World Cup gathers children that are from the streets, homeless children, and children that may have a home at night but fend for themselves on the streets during the day and create teams.  The teams compete against teams from other countries . . . but it is more than a set of matches.  Art, advocacy, training, and giving voice to this globally voiceless group of children come together through efforts from the Street Child World Cup.  Go see the video on their site.  Use the work that they are doing to teach your own children about issues related to homelessness.  I know I will be.  Read the FAQs for the organization.

Pick Up the Ball provides information and resources for projects, outreach, and grants
for communities in the US to build better facilities and provide equipment so that members of the community have places to play pickup basketball.

Girls on the Run was started years ago by a professional Triathlete who struggled with self image as a young woman. It now has non-profit chapters all over the US. It’s comprised of a 10-12 week long program that includes lessons on self-image, taking care of yourself, along with running drills and games.  At the end of the program, all the girls participate in a 5K race.

Right to Play is an international organizations founded by an Olympian. It is
active in 20 countries focused on bringing sports and play to all children.  Right to Play provides volunteer coaches, trains junior coaches, supports the development of playgrounds and fields for games in communities, and work to fulfill their mission: “We help children learn through play.”

Want to get some trivia going about The World Cup?2014 World Cup Group Sets by Sports Illustrated Kids

Quiz Your Noodle: FIFA World Cup by National Geographic

Click the image below to read of our series on World Cup for Kids!  You can also follow our World Cup for Kids board on Pinterest!
Sheila began her career in education by working with children and continues to serve as an advocate for children that are at-risk.  She has taught in a variety of settings from a classroom in small town Texas to a psychiatric unit in Chicago. She is the mother of two young boys and is the voice of Pennies of Time where she shares the adventures of serving with her two young boys.  You can see more of what they do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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World Cup for Kids: Photo Contest Winner!

And we have a winner!

Congratulations to Becky of La Famille Brown for submitting the winning photo in our World Cup for Kids photo contest!  Her photo “Small Kids, Giant Ball!” was an overwhelming favorite with the judges.

worldcupkids - La Famille BrownIt was a favorite among readers as well, tying for their top spot with our overall runner-up, this wonderful photo from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes.

DTWTSECongratulations to you both!  As the winner, the photo from La Famille Brown will be made into the logo for our series.  Look for more about World Cup for Kids coming soon, including a post tomorrow from Dad’s the Way I Like It!

World Cup for Kids - Multicultural Kid Blogs


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