Welcome to the next edition in our Gift Guide Series! Today we’re going to take you on a trip around the world with our cultural gift guide for kids and adults! By their very nature, children are curious about what’s out in the big, wide, world, so let’s fire their curiosity up and help them learn about the world.
If you haven’t seen our other gift guides on Educational Gifts and Movies, Games, & Apps (each has multiple giveaways!) please do go check them out for great gift ideas, and lots of giveaways, too! (Please note that this post contains affiliate links)
Issun Boshi: The One Inch Boy
Issun Boshi: The One Inch Boy by Icinori is is a beautiful story about a boy, a boy only one inch tall who, when he has ‘grown up’ goes on an adventure into the world. Although he is small, Issun Boshi is happy with his size and is full of self-confidence and will not be swayed by those wanting to take advantage of him; even standing up to an ogre.
After reaching the city he finds himself with a job of entertaining a nobleman’s daughter. As she grew, Issun Boshi found himself wanting not to be bigger, but not wanting to be so small anymore, as he found himself growing fond of this girl.
One day the ogre makes another appearance, stealing the girl and swallowing Issun Boshi! Issun Boshi is angered and fights the ogre from the inside…and when he escapes he has possession of the ogre’s magic hammer and he grows into a handsome but angry man, of whom the ogre is now afraid. But this is only the beginning of the story between Issun Boshi and the girl…
I love this story! Tristan has always been on the small side, and although most of the time he can find many positives about it, there are times that he does wish he was taller. Having a book around the house that has a small, kind, strong, handsome hero as the main character is a wonderful thing.
Be true to yourself is the main lesson in this story, which is just what I try to impress upon my children. Even when you feel the pressure from others, do what you know is right and you will go far.
Essential Book of Origami
Take your paper folding to the next level with LaFosse and Alexander’s Essential Book of Origami! Follow the step-by-step guide and watch the included DVD that contains 4 hours of instructions (this is what I was looking forward to – sometimes you just need to see something done to really understand it).
Learn some new techniques such as dancing with the paper (folding in the air), wet folding, making duo-sided paper, make modular, multi-piece creations, and even learn about selling what you’ve folded!
With so many things to learn in order to up my game of origami, it’s going to take me some time to work through all of this information, but I’m looking forward to the challenge to see what the children and I can accomplish. Who knows, maybe by next year we’ll have our own table at the community centre craft fair?!
100 Tips For Traveling With Kids in Europe
Thinking about a family trip to Europe or know someone who dreams of it? This little book is jam-packed with tips and ideas for every step of planning and enjoying a European family vacation. Topics include designing a kid-friendly itinerary, booking fun and interesting lodging, choosing the best ways to get around, packing light, saving money, enjoying the airplane ride, staying safe, and immersing the family in the many cultures of Europe.
From the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Spain to the Hay Festival in Wales; from Eyjafjallajokull to the Jungfraujoch; from musical street buskers to the Mona Lisa; and from cricket to Calcio Storico, this book is about finding culture, adventure, education, and great food across the European continent.
For an authentic kid-perspective, the book also includes over 70 photos taken by kids in Europe. Just flip through and see the trip through a young tourist’s eyes.
Please hop over to read a guest post written by Ashley Steel about 5 Tips for Making Traveling with Kids in Europe Fun, Educational, and Easy.
Tuttle Gift Wrapping Papers
Tuttle Publishing has a range of groovy and beautiful gift wrapping papers, just perfect for wrapping up your multicultural gifts for friends and family…if you think you can spare to share these elegant papers! There are 12 sheets (18″x24″) in each booklet, as well as a little history and meaning on each of the designs.
Give your recipient a little hint of what is thoughtfully wrapped within; they’ll hardly want to tear open the package and wreck the beauty. Take your time learning a little cultural history and match just the right paper to the gift to show you really care.
These gorgeous papers work for anytime of the year, and for more than just wrapping! Get creative and use them in art designs and crafts. Use the information included and incorporate them into a homeschool lesson when learning about the area your papers are from.
A cultural gift guide wouldn’t be complete at Christmas without including Daria’s Songs For Merry Multicultural Mirth. This will be our forth year enjoying this album, and it’s one of our favourites. There are 5 songs included, from around the world and sung with feeling by Daria herself.
- Ocho Kandelikas
- Feliz Navidad
- Oh, Dreydl
- Ihr Kinderlein Kommet
- A Rockin’ Jingle Bells
Learning songs from around the world is lots of fun for kids, and it’s made easier for us adults when the lyrics are printed out and put up on the wall so the whole family can learn the words together. I do hope I’m not the only one to admit that I’ve heard most of these songs before, but I didn’t know ‘proper’ words to them! Oh how we can mangle lyrics; it happens a lot in English songs, so it’s inevitable in foreign songs.
Play this in the car for some festive cheer, or use it in a daycare or homeschool setting and add in a little learning about the countries from where the songs originate and they’ll mean even more to the children as they grow up.
When someone mentions The Nutcracker to you, what do you think of? Do you think of a bowl of nuts and a silver-coloured gizmo to open them? Or do you think of sugarplum fairies, toy soldiers, and a little girl named Clara? Of course it’s the second option, and Maestro Classics has just this month added The Nutcracker to their classical music library for children.
Once again, Maestro Classics have produced a top-rate product. Our entire family have enjoyed listening to this album for the past year. Anyone who hasn’t seen The Nutcracker, or who would like to learn more about it will learn from this album. Although this is traditionally a Christmas title, the music can be enjoyed at any time of the year, so don’t be surprised if you pass by and hear the sound of Russian Dance floating out our windows in the middle of the summer.
You can read our full review here.
The Illustrated Atlas of Architeture and Marvelous Monuments
The Illustrated Atlas of Architeture and Marvelous Monuments by Sarah Tavernier and Alexandre Verhille is an oversized-hard covered book that wouldn’t work any other way. There is so much fun information contained within to keep any child (or indeed, adult) busy for hours. This atlas covers 5 continents and 80 countries, showing man-made architecture at its finest around the world.
I’ve been known to see a picture in nature, a building, or event and design a trip around that location. This book will inspire children to do the same. My children may not remember, but they did see the progression of the Titanic Experience building in Belfast each time we drove past on our way into the city. And they’ve seen the Spire in Dublin. Now they can learn little facts about them – how long did they take to build? Why were they built?
Rather than photographs of the architectural designs, there are simplified illustrations. Next year I’m going to work this book into our geography and cultural lessons and the children can find photographs of the structures online, or even in our own collection of photographs and postcards. I wonder how many we can find that are in this atlas? What a fun project!