In time for World Peace Day next week (Sept. 21), we took a pretend trip around the world at our second weekend book club meeting. If we want a peaceful world for our children, we must help them to be agents of peace and cultivate an attitude of inquiry, exploration, understanding. Children Around the World by Donata Montanari provides a simple, age appropriate, relatable way for very young children to begin appreciating a variety of international cultures. This was one of our more involved meetings, but every parent who participated brought some of the items used so that dispersed the responsibility.
We began our trip around the world by picking up a pretend passport for each child and a brown paper bag, “suitcase” for any “souvenirs” the kids gathered along the way. I found these ADORABLE passport cover templates HERE on A Happy Adventure blog. These were perfect for our little “travelers.” I just stapled a plan piece of paper, the same size as the cover, inside.
(Click on any photo in this post to enlarge.)
After we read the book introduction, we hopped on our “planes” and “flew” around the world!
We simply read the description of each country as we went along.
Our first stop? The Philippines, where we fished in the ocean like the child and his father in our book! We reused the fishing poles and fish templates with paperclips from our One Fish, Two Fish meeting.
After we stopped at each country in the book, the kids got a stamp in their passports.
Then we “flew” to Tanzania and collected some hair beads like those discussed in the book.
Next, we headed to China and found each child’s Chinese sign.
A stuffed animal “petting zoo” awaited us in “Australia,” where we pet a koala, a kangaroo, a wombat, and a sheep (all mentioned in the book, of course). We also fed pretend carrots to a horse puppet like the Australian child in the book.
In Canada, the climate was a bit “colder” so we bundled up in hats, scarves, and gloves! It actually was a bit chilly outside so you may notice that some of the kids kept these on throughout the rest of the meeting!
We then headed to Morocco, where we drank mint tea and ate nut cookies. These were actually the least “authentic” part of the trip (so please forgive me) because I didn’t have a chance to make or find authentic moroccan cookies, but we did use a nut cookie and another anise flavored cookie since I read that anise is a commonly used spice in moroccan cookies.
We then stop briefly back in the United States where we played a little basketball.
Then, we were off to India to “shop” for fabric (scraps) like those sold at a market by the character’s mother in the book.
In Japan, we ate sushi made by one of the moms in our group (unfortunately, we didn’t get a good picture, but it was delicious) and looked at a book with Manga.
When we stopped in Greece, we ate Feta cheese and tomatoes.
By the time we got to Bolivia, we were ready for a little dance party to Bolivian music.
Finally, we ended our trip in Mexico (slightly out of order of the book, but we wanted to end with this stop for logistical purposes). Here we ate tortillas homemade by another parent in our group, beans, and salsa. After a long trip, we were hungry, so this was a filling snack to end our travels!
We hope that we not only inspired little future travelers, but also planted seeds of hope for a peaceful future!