Happy Chinese New Year! (Gung Hay Fat Choy!)

China’s most important and longest festival, Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and welcomes spring with 15 days of festivities. It’s the middle of winter here in the Pacific Northwest but Chinese New Year is still the perfect opportunity to introduce our kids to the rich traditions of this ancient culture.

Books are always our favorite starting place. The best ones we’ve found so far are Lin Yi’s Lantern, My First Chinese New Year, and The Pet Dragon  READ MORE

Making Wishes

From blowing fluffy dandelion seeds in Ireland to wishing on a fallen eyelash in Mexico, cultures worldwide project their hopes and dreams into the universe with unique and wonderful wishing traditions.

Explore More:  Beautifully illustrated by Elisa Kleven (known for her award-winning Paper Princess series), playful images dance across the pages of Wish, a delightful collection of wishing traditions from around the world.

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Best Gifts for Kids: Think Outside the Toy Box

Transformers, Legos and Little Ponies are on the top of my kids’ Christmas lists and Santa will bring a few brand-name toys this year but I’m also seeking gifts that my kids haven’t thought of yet. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest toy marketing but here are some of what I think are the best gifts for kids to spark your imagination (and your child’s) to try something new. READ MORE

A Swedish St. Lucia Celebration

We celebrate the Festival of St. Lucia every December 13 with our Swedish friends, bringing light to the darkness of winter with candles, music, and fun. Experiences like these are precious for teaching my children about the world and respecting other cultures.

To create your own Lucia Fest you’ll need a Lucia Candle Crown, plenty of Glögg, pepparkakor, Lussekatts, and risgrynsgrot (plus a good Swedish cookbook to learn how these delicious treats are made). READ MORE

Global Connections: Diwali

In honor of Diwali, India’s festival of light, and to enhance our feelings of connection to the rest of the world,  we made Rangolis today. ‘Rangoli,’ a Sanskrit word meaning creative expression through color, is the art of drawing beautiful patterns on the floor, typically using colored powder. READ MORE