Sep
2
2015

New York for Kids!

New York City Skyline

Explore the Big Apple with Your Family

New York is a giant concrete playground for both kids and adults. While bedtime may get in the way of fully experiencing the “City That Never Sleeps,” little ones can take a bite out of the Big Apple with these activities. Check out our 7 favorite destinations to enjoy with the kids!

Alice in Wonderland Statue in Central Park

Central Park

An 843-acre bucolic wonderland, Central Park should be your first stop when you’re traveling with kids. Play on the giant bronze Alice in Wonderland statue, look for butterflies in the Shakespeare Garden, or have a picnic on the Great Lawn. A spin on the old-fashioned carousel and a boat ride on the lake are also guaranteed to create fond vacation memories. Be sure to stop by the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre for a puppet show that will capture your children’s imaginations.

Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Kids marvel at the size of the Statue of Liberty, which the people of France gifted to the U.S. in 1886. The ferry ride alone is worth the trip. As you cruise away from Battery Park, you can catch excellent views of lower Manhattan. If you want to visit the statue’s pedestal or crown—and who wouldn’t?—be sure to reserve advanced tickets. Your ferry ticket includes access to Ellis Island, where you can teach little ones about what coming to America was once like. More than 12 million immigrants landed on the island between 1892 and 1954.

Bald Eagle in Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo

Venture to another borough with a visit to the Bronx Zoo. Its newly transformed Children’s Zoo features a giant anteater, squirrel monkeys, sloths, and the world’s smallest deer species. Other animal highlights include snow leopards, Congo gorillas, and bald eagles. Plan your outing to coincide with the sea lion or penguin feedings, and make time for a show at the 4-D theater or a camel ride in Wild Asia Plaza.

T-rex Exhibition in American Museum of Natural History

Museums

Kids won’t even notice that they’re learning at one of New York’s amazing museums! Check out dinosaur fossils, including a fierce T. rex, at the American Museum of Natural History; see Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night and Andy Warhol’s soup cans at the Museum of Modern Art; and discover an ancient Egyptian temple at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which also provides a special family map. If you venture across the East River, stop by the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, where kids can play in mini shops modeled after ones you would find in the borough and see animals from the neighborhood.

View from Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock

Most visitors make the Empire State Building their priority for getting a bird’s-eye view of Manhattan. But heading to Rockefeller Center is actually the smartest thing to do. At Top of the Rock, you can take in stunning panoramas that include the iconic Empire State. Buy the Sun & Stars ticket to see the city in all its glory with two trips to the observation deck—one during the day and one at night. In the winter, go for an ice-skating session at the famous Rockefeller Center rink afterward.

Coney Island

Old-school fun awaits at Coney Island, located on the southwestern edge of Brooklyn facing the Atlantic Ocean. This amusement area features more than 50 rides and attractions. You’ll find everything from an arcade and bumper cars to a circus sideshow and a classic wooden roller coaster. Cool down with a swim at Brighton Beach or a stroll on the boardwalk. All that activity is sure to work up an appetite, and luckily, there’s no shortage of dining options. Perhaps the most well known is Nathan’s Famous, home of the annual Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest.

Dylan’s Candy Bar

Started by Dylan Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s daughter, Dylan’s Candy Bar has become an icon among Manhattan confection shops. Made famous by celebrity parents like Madonna, Michelle Obama, and Katie Holmes, the three-story flagship on the Upper East Side features over-the-top candy displays and more than 7,000 treats, including gummy bears, chocolate-covered pretzels, and nostalgic sweets. Stop at the Candy Café and order s’mores or an indulgent dessert like the Breakfast of Champions, a chocolate chip waffle topped with salted caramel ice cream and chocolate-covered marshmallows.

Check out more kid-friendly destinations below!

4 Great European Cities for Families!

Exploring Australia and New Zealand with Kids

Aug
20
2015

Back to School Around the World

It’s that time of year again when the kids head back to school! Check out our back to school round-up of popular posts that will help you ease your way out of summer and into the school year.

Kids love seeing what other kids around the world eat for lunch and how they celebrate the first day of school. Plus, learn about a fun school activity that will inspire kids to learn new languages!

School Lunches From Around The World

Visit four different countries and see what yummy food the school kids eat every day!

 

 

 

 

Learning Languages in the Classroom

Becky Morales of Kid World Citizen has a fun way to get kids excited about learning languages and world cultures in the classroom.  Read on to see examples of her creative idea!

 

 

Back to School Traditions Around the World!

Here’s a look at what students in four different countries are doing to prepare for a new year of learning!

 

 

 

Have you entered the Ultimate Back to School Sweepstakes? Enter here!

Aug
19
2015

Camp Explorer: 6 Week Roundup

We have concluded our 6-week Camp Explorer series. Check out any recipes, games, or activities you may have missed below!

Week 1: Make Pan de Campo

Week 2: Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Week 3: Free Constellation Activity Sheet for Kids

Week 4: Camp Indoors with a DIY Campfire!

Week 5 : Download our Free Coloring Sheets for Kids!

Week 6: Art of the Spooky Story

Aug
19
2015

Learning Languages in the Classroom

Becky Morales of Kid World Citizen has a fun way to get kids excited about learning languages and world cultures in the classroom. Read on to see examples of her creative idea!

As a teacher and as a mom, I’m always looking for ways to deepen learning, and to expose my kids to the world beyond our doors. Here’s a fun idea to introduce your kids to world languages and encourage global citizenship!

In my children’s school, we start the year with a “Meet the Teacher” event, where students and their families can come and explore the school together. This year, I
wanted to attract a diverse group of people to volunteer for our International Club, so I created a sign: ”Can you say FRIEND in another language?”

Our little table in the cafeteria attracted both students and their parents, who stopped by to write down how they say “friend” in their language, or a language that they have learned. As people visited, I talked to each of them about our International Club and asked them to leave their email if they were interested in helping out. The response was tremendous! Close to 200 families left their emails, and we collected the word “friend” in about 25 languages! Learn some of them below:

Przyjaciel – Polish

Amigo – Spanish/Portuguese

Arkados – Turkish

Prijatelj – Serbian

Ami – French

Kaibigan – Tagalog

Vriend – Dutch

Mitra- Hindi

Nanpar – Tamil

Péngyǒu – Chinese

Learning how to say “friend” (or “peace,” “love,” “hello,” or any word you choose) in different languages  is a great way to get children thinking about the world and other cultures. This activity can be done  in many ways, such as interviewing families, friends, neighbors, or doing some research online.

Once you’ve collected the words, creating  a fun way to display them can act as a reminder that kids around the world have different ways of expressing the same ideas. Schools that create a hallway exhibit can demonstrate that they are accepting of students regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or native language.

As kids pass the displays (whether at home or at school), you will find them trying to pronounce the different words and even trying out their new vocabulary with native speakers. One great memory happened minutes after hanging our “peace” display; a shy child smiled and pointed at the Urdu sign and said, “That one is mine! I say it like that!”

Becky Morales  is a mom of 5, teacher, and creator of Kid World Citizen, where she shares activities that ‘help young minds go global.’  With a BA in Spanish Education, an MA in Teaching ESL, and an MA in School Counseling, Becky has always focused on cross-cultural communication, and integrating cultural lessons into her teaching.


Aug
19
2015

Back to School Bento Box!

Our Blog Ambassador, Wendy Copley, is one creative mom! Even with two boys, she finds time to cook, write, and craft, and the artistic juices don’t stop there. Every day, she packs creative and healthy lunches for her sons with themes ranging from holidays to cute critters. Wendy has created a back to school spread just for Little Passports! Read on for her step-by-step instructions.

Celebrate the first day of school with this cute and creative lunch for your child. Lots of fun touches will inspire them to keep working on their ABC’s and 123′s long after the mid-day break has ended!

Ingredients:

  • yellow watermelon (cantaloupe would work well too)
  • carrots
  • sandwich bread
  • ham
  • cheddar cheese slices
  • condiments
  • number (or alphabet) cookies

Equipment 

  • divided lunch box
  • bus cookie cutter/stamper
  • paring knife
  • vegetable peeler
  • black food-safe marker
  • small alphabet cutters

Putting it together:

Cut a 3/4 inch slice from a small yellow watermelon. Use the outer portion of the bus cutter to cut two bus shapes.

Stamp a bus design onto the melon with the inner stamping portion of the bus cutter.

Cut the rest of the watermelon slice into chunks, put them in a single layer in the lunch box and place the decorated pieces of melon on top of them.

Next we are going to make carrot pencils. Cut a few carrots to fit inside one of remaining sections of the lunch box. I used yellow ones from a bag of rainbow carrots that I found at my local supermarket, because I thought they looked especially pencil-ish. But orange carrots would work fine, too!

Use the peeler to cut flat surfaces the length of the carrots. I found it worked best if I went over each section two or three times.

Use the paring knife to cut the tips of the carrots into a cone shape that resembles the tip of a pencil.

Finally, color the sharpened tip of the carrot with the black food-safe marker to make it look like a pencil lead.

Repeat with the remaining carrots and add them to the lunch box.

Next we’re going to make a quick “white board” sandwich. Back in my day, all the classrooms had black boards, but that’s totally retro at my kids’ school. Now all the rooms are equipped with white boards and colorful markers!

Cut a couple slices of white sandwich bread into a rectangle. This is mostly a matter of cutting the crusts off. If you are worried about the food waste, you can throw the crusts into a zip-top bag and put it in the freezer to make bread crumbs with later.

Assemble the sandwich using the ham, a slice of cheese and any condiments you’d like, and put the sandwich in the largest section of the lunch box. Use the alphabet cutters to cut out “ABC” and “XYZ” (or any other message you’d like), then put a dab of mayo or mustard on the back of each one and attach them to the top of the sandwich.

Tip: If you have trouble getting the cheese out of the tiny cutters, you can ease it out gently with the tip of a toothpick.

Finally, add a few cookies shaped like numbers to the last section of the lunch box, and you’re done!

 

Want to see more posts from Wendy? Check out below!

Valentine’s Day Bento Box!

Creative Lunches for Kids with a French Twist!

About Wendy Copley:

After receiving her first bento box as a Christmas gift, Wendy’s love of crafting unique and eye-catching lunches took off. Ever since, she has perfected her style and continues to make tasty bento boxes every day. This March, she released her book,  Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go which is full of tutorials on how to make your own creative lunches at home! Check out more of her healthy lunch ideas: http://wendolonia.com