Apr
16
2014

Earth Day Activity: Seed Paper Globes

Spread the word about Earth Day with this fun craft project. Create Seed Paper Globes that you can give to friends and family on their own, or use them to make a card. The globes can be planted right in the ground, and then watch the flowers grow!

Seed Paper Globes

What You Will Need

  • 5-6 pieces of recycled paper
  • Food coloring (alternatively, use colored paper)
  • Seeds (small, thin seeds work best)
  • Biscuit cutter
  • Piece of screen material or a splatter screen
  • Cooling rack

Instructions

  1. Rip the pieces of paper into small bits and place into bowls. You’ll need one bowl for each color you want to use. For the globes, we used one bowl for blue and one smaller bowl for green.
  2. Add warm water and mix well so all of the paper is soaked.
  3. Add a few drops of the food coloring, as desired. (Alternatively, you can use colored paper and simply add warm water.)
  4. Let the paper soak in the water for 3-5 hours, or overnight.
  5. When the paper is well soaked, mix the paper into a pulp using a hand mixer (with an adult's help!), and then drain any excess water. Leave enough water to make sure the paper is very moist!
  6. Add your seeds to the pulp and mix by hand. Very small flower seeds, such as snapdragons or sweet William, work well. You could also use carrot seeds if you prefer to create an edible garden!
  7. Put the piece of screen material over the cooling rack. Place the biscuit cutter on the screen. Spoon some of the blue pulp into the center of the biscuit cutter and press down to fill the circle. Press and spread the mixture to make a uniform thickness of about ¼” thick. Add some ‘continents’ by pressing green pulp bits on top.
  8. Leave the screen in a warm spot and let dry for about 24 hours day. Next to a sunny window is best. If after 24 hours you find your globes aren’t completely dry, a hair dryer can help speed things along – but have an adult help!
  9. When your globes are completely dry, carefully remove them from the screen. Now, you can share them as is, or paste them on construction paper or cardstock to create an Earth Day card. Our crafter has made these into cards with important Earth Day tips, such as “If you are not using the light turn it off" and "Don't leave the water running when brushing your teeth.”

Apr
9
2014

It’s Nearly Time to Celebrate Passover!

The Jewish holiday of Passover begins April 14 at sunset and continues until the night of April 22. This important holiday commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people in Ancient Egypt.

 

We asked Little Passports Content Writer, Stephanie, to share this fun memory about Passover!

 


Hide the Matzah

Growing up, my best friend was Jewish. Her family would share their Jewish traditions with my family and we’d share our Christian traditions with them!

They’d help decorate our Christmas tree and we’d watch them light their Hanukkah menorah. They’d come over to dye Easter eggs and we’d go to their house for Passover. One of my favorite memories of these shared traditions was the year I found the hidden matzah at Passover.

Matzah is the unleavened bread (bread that doesn’t rise) eaten by people of the Jewish faith throughout the eight days of Passover. On the night of the Passover Seder, which takes place on the first night of Passover, a piece of matzah is broken in half.  The larger half, called the afikomen, is wrapped in a napkin and hidden for the children to find. The child that finds the hidden matzah gets money or a piece of candy for a reward. When the wrapped piece of matzah is brought back to the table, it is broken up so that everyone gets a piece to eat. The word afikomen comes from the Greek word for “dessert,” and this particular piece of matzah is called afikomen because it is the last bit of food eaten at the Seder (like dessert would be).

This particular year at my friend’s house, all the kids were looking around the living room for the afikomen, and I was trying to think where such a thin, flat package could be hidden. My eyes roamed around the walls and suddenly I saw the wrapped matzah peeping out from behind a picture frame. To this day, I don’t remember what reward I got for finding the matzah, I just remember being so excited and proud to bring the afikomen back to the table to help close the Seder.

Will you or your friends be celebrating Passover this year?

 

Apr
4
2014

Make Your Own Recycled Tin-Can-Robot!

Build Your Own Recycled Tin-Can-Robot!

What You Will Need

  • Tin can (clean, with label removed)
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Strong disk magnets
  • Electrical tape
  • Recycled items for decoration, such as old lids and caps, wire, bolts, keys, and other hardware
  • Scissors
  • Pipe Cleaner (optional)

Instructions

  1. First, have an adult clean the can and make sure there are no sharp edges! Use electrical tape to cover edges, as needed.
  2. Assemble items to decorate your Tin-Can-Robot, such as washer eyes or a bracket nose. Get creative!
  3. Have an adult glue the items to the strong disk magnets using the hot glue gun.
  4. Does your Tin-Can-Robot have a bright idea? How about a light bulb hat?
  5. Use the electrical tape, if desired, to add features or decoration.
  6. Use the pipe cleaner to add hair, robot arms or other features. Have an adult help with the hot glue gun!
  7. Bleep-Bleep-Bloop! Now you have a Tin-Can-Robot!

Apr
3
2014

Celebrate Earth Day with Little Passports!

Earth Day is coming up on Tuesday, April 22! All month long, people around the world will gather in their communities to celebrate.

Here at Little Passports we know that global adventure wouldn’t be possible without a globe to explore. It’s up to each of us to learn about our planet and help to keep it healthy. It should be no surprise, then, that Earth Day is one of our favorite holidays.

In light of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit Southeast Asia in 2013, young people in the Philippines are holding a convention called “Sulong! Power Shift Pilipinas.” “Sulong” means “forward” in the Filipino language of Tagalog. They want everyone in the Philippines to talk to their friends, neighbors and leaders about using sustainable energy sources instead of fossil fuels like gas, coal and oil.

Sustainable energy sources can replenish themselves (such as wind and water) and have a lesser impact on the environment.  There are many Earth Day celebrations around the world which focus on helping cities switch to these types of energy sources and becoming ““green” cities.

In Kenya, they are organizing a number of “green-city” events such as city cleanups and tree planting ceremonies at schools. In Uganda, they will hold special raffles, football matches and competitions to bring awareness to conservation projects in the country.

The Saskatchewan Environmental Society in Canada is holding the “25 Acts of Energy Conservation” campaign. They are challenging people at home and in schools to take 25 steps to save energy and water and to reduce waste. In an effort to help people stay on track, the society will be posting daily tips. They are even holding a contest for the top 25 acts!

In the United States, schools celebrate Earth Day by planting trees, cleaning public parks and creating public awareness about ways we can keep the Earth healthy. Here are a few simple ways Sam and Sofia try to keep Earth clean.

  • Reduce – use less electricity and water
  • Reuse – use things like aluminum bottles to carry drinking water instead of buying plastic bottles
  • Recycle – dispose of paper and plastic in “recyclable” baskets so they can be made into new things using less energy

 

What will your school or community be doing to celebrate Earth Day this year?

 

Apr
2
2014

Meet the Little Passports Team

To continue our Birthday Celebration, we want to show you what happens behind the scenes at Little Passports. Learn about the amazing team members who help make Little Passports happen!

 

Karen, Senior Operations Manager

Q:Tell us a little bit about yourself.  

I’m Karen and I’m the Senior Operations Manager at Little Passports. In a nutshell, my job at Little Passports is to work with all teams to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the backend so that our customers can have a great experience with us. One of the things I love about working at Little Passports is that I get to work with a great group of people; we work hard but always find time to share a good laugh.  I’m a firm believer of having fun at your job!

Growing up in Asia, my parents took us everywhere so my siblings and I were afforded many opportunities to travel both in and around Asia and North America. Ever since I could remember, I have always loved going places and seeing new things — so much in fact that, my dream job as a child was to become a flight attendant! One of my earliest travel-related memories though, was of a family trip to a “small world” themed park where we got to see world famous landmarks such as the Buckingham Palace, the Great Pyramids and the Taj Mahal.  Although we didn’t actually go to these places, I have many happy memories of “traveling the world”!

My siblings and I standing in front of the “Great Pyramids” of Egypt

The Great Wall of China – taken on a study abroad program

Sara, Affiliate & Content Manager

Q: Tell us about your most memorable travel destination.

The milford track in New Zealand’s South Island is one of the world’s most famous nature hikes and one of my favorite travel destinations!  It is a 4 day, 3 night trek from Te Anau in the Fiordland National Park to the Milford Sound.  The number of people allowed to hike this trek each year is very limited to ensure the conservation of the land.  The scenery is spectacular and the land so unspoiled that you can drink from the rivers!  I hope to take my kids there one day and hope that it remains as unspoiled as it is today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robyn, Director of Marketing

Going for a scenic hike in the Swiss Alps.

Q:Where did you grow up? 

Robyn: I grew up in the southwestern US, and road trips were a big part of each summer. We would hit the road and travel to state parks, museums and fun western spots like Dodge City, playing car games along the way. Here I am (at left) at about 5 years old with my family during a stop at Four Corners Monument. I thought it was so great that we were standing in four states all at once!

 

Travel is still a big part of my life, and I especially love getting outside and hiking. I now have an 18-month old daughter and I’m excited to start making fun vacation memories with her!

Gabe, Product & Creative Content Manager

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Gabe:  I manage creative content here at Little Passports, which means I spend my days helping Sam and Sofia share their stories and adventures. I come from a bit of an eclectic background–I have experience in entertainment, nonprofits, and education–but there’s a thread running through all of my work: storytelling.

When I was a kid, my desire to travel ballooned from the books I read and the movies I watched. I wanted to see the world because my favorite stories gave me a taste of everything out there waiting for me. As a writer for Little Passports, I want to give children that same gift. I want to ignite in them that same curiosity, that same desire to explore. What job could be better?

Q: What is your most memorable travel experience?

Gabe:  Last year, I traveled to Uganda. It was one of the most enriching travel experiences of my life thus far. I’ve never been to a more beautiful place. We spent most of our time in Gulu, where we reunited with old friends, wandered their villages and met their families. We did some adventuring (whitewater rafting on the Nile, anyone?), but my favorite memories are still the unexpected ones. When your bus breaks down three times in the middle of “the bush,” you make friends with the unexpected!

  On the way to a meeting outside Gulu, Uganda.

 

Business meeting/dance party in Gulu, Uganda.

 Be sure to check in weekly to meet more members of our team!