Apr
26
2016

Introducing our Classroom Subscription!

Little Passports has made it easy for teachers to integrate a World Edition subscription into their curriculum. We are very excited to introduce the Classroom Subscription and digital Teacher Guides!

Calling All Teachers!

Your students can explore a new country together each month with their pen pals Sam & Sofia! Discover and discuss new cultures through monthly letters, souvenirs, activity pages and more. Our engaging materials reinforce geography, reading and problem-solving skills. Plus, our digital Teacher Guides will help you integrate each month’s lesson with 10+ pages of engagement activities, bonus content, vocabulary, pop quizzes and printables.

The Classroom Subscription includes:

 

  • * 6-Month World Edition subscription
  • * 30 individual passports
  • * 30 individual passport sticker sets
  • * Access to 6 digital teacher guides


Click here to learn more.

Take a closer look at our subscription materials and peek inside our Teacher Guides!

World Edition Subscription

Discover a new country each month with pen pals Sam & Sofia! Packages include letters, fun souvenirs, activity sheets, stickers, photos and more, plus access to the Boarding Zone for more online games.

It’s a fun way to learn about geography and cultures around the world, right from your classroom. Learn More.

Egypt

Do your students know that the ancient Egyptian alphabet consisted of about 700 hieroglyphs? They’ll learn this and more with our Egypt Teacher Guide! Explore the ancient culture of Egypt with 9 suggested classroom activities, links to Nubian folk music, 18 new vocabulary words and more. Click here to see a sample.

France

Take a trip to France and visit Paris, where your students can build their own Eiffel Tower with marshmallows and spaghetti noodles. Not into architecture? Have your students attempt their own Impressionist drawings or paintings inspired by painters like Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro. Click here to see a sample.

Students will also explore Japan, Australia and Brazil! It’s the perfect classroom tool to get kids excited to learn about the world.

Click here to learn more about our Classroom Subscription and download the complete Teacher Guides here.

Apr
13
2016

Edible Science Experiment for Kids!

Contributed by Amanda Shaw

Make Your Own Edible Geode!

Kids are natural scientists. From babyhood, in fact, they are always putting hypotheses to the test. “When I throw my spoon on the floor, I think Mommy will pick it up. I’ll test it!” Or, “When I get too close to the stairs, Daddy will pick me up. I’ll test it!” As they grow older, it’s no different. They are always testing and learning.

Channel that scientific curiosity by making your own geodes in a fun kitchen experiment!

What is a geode?

A geode is a round or oval-shaped rock that’s plain on the outside but lined with beautiful crystals on the inside. Ask your child to imagine how such a rock could form. After a few guesses, you can explain that geodes form in rocks that are hollow. When air gets trapped inside volcanic rock, for example, a bubble can form. Or, a hollow can be left inside rock when the remains of an animal burrow or tree roots decompose. As water moves through the bubble, crystals form and over millions of years, these crystals build upon each other.

You’re going to speed up the process and make your own geode! It will take you and your child less than a week from start to finish and each step of the experiment below takes less than ten minutes. Perfect for your little scientist’s attention span!

And in case you thought it couldn’t get any more exciting than that, let me tell you this: the geode you and your child are going to create will be edible! Oh yes, there’s chocolate involved.

Ready to start? Here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
food coloring (optional)
bowl
1 cup of flour
aluminum foil
white chocolate chips
milk or dark chocolate chips
sandwich cookies (like Oreo)

How to Make an Edible Geode

1. First, you need to make a supersaturated sugar solution. Mix three cups of sugar and one cup of water in a pan. At room temperature, that quantity of sugar will not dissolve in that quantity of water. But when you bring it to a boil for several minutes, stirring continuously, the sugar will dissolve. That’s your supersaturated solution. You can check if the solution is ready by bringing up a spoonful. If you can still see little bits of sugar floating around in it, it’s not ready. When the liquid is completely clear, you’re ready to go. At this point, you can add food coloring if you want a colored geode.

2. Next, take a medium-sized bowl and fill it halfway with flour. Take a large sheet of aluminum foil and shape it in the bowl, folding the edges of the foil over the edges of the bowl. Give it an irregular shape to make it look more like a rock, but not so many points and crevices that it will be difficult to peel the foil off later. Pour your supersaturated sugar solution into the bowl, cover it with another sheet of foil and let it sit on your counter for a couple days. 3. After two or three days, uncover the bowl and lift the foil out of the bowl. Pour the excess solution into another bowl and then carefully peel the aluminum foil off the rock candy crystals that have formed. Set this hardened candy bowl upside down on a paper towel and let it dry for another day.

4. Melt some white chocolate chips. You can do this in a double boiler on the stove or in the microwave, being careful to stir every fifteen seconds. Set your geode upside down on top of a glass and pour the chocolate over the top, using a spoon to spread it down over the edges. Let the chocolate harden a bit.

5. Next, melt the (milk or dark) chocolate chips. Pour this chocolate over the white chocolate, using a spoon to spread it down over the edges. Put a couple chocolate sandwich cookies into a bag and crush them. Sprinkle the crumbs over the chocolate before it sets to create a rough, rocky look. Let set and that’s it!

Now, you may enjoy your beautiful (and tasty) geode!

We hope you enjoy your edible experiment! We’d love to know what other kid-friendly science experiments you have done with your kids. Share in the comments below.

Looking for more activities to do with the kiddos? See below!

DIY Map Crafts for Kids!

Northern Lights Activity for Kids!

Amanda Shaw home-schools her three spirited children and blogs about their adventures at ALifeWorthLearning.com.

 

Mar
7
2016

St. Patrick’s Day Bento Box for Kids!

Contributed by Wendy Copley. 

Celebrate the luckiest day of the year by making a fun St. Patrick’s day lunch for your child! This bento box is packed with all the familiar symbols we see on March 17 — green foods, gold coins and a rainbow of healthy fruit.

Ingredients:
Sugar snap peas
Cream cheese (plain or veggie-flavored)
Spinach flavored tortilla
Small gold-colored crackers (cheese crackers, fish crackers, etc.)
Colorful fruit salad
Small candy wrapped in gold foil (peanut butter cup, gelt, etc.)

Equipment:
Medium shamrock cookie cutter
Divided lunch box (I used a Planetbox Rover for this lunch)

Here’s how you put this lucky lunch together:

Begin by chopping a small handful of sugar snap peas. They should be chopped fairly fine, but you want the pieces big enough to still be crunchy.

Mix the chopped sugar snaps into a big dollup of the cream cheese. The extra veggies will add flavor, crunch and a little more green to the lunch, but you can leave them out if you’re in a rush.

Use a cookie cutter to cut six shamrock shapes from the tortilla. You can save a little time by folding the tortilla in half and cutting through two layers at a time.

Spread the veggie cream cheese on three of the tortilla pieces, then top with the remaining cut-outs.

Add the sandwiches to the largest section of the lunch box.

Fill two of the other compartments in the box with another handful of snap peas and some small golden crackers to represent a pot of gold. Round crackers work best, but goldfish or cheese crackers look great too.

Now, it’s time to add a rainbow to this St. Patrick’s Day lunch! In the past, I’ve bought five or six different colors of fruit, each in a different color of the rainbow. This gives you a lot of control over the kinds of fruit you use, but it can get expensive! Recently I realized that most pre-cut fruit salads feature fruit in all colors of the rainbow so I’ve started buying those for the convenience and to save a few pennies.

Add watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, grapes and blueberries to the fourth section of the lunch box in rainbow order.

Finally, place one more piece of “gold” – a piece of candy wrapped in gold foil — in the smallest section of the box.

Everything is all set to send the meal off to school with your little leprechaun. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Learn more about Ireland with our World Edition!

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

Back to School 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

Mar
1
2016

4 Tips for Raising a Life-Long Reader

In honor of National Reading Month, we asked our friend Carson, a children’s librarian in Beaverton, Oregon to share some tips on how to raise a life-long reader. Check out her list below! 

March is National Reading Month in the USA! It is the perfect time to celebrate books and reading with your family. We all lead busy lives and it is often difficult to set aside time to just sit with a book. It has been proven that children who enjoy reading have greater success in school and so fostering a love of reading in your child should be a priority, just like eating your veggies.

In honor of National Reading Month I challenge you all to follow these simple tips and make reading and sharing books a part of your daily routine.

1. Choose books that your child enjoys reading.
This seems like a simple one but in reality a lot of adults struggle with this. We want our children to read the books that we loved as a child or books that we believe to be good literature or meet a prescribed reading level. Reading books should never be a chore for your child, it should be fun! If you have a reluctant reader on your hands try introducing them to comic books or non-fiction books. Making reading an enjoyable experience is the first step in raising a life-long reader. Still need help finding books your child is excited to read? Visit your local library and ask a librarian for recommendations.

2. Read to your child.
Children are NEVER too old to be read to. Reading to your child every night before bed becomes a special routine that they can count on. This is time when your child will have your undivided attention and they will treasure it. I still fondly remember the time my mom spent reading to me as a child. As your children get older try reading chapter books aloud. This special time spent together will stay with your child forever.

3. Encourage children to explore their interests through books.
So your child likes Minecraft? Visit the library together and check out all of the books about Minecraft or horses or LEGO or whatever their passion of the moment might be. The library is a fantastic place to find books on the subjects your child is eager to learn more about and also find new subjects to excite them. Even better, get excited right along with them! Help your child search for books and ask questions about what they are learning.

4. Enjoy reading yourself.
You are your child’s first and most important teacher. If your child sees that you enjoy reading for pleasure it will encourage them to love reading for pleasure. Find books that you love to read and regularly make time for yourself to sit down with a book. Happy reading!

Check out some of our favorite reads below!

Reading List: National Poetry Month

A Grandparents Day Reading List for Kids!

Carson is a children’s librarian in Beaverton, Oregon with a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.  Carson grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and moved to Oregon with her sister just over ten years ago. Books and reading have always played an important role in Carson’s life and she is grateful to have the opportunity to teach others to love books as well.

Feb
24
2016

8 Ways for Kids to Explore the World Through Music

This week, we are taking a look at how music can help connect kids with different cultures and help them learn about the wonderful traditions and languages of the world. We asked guest blogger Amanda Shaw, a writer and mom of three, to tell us how her family does it. Read on!

Exploring the World Through Music

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. Kids love music—and we adults do, too! For my family, there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t listen to music, either at home or in the car. Among the favorites in our rotation are several Putumayo Kids CDs and the compilation put together for the Early Explorers Music theme.


We also like to sing. Often, the arrival of a Little Passports package and the discovery of what country we’ll be learning about that month triggers a musical memory for me. Wouldn’t it be great if we could help our kids remember more about the countries they study by triggering their memories with music? It’s no wonder that catchy songs are so easy to remember. They use patterns of sounds—alliteration, assonance, repetition, melody and rhyme—that our brains latch onto. Our memory is often cued by a single word or phrase.


I love to help create those musical memories with my kids. They’re fun and they’re useful. By choosing upbeat songs that contain country or city names and useful tidbits of information, you can help your children not only get excited about what they’re learning but also remember more of it.

Here are my Top 8 favorite songs to help kids learn about the world. They’re guaranteed to have you and your kids breaking out into spontaneous song and dance.

Amanda’s Top 8 Picks

1. Turkey: Istanbul (not Constantinople)


You’ll have to practice to be able to sing this song at the right tempo, but once you get it, you won’t forget it. Besides being fun, it’s jam-packed with useful memory triggers. My kids remember that Istanbul is a city in, but not the capital of Turkey because of the chorus (that’s nobody’s business but the Turks) and also another line from the song (Turkish delight on a moonlit night). It also led us to talk more about life during the time of Constantinople.

2. England: England Swings – Roger Miller 

This catchy song is from the 60’s. It references well known London monuments, bobbies and derby hats. The repetition in the song and its singsong pace make it easy to learn.

3. Egypt: Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Who can resist striking the pose and strutting their stuff? Watch the music video at your discretion; it’s a mix of the 80’s rock band performing and funny scenes of ordinary people “walking like Egyptians”.

4. Australia: Waltzing Matilda

Waltzing Matilda is easy to sing and contains lots of Aussie slang to complement the terms your kids will learn in their Little Passports package.

5. Ireland: Tell Me Ma - Sham Rock 

This is a fun folk song! One of my favorite versions is sung by the Irish band Sham Rock who reference the city of Belfast.

6. Mexico: Mexico – James Taylor

James Taylor’s Mexico will have you and your kids thinking of hot, sunny skies. It’s the perfect song to listen to in the car while cruising to a park play date.

7. Canada: C-A-N-A-D-A - Stompin’ Tom

Stompin’ Tom is an iconic Canadian folk singer. Your kids will be spelling out Canada and remembering the country’s defining characteristics, from maple trees and snow to bobcats and wheat fields, with this catchy, feel-good tune.

8. Morocco: Marrakesh Express

Did you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express? We mumble through many of the lyrics of this song but sing the chorus loud and clear. Then we add our own verses by imagining what we might see. Someone inevitably mentions goats in the trees.

Did this list make you think of other popular songs with country or city names? There are countless songs to chose from to excite your kid about the world! Which ones will you choose?

Want to read more about learning with Music? See below!

Explore World Music with Preschoolers!

Amanda Shaw home-schools her three spirited children and blogs about their adventures at ALifeWorthLearning.com.

Dec
22
2015

A Holiday Letter from Amy & Stella!

Hello friends,

Over ten years ago, the two of us met at work. We quickly became best friends – opposites attracting – and made the decision to found a company together several years later. We tossed around different ideas, including some that drew on our backgrounds in jewelry or our love of makeup. In the end, we decided to build this company, Little Passports, to inspire children to learn about the world. We wanted to build something that would not just financially support our families, but also change the world for the better.

This year, more than any other year since we began in 2009, we are so proud of that decision. We made a commitment to build THIS business, which has now shipped over a million packages and delighted thousands of children. As we end a year that has been filled with uncertainty for many around the world, it is important to us that we continue to teach children a better understanding of that world and its many rich cultures.

The success we’ve had wouldn’t have been possible without our customers, each of whom decided to purchase a subscription and inspire a child to be a global citizen. For that, we thank you!

This holiday, we wish you and your families happiness, and a peaceful world in 2016 and beyond.

All our best,

Amy and Stella

Oct
26
2015

Halloween Science Activity for Kids!

Static Ghost Experiment

Costumes and candy? Been there, done that. This year put a little more trick than treat into your Halloween festivities. Teach the kiddos about positive and negative electrons with this simple science activity.

Supplies

 

What you need:

  • Scissors
  • Tissue
  • Tape
  • A balloon

 

 

 

 

Using your tissue paper cut out a ghost. (Tried tip: the smaller the ghost the better, we recommend about 2-3 inches max!)

Tape the tail end of the ghost to a hard surface.

Blow up your balloon and tie the end.

Rub the balloon on your head vigorously for about 10 seconds to build a static charge.

Hold the balloon just above the ghost, if your balloon has enough static charge the ghost will rise. BOO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How it works:

When you rub the balloon on your head electrons with a negative charge gather on the surface, those electrons have the power to pull a light object with a positive charge (such as the tissue ghost) toward them!

Looking for more spooky activities to do with the kiddos? See below!

Get Crafty this Día de los Muertos

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.


Jul
20
2015

Raising Global Citizens in Pakistan!

We love talking to moms around the world. We find it fascinating to learn about how families spend their days, and how it compares to what we have at home. It is also a great inspiration for thinking up new activities to do with the kiddos, or even a way to learn about kid-friendly destinations when planning our next vacation!

Each country and culture is filled with wonderful new adventures, so when guest blogger Zareen Rahman reached out about her kiddo’s adventures in Pakistan, we couldn’t wait to ask her a few questions!  Hear her story below.

Little Passports: What is it like to raise a famlily in Lahore, Pakistan?

Festival in Lahore

Zareen Rahman: Raising kids in Lahore is exciting and fun! Lahore is considered to be the heart of the country, often referred to as the city of gardens because of its lush greenery and historic gardens. Two common Lahori traits are that we are extremely family oriented and huge foodies! Naturally, most of our outings include getting together with extended family to cook, eat, and watch the little ones run around. When we aren’t gathering at each other’s homes, it is easy to find some sort of festivity happening, whether it be a food festival, a farmers market, or just stepping out to view the beautiful seasonal decorations around the city.

LP: What does a typical day out with the kids look like?

ZR: On a typical day out with my daughter, I have many things lined up for us. The Lahore zoo is definitely our favorite place to visit since we are both animal lovers. It also happens to be one of the oldest zoos in the world. It was established in 1872 as a small aviary, and today it houses about 1,381 animals! Along with the excitement of the many different animals, the Lahore Zoo is also filled with 1,280 trees of 71 species. When we get tired of walking around, we love to rest under the shade of an old tree and enjoy a snack.

There are also a number of parks for kids that include activities such as horseback riding, paddle boating and riding trains. However, since Lahore is on a plain, the weather is not always great. Our summer is long and dry which restricts a lot of outdoor activity. To cool off during the summer, we love to visit water parks that have wave machines and slides for kids.

LP: Whats has been your favorite kid-friendly place to visit in Pakistan?

Outpost Playground

ZR: My favorite kid-friendly place for my 2 year old is definitely my brother’s restaurant, Outpost. It’s a lovely outdoor space in a secluded neighborhood with huge empty grounds which makes the ambiance very rustic and peaceful. There is an large play area for kids that she absolutely loves to explore with her cousins. Some of her favorite things to do include jumping on the trampoline, climbing the jungle gym, and playing in the sand pit. Along with all the fun, she loves their food as well; she is definitely a little foodie in the making!

LP: As a mom, how do you encourage your kids to learn about the world and other cultures?

Wazir Khan Mosque, Pakistan.

ZR: My daughter will be turning two this August and she has just now started forming sentences on her own. We are finally at an age where I can take her out and share the culturally rich history of Lahore. Recently, my family and I visited old town Lahore, where you can see many different influences such as Mogul and British.

The second thing is traveling. There’s nothing more exciting than visiting a place with a culture so completely different to the ones that you’re used to, whether international or domestic. In fact, there are many different cultures represented in Pakistan that people aren’t aware of. There are places that I myself have never visited that tell tales of the past, and I would love for my daughter to know her own country well. Besides being so culturally affluent, the north of Pakistan is considered to be one of the most scenic places in the world. I definitely want her to be able to visit these places as much as she can.

Zareen Rahman is a stay at home mom from Lahore, Pakistan where she is raising her spirited daughter. On any given day you can catch her getting into new adventures with her toddler, running a household, working out at the gym or volunteering at her brother’s restaurant.

 

 

Loved this? Check out the rest of our Raising Global Citizens series below:

Raising Global Citizens in Paris!

Raising Global Citizens in Montreal!

Raising Global Citizens: A Mom on the Move!

 

Jun
22
2015

Traditional South Asian Clothing: Sari

What is a Sari?

Sofia picked up a sari on her visit to India!

A Sari is a traditional South Asian garment that can range from five to nine yards! It’s usually wrapped around the waist with the excess material draped over the shoulder. Typically, two long decorative borders run the length of the sari. Underneath the sari, a petticoat is worn and on top is a tight fitting blouse. Sari’s are available in a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, silk, satin and chiffon.  Some special occasion sari’s are even embroidered with real gold or silver thread!

Who wears Sari’s?

Women all around the world wear this beautiful 3-piece garment, but it is mainly worn by women in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka,  Nepal and Afghanistan.

When are Sari’s Worn?

It takes art and time to skillfully place each corner, border and pattern of a sari correctly. That’s why, today, women typically save the effort for  attending special occasions such as a traditional puja ceremony, a wedding, or a lavish party.  Silk saris are usually preferred for grand traditional occasions and are meant to portray poise and sophistication.

However, there also women who wear sari’s in their day to day life as it is perfect for the hot climates of South Asia. The drape bares the midriff and creates a breezy feel for the wearer.

 

Want to know more about South Asian culture? Click below!

Celebrate Diwali with a Delicious Recipe

Celebrate Holi with a Colorful Powder Recipe