Riz Bi Haleeb: Lebanese Rice Pudding

It is a great opportunity to publish the last post of 2017 on a happy note! You know I like making things for children and with children, and I have published over the years some nice recipes.

I was going over my posts and drafts and realized I had one that never got published due to some strange glitches. It was supposed to be a part of Christmas in Different Lands 2016  – the annual series hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs. So since it never made it, you can learn now how to make Riz Bi Haleeb – Lebanese Rice Pudding, – and have a nice dessert for your New Year’s Eve party/dinner! And check out at the end all the posts that were shared in the series this year!

Wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2018! May your families be blessed and safe!

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Christmas is a huge holiday in Lebanon, where the Christian population is big enough, and  the country is heavily influence by Europe.

One of the traditional Christmas desserts served in Lebanon is Meghali – rice flour, cardamom and anis pudding. I hope to try making it one day. But for today I would like to share with you a different dessert, an even simpler version of which my mother-in-law used to make during the period the Baha’i Fasting month. It is called Riz Bi Haleeb (Rice in Milk. Or Milk Rice).

Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked rice

2 cups of milk

2-3 T of sugar

1 tsp of vanilla essence

Nuts for decoration (optional)

Method:

Mix 1,5 cups of milk in a pot with sugar. Add rice. Put on low fire and keep stirring.  When the milk is almost evaporated, add vanilla and the remaining milk. Cook for some time until the rice is completely soft and mushy.

Place the pudding in small bowls and decorate with nuts. Serve warm.

This pudding makes a very quick dessert for any occasion and would be a great addition to your Christmas table, too!

Christmas in Different Lands 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to our fifth annual Christmas in Different Lands series! This year each participating blogger will focus on a different country, sharing a traditional dish and more about Christmas in that country. For even more glimpses of global Christmas celebrations, see our series from previous years (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016) plus follow our Christmas board on Pinterest!

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Christmas Around the World on Pinterest.

December 1


Lisa Lewis, MD on Multicultural Kid Blogs: A Lebanese Christmas Celebration

December 6


Let the Journey Begin: Celebrating Nikolaus in Germany

December 7


Lou Messugo: Christmas Traditions in Provence, France

December 8


All Done Monkey: DIY Philippine Christmas Star Ornament

December 11


Crafty Moms Share: Christmas in Bangladesh

December 12


Raising a Trilingual Child: Italian Christmas Decorations

December 13


Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Christmas in Puerto Rico

December 15


The Good Long Road on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Christmas in Bethlehem

December 21


Gianna the Great: Choctaw Christmas

December 22


American Mom in Bourdeaux: France

 

 

Celebrate Christmas Around the World Printable Pack from Multicultural Kid Blogs

Don’t miss our other posts about Christmas in different lands, plus our printable pack Celebrate Christmas Around the World, on sale now!

Aromatherapy Amulet For The Baby

Life in the South of China teaches me new things every day. 

For example, I have recently found out that local Guangdong residents make a small hand-stiched amulet for the baby, which is attached to the back of the child’s clothes. It is mostly made with a red piece of cloth. Some people told me there is something inside from a temple – I guessed it was some kind of writing that is supposed to protect the child from harm.

Now coming to the title of my post today. This amulet gave an idea that I could create lovely gifts for my friends who have babies – Aromatherapy Amulet for the Baby.  Instead of a protective writing, it would have a piece of cotton inside and a drop of safe for babies oil could be applied. This amulet can be easily made together with your older children! 

What you will need:

A piece of cloth 

Some cotton

A needle and a thread

A safety pin

Scissors

How to make it:

1. Cut a square shaped piece of cloth (yes, it is a rectangle in the photo. It became a square later!)

2. Stitch along the edge, following the shape of the cloth, with a single stitch. When done, pull slightly by the thread to gather the cloth together. 

3. Fill in the cloth with cotton and pull together. Secured the ends by stitching through them few more stitches. 

4. Open the safety pin and stitch over the non-moving part to attach the amulet to it. Secure the amulet. Close the pin. You have your amulet!

For a young baby not many oils are recommended to use. But such oils as Lavender and Roman Chamomile are my oils on the go with tiny ones. One drop on the amulet and the soothing smell with accompany your little one throughout the day. 

You don’t need to keep the pin on the baby, it can be placed near the crib, and in the pram. Either way, it will be a nice thoughtful handmade gift along with one of the oils to share with your friends. 

Today is the last day of wonderful series – 10 Days of Kid-Made Christmas . Hop over to other blogs who posted today by clicking the links below. 

The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Castle View Academy

Christmas Tree Tassel Decoration

Christmas was not celebrated much in USSR where I grew up. And even now, it is celebrated in January, based on Orthodox Christian calendar. 

Yet, celebrating New Year meant decorating the tree in December, preparing frozen goods, and having the same excitement and anticipation as people around the world have for Christmas. 

If you click on the link above, you will read all about unusual Christmas/New Year’s decorations we put on our trees. I remember clearly at some point we had curtain tassels hanging on our trees!

So today, to commemorate my childhood, I am going to show you how to make DIY Christmas tree Tassels Decoration. It is quick and your kids will have fun. Good thing? You can always use them later on your curtains!

What you will need:

A piece of cardboard

Scissors

White and colorful thread (ours is shiny!)

A needle

Instructions:

1. Draw and cut out a circle from your cardboard.

2. Using the white thread, secure it and roll over in all directions on the circle. Add the colourful thread. Roll as thick as you want your tassel.

3. Secure the ends. Now, using the needle with a thread, go under the treads on one side and secure the middle. 

4. Cut the threads on the other side and tighten the thread you used with the needle. Now you have just a bunch of threads tied up together!

5.  Adjust the treads to look like a tassel, and using white or colorful thread, roll over to decorate the tip which will keep the threads down. 

6. Now make a knot on which the tassel will hang, and cut the ends of the thread to even it out. Voilà!

These tassels will also make great decorations to put around the house!

Every year bloggers of Kid Blogger Network get together to celebrate Christmas and bring you some fun ideas for decorations!

Hop over to Mama Miss to see what other decorations the bloggers have made for you!

Check out other bloggers who posted on the same day with me:


 Rainy Day Mum

Preschool Powol Packets

My Bright Firefly

Happy Brown House

Castle View Academy

The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Schooling Active Monkeys

The Mama Workshop

Plaited Foot Keepsake & Holder

When I was little and went over summer to visit my grandma, my favourite time pass was making plaited with lace foot/shoe holders. In the original method you must use laced ribbon and needle and a thread to stitch everything together. 

So today I want to share with you a variation of my childhood gifts that I made for everyone in the family: Plaited Foot Keepsake & Holder. 

You will need:

– cardboard or cereal box

– marker

– scissors

– gift wrapping ribbons 

– double-sided tape

– hole puncher

How to make your keepsake:

1. Trace your child’s foot on the cardboard. For older children (over 2) you can let them trace by themselves. Cut it out. 

2. Make the top for the keepsake – similar cresent shape. Cut it out. 

3. Now use double sides tape to secure few vertical pieces of ribbon across the foot. Do the same for the horizontal pieces. 

4. Now following the collage, plait them over each other. Repeat with the cresent shaped top.

5. Using double-sided tape, tape some more ribbon on the other side of the sole. 

6. To connect both parts and make a shoes, use the stapler. Or you can stitch them together, too. 

7. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole at the top and put a thread through. 


Your keepsake is ready! And you can use it as a candy holder, too. For Christmas you can use it instead of a stocking! And it will make a lovely gift as well. 

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Please join us for making lovely Kid-Made gift Ideas. Every year several bloggers join together for this amazing project hosted by Teach Me Mommy! Hop over to  Landing Page to see what you have missed and what is coming up!

Play Dough and Paper Plate Wreath

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Christmas is such a beautiful time for children. Whether it fits their cultural believes or not, the magic of the holiday finds its way into the children’s hearts and gets them excited about the festivities.

This year Kid Blogger Network bloggers gather yet again to give you 10 days of a Kid-Made Christmas: Ornaments Inspired by Books, hosted by Mama Miss. Check out my post on Christmas Lantern from last year before I go onto introducing a new craft!

In my ESL classes I try incorporating many things: phonics, elements of reading, writing, craft and more. It has now become a tradition that we read a book or a part of a book at the end of our class.

We were going through a book called Christmas is the New House.

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When children saw the picture of Wreath being hung, they became curious.

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And as I tried explaining what it is, the idea of a simple wreath craft came to my mind: Play dough and Paper Plate Wreath.

Materials needed:

One paper plate
Play dough of favorite color (even though the wreath is isually green, I let children use their imagination)
Assorted beans
Clear contact paper (optional – to preserve the craft)

How to make it:

1. Cut out the middle of the paper plate, leaving just the rim of the plate. Keep it for some other craft! (I love upcycling!)

2. Have the children take pieces of play dough and spread them over the rim, pressing firmly so it doesn’t easily fall off.

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3. Using beans, decorate the wreath.

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4. If you want the wreath to last – use contact paper to stick over the craft and secure on the side that has no play dough to preserve. You can decorate it with a bow as well. In my experience preserved this way play dough keeps fresh for at least 3-4 months and then still stays while drying up for another few months.

Voilà, you have these pretty wreaths!

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As an option, and to make a bigger size wreath, you can cut it out of the cardboard and also add more things, like, leaves and twigs besides beans to decorated over the play dough.

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Join us for the remaining days of 10 days of a Kid-Made Christmas! And check out already posted ornaments!
Link up below your favorite and relevant posts!

Merry Christmas!


   

    An InLinkz Link-up

   

Christmas Decorations Around the World {Christmas in Different Lands}

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I think it was mid-November this year when Christmas decorations started coming up around Zhuhai. And Christmas Carols are heard. And Starbuck’s Toffee Nut Latte was back to the menu…

Every year Multicultural Kid Blogs orgsnizes Christmas around the World series. This year we decided to get creative and introduce various Christmas related themes and objects as they are around the world. I got – Christmas Decorations!

Since I was a  child, decorating Christmas tree (even if we didn’t celebrate Christmas in Soviet Union) was sometimes magical. Putting up everything up, hanging garlands. Shops and offices would hang out posters, pictures etc.

Nowadays, we like to explore different places that decorate for Christmas and they are gorgeous!

Take a look at these pictures of Christmas trees taken by my friend Mark in Hong Kong!

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So, first let me quickly summarize what Christmas decorations are there (they are pretty much the same!). And then, share with you what they looks like around the world.

1. Christmas Tree:

They come in all sizes and shapes. In some places until now people cut them down from the forests. In others – people use plastic ones.

Here is a beautiful tree which was just put up in Dulwich College, Zhuhai, China.

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2. Christmas Plants and Wreaths:

Holly, misletoe, poisettia and ivy are the plans people place in their houses besides Christmas trees.

Wreaths are traditionally made of  real or fake conifer branches. But nowadays, they are made of so many other things!

This is an adorable wreath craft from Mama Smiles.

3. Outdoor Decorations:

It is traditional to decorate your house (if you live in one) outside and around with lights, sleighs, snowmen, Nativity scenes and anything that comes to mind and is associated with Christmas.

Here’s a beautifully decorated house that belongs to my friend Jay, in North America.

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4.  Stockings, candy canes, garlands, candles and angels.

Stockings are not a very common decoration for Christmas in Russia. In general, Russian Christmas decorations are slightly different – no candy canes, no stockings, no wreaths. But there are always some beautiful lights, garlands and candles.

This is a Christmas tree in my mom’s home several years ago – originally shared over at Red Ted Art

Check out how Christmas is decorated and celebrated by several MKB bloggers in other countries!

Alternative Christmas Trees by the piri-piri lexicon

Christmas in Finland by Multilingual Parenting

Christmas in Germany by La Cité de Vents

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This is our third year doing our Christmas in Different Lands series, and we couldn’t be more excited!  It is always fun to learn more about Christmas traditions around the world, so stay tuned as bloggers share holiday fun from different lands.  For even more glimpses of global Christmas celebrations, see our series from previous years (2013 and 2014), plus follow MKB Christmas board on Pinterest!

ABC Cookies For All Seasons

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This is the 3rd post in Fun Ways to Play with ABC’s – Seasonal ABC’s – hosted by Something 2 Offer.

The following activity is very hands-on, easy and… Tasty! The children don’t only practice their language skills but also work on fine motor skills, hand – eye coordination, focus; develop their creativity and gain sensory experience (texture and taste).

You can find the recipe for Sugar Cookies here.

The idea is very simple: make the dough, roll it, let the children make letters out of the dough, bake them and eat them!

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Be prepared for the letters to be absolutely imperfect and more over when the cookies are baking, the expand all sorts of ways! But it is still fun!

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You can choose to decorate the cookies with simple icing for special occasions, like, Christmas, Ayyam-i-Ha and other holidays.

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Please stop by the Sensory ABC’s landing page for more ideas!

Making Christmas Traditions in China

Last year MKB had a very successful Christmas In Different Lands series, so naturally, this year we decided to create one more! It has now because MKB’s tradition to ask various multicultural blogs to participate and share how this big holiday is celebrated around the globe. The following post is a part of Christmas in Different Land 2014 Series!
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I have already written about Christmas in China and I have also mentioned that as Baha’is we don’t view Christmas the same way the others do. Nevertheless, we are not against this holiday as it has integrated in many cultures not as a religious holiday anymore but also in a way to have fun and enjoy time. This is the case in China: Christmas is not a public holiday, however you will see so many beautiful decorations all over and parties, especially for kids.
As an English teacher and a foreigners I am often asked to help facilitate a Christmas activity. Recently I was teaching a class on baking Christmas cookies!
XMAS1
We have also learned that in the area where we live once a year expats gather on 24th afternoon for a Holiday cheer and share snacks and socialize.
Since just as every expat we learned to build our own traditions, I thought I could share some thoughts and quotes by other expats and local friends who live here and celebrate Christmas in China:
1. Putting up  a Christmas tree is easy – they are available around Christmas all over the place, even in small towns. But if not – taobao.com  (local web, similar to amazon) will have it all for you1
2. Inviting friends over or spending time with the family is a great way to bond. Chinese are very fond of foreign holidays so they will gladly partake in festivities.
3. Attend local Christmas parties and events: they can get loud but nevertheless they are festive and fun! There are always great promotions around Christmas too.
4. Don’t have high expectations and learn to adapt: it is never “like back home” because it is a completely different place. But you can still get the best out of it since the whole holiday spirit is a state of your mind!
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Here are a few quotes from local expats:
“For us, we celebrate Christmas day in the office/factory, working (if it falls on a workweek). Sadly, Christmas day isn’t a holiday here. That’s why whenever possible, we take a vacation leave to our home land to celebrate Christmas there. But whenever we are left here in China, we celebrate it with co-Filipino families. We either prepare homecook meals or we dine out in restaurants with special Christmas menus. In Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the Filipino community holds a yearly Christmas Party (usually held just before the others have their Christmas vacation)” – M.R, Philippines.
“Go to church at Hong Kong or Macau, back Zhuhai dinner with some friends.. if anyone want celebrate together are welcome” – H.J
“Depends if hubby can get the day off work, but generally we spend it the same way as we would in the UK with family, presents and a BIG CHRISTMAS DINNER YUM!” – C.T., UK (Wales)
“In Christmas eve we will send apple to each other ,because Christians eve in Chinese is “ping an ye” and apple is “ping guo”- ZHY, China
“Family and friends together for dinner and a fun game of present swapping/stealing game!”- J. L, USA
“For me growing up Christmas was all about tradition! So it’s exciting now trying to recreate some of that w/ my own family. We bake cookies to leave for Santa tonight and for M to take to work. Then tomorrow my hubby makes a seafood stew. He is SO proud of his recipe. After some time In Australia we’ve adopted Boxing Day now too and of course as Christians we celebrate the real reason for Christmas by acknowledging and showing gratitude for Christ’s birth.  Unfortunately no church service here for us, but we will share the story with [our son] and give God the joy.” – S.G, USA
“On 23rd we bake cookies, then we have family dinner on 24th and open presents on 25th! It is not like back home as there is no snow, but it is still magical” – S.T, USA

 

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To learn more about Christmas in other countries, please click on the picture above!
I wish you Happy Holidays and I hope you get the most out of them!

Celebrate Christmas Around the World {Activity Pack Review}

I had a wonderful opportunity to review Christmas Around the World Activity Pack created by members of Multicultural Kid Blogs Community. It is now being on sale!
Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of this activity pack in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own. 
Xmas-cover
There are 6 countries introduced in the pack: Brazil, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Philippines and Sweden.
It is very attractive and filled with beautiful yet simple illustrations. The activities are appropriate for children from 2 years old up. And they certainly can help making the recipes!
The instructions and descriptions are very clear. You don’t really need to see the final product to know what it will look or taste like! And it was nice to see the variety of activities: from printable DIYs, to crosswords and a review of what you’ve learned at the end.
sample
And, of course, I liked Christmas vocabulary from few different countries are introduced: even if the children never study those languages, the words will remain somewhere in their memory and make their multicultural and multilingual experience much more interesting! We don’t really celebrate Christmas but as a part of cultural exposure this is a great resource for families like ours or for ESL students who don’t have the first hand experience with Christmas.
I highly recommend this activity pack if you are looking to introduce your children or students to the ways Christmas is celebrated in 6 different countries through basic information about these countries, traditions, activities and recipes. It could be a great family project for Christmas holidays, too!

Celebrate Christmas Around the World {Activity Pack Review}

I had a wonderful opportunity to review Christmas Around the World Activity Pack created by members of Multicultural Kid Blogs Community. It is now being on sale!
Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of this activity pack in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own. 
Xmas-cover
There are 6 countries introduced in the pack: Brazil, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Philippines and Sweden.
It is very attractive and filled with beautiful yet simple illustrations. The activities are appropriate for children from 2 years old up. And they certainly can help making the recipes!
The instructions and descriptions are very clear. You don’t really need to see the final product to know what it will look or taste like! And it was nice to see the variety of activities: from printable DIYs, to crosswords and a review of what you’ve learned at the end.
sample
And, of course, I liked Christmas vocabulary from few different countries are introduced: even if the children never study those languages, the words will remain somewhere in their memory and make their multicultural and multilingual experience much more interesting! We don’t really celebrate Christmas but as a part of cultural exposure this is a great resource for families like ours or for ESL students who don’t have the first hand experience with Christmas.
I highly recommend this activity pack if you are looking to introduce your children or students to the ways Christmas is celebrated in 6 different countries through basic information about these countries, traditions, activities and recipes. It could be a great family project for Christmas holidays, too!