Concentrating on Growing Closer in March

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I am a little late with my Monthly Blogging Goals post this month. Holidays, colds, repeat pneumonia in Mini Man and some more things that have kept me from posting regularly and fulfilling my goals.

This month I am going to work on our family growing closer. Getting closer to my children, especially miss T, who needs my attention now as ever.

Blogging also will help me concentrate on closeness as besides doing regular activities, it was always always fun for me and the kids to create special ones for sharing on the blog.

Here are some highlights of what I plan to do this month:

1. I am now working along with a friend on opening a bilingual play group for children under 3. It will be another source for sharing wondeful ideas and experiences. Mini Man will be coming along and spending time with other 9-10 kids in his age category. I don’t know whether it will work out in a long run, but we are trying and hoping for the best!

2. I will be in charge of picking miss T from school. This will result in me fulfilling my daily walking goals, plus, spending extra time bonding with her.

3. I will be leading a regular weekly moral/spiritual education class for miss T’s age group and she will be coming along. That will be another way to bond and yet another resource which will help me revive my Virtues Series.

4. I will be looking into spending more time with miss A. As a middle child, she is often gets dismissed this way or another. So more time is what we need with her one-on-one.

5. Spending time with my husband in the evenings is a great way to bond. We have been fortunate that our children fell into a routine of going to bed quite early (before 8-9pm) which gives us an opportunity to catch up with things and each other’s days.

These are my goals for March. What are yours?


   

    An InLinkz Link-up

   

My China Story {Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series}

 

 

 

 

 

Asian-Pacific 2015

This year several bloggers from Multicultural Kid Blogs Community have again gathered to commemorate Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month. While some of us don’t live in the US or not from there, we either have an Asian-Pacific background or reside in the region. 

Last year I shared with you a bit of my family’s background. And you do know I have been living in China for the past 14 years. Today I would like to honour Asian-Pacific heritage by sharing you a story – my China story.

Some time in 2001 I had a dear friend moving to China and telling me what an exciting place it was. She kept calling me and convincing that I should try and come here for at least a year. So I applied to various schools and long story short – I received an invitation to work for an educational company that published books (Little Dragon American English –  the program that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore), and sent teachers to kindergartens to teach. 

I remember how I felt going to the Chinese Embassy, getting my visa, getting my flight ticket and getting help from a bunch of supportive friends.

I remember landing in Chengdu, the first city I lived in. It was a little cold (end of November), but not the cold I was used to: it was humid and the cold would reach down to the depth of my bones and joints. Friends used to take us sometimes to local restaurants where I couldn’t eat the food: it was so full of chilli pepper that my mouth burnt for days if I ate at least something. Just as generous they were and treated us, they also soon understood my misery and would always order extra dishes for me that had no spices in them. They also took great interest in how everything was for me and one family used to invite me often to dinners at their house. They treated me with love and respect and made sure I was as comfortable as possible. This is how I first learned about big hearts Chinese have. 

I spent 3 months in Chengdu and then I moved onto Shenzhen – a big city in the South of China. It was the first time I tried sweet & sour sauce they made lots of food with. I really enjoyed living in Shenzhen- I made lovely friends and I worked in 2 beautiful kindergartens.

Harbin – a city in Heilongjiang. I lived there for a year teaching in kindergartens and learning the basics of Chinese language. Harbin belonged to Russia for a short period of time and since it is very close to Russian border in Far East, there are lots of Russians there working and studying and you can find Russian food and many older people still speak Russian pretty well!!!

My next city for a year and a half was Qingdao. I will always hold dear the time I spent in this coastal city. It is by far my most favorite city in China! The climate is not too humid, not too dry. The winter is also not too cold. But there is some mild snow. The city used to belong to Germany for a very short time and there is an older part of the city where you can find buildings built in Gothic style and the streets paved with stones. Beautiful!

After Qingdao I moved to Beijing. It was a city with a special character (which is not there much anymore – the city is still beautiful but the older structures have been replaced with new, modern and shiny ones). Beijing will always be special to me as that’s where my husband and I got married!

So, once I was done with my contract, I moved to Zhuhai, where I am residing now and where we are bringing up our 3 children. I have written about Zhuhai when participated in Neighbourhoods around the World Series.

So that’s just a summary. 

What have I learned so far about Chinese people? I believe Chinese people have very open hearts. They will treat you with love and respect as long as you are true and honest with them. I can’t say I have never encountered anyone here who is completely the opposite of what I said above. But overall and vast majority of people I met were kind and helpful. Even our best friends, people whom we can trust with all our lives, are Chinese.

This doesn’t really change when Chinese move abroad: they still follow their cultural trends, they try their best to bring children up with dignity and patience. Most of Chinese I know are hard-working people and very persistent in achieving their goals. 

I am grateful for China has brought me lots of experience, both professional and personal, and since this is where my family was born, it will always hold dear in my heart.

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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Multicultural Kid Blogs is excited to announce our second annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway! See our main page for a full schedule, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway below!

The giveaway starts Monday, May 4 and goes through Monday, June 1. Enter for a chance to win one of these amazing prizes!

Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series & Giveaway 2015 | Multicultural Kid BlogsThe Grand Prize Package includes:

Personal Tea Ceremony Gift Set from Gift a Feast
Includes everything you need to prepare and enjoy matcha, the tea served in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Enjoy being part of the journey of matcha tea from the temples of 12th century Buddhist monks to today! US shipping only

Calin Yang Doll from Pattycake Doll Company
For the parents of Multicultural, Biracial, Black or Asian children, finding that perfect doll used to be a challenge. But today all that has changed. Pattycake Doll Company is the recognized source for Black, Asian, Hispanic, Biracial, and Multicultural Dolls as well as Dolls for Boys, and donate 10% of profits to children’s charities. This month’s contest winner will receive the most popular Asian Baby Doll in the world – Calin Yang by Corolle.

Asian Kites from Tuttle Publishing
Kids will learn how to make colorful kites while exploring Asian culture and history with this easy-to-follow crafts for kids book.

All About Japan from Tuttle Publishing
2012 Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award Winner! A cultural adventure for kids, All About Japan offers a journey to a new place—and ways to bring it to life! Dive into stories, play some games from Japan, learn some Japanese songs.

Hello, Bali from Kids Yoga Stories
Say good day to the magical island of Bali through these energizing yoga poses for kids. Join one of the Yoga Kids, Anamika, as you surf like a surfer, dance like a Balinese dancer, and sit like a monkey. Included is a list of Kids Yoga Poses, Basic Indonesian phrases, and a Parent-Teacher Guide with tips on creating a successful yoga experience.

1st Prize Package

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series & Giveaway 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

The 1st Prize Package includes:

Udon Noodle Bowls from Uncommon Goods
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or lounging on the couch, this creation is ideal for udon, soup or stir-fry. A blend of a mug and a bowl, the handmade piece is contoured to fit snugly in the palm of your hand. Black lacquer bamboo chopsticks included. US Shipping only

Japanese House Architectural Blocks Set from HABA
One of the oldest cultures in the world also has one of the most beautiful forms of architecture. Complicated multi-tier roofs and ornate pagodas allow the builder to create temples, palaces or calming formal gardens. With this set your child can take their imagination on a trip to Japan in the safety of their own living room. US/Canada Shipping Only

All About Indonesia from Tuttle Publishing
A book for children that takes them on an adventure through one of the world’s largest and most culturally diverse countries. Along the way, kids are introduced to Indonesian culture and history, the food, the language, and the natural beauty of this fascinating country!

Fun with Asian Food from Tuttle Publishing
This Asian cookbook for kids contains fun and easy recipes that children will love to cook and dishes that even the pickiest eaters will savor!

Indian Children’s Favorite Stories from Tuttle Publishing
This colorfully illustrated multicultural children’s book presents Indian fairy tales and other folk stories—providing insight into a rich literary culture.

2nd Prize Package

second prize Collage

The 2nd Prize Package includes:

Sushi Slicing Play Set from Melissa & Doug
This elegant 24-piece wooden sushi play-food set is packed in a beautiful storage box and includes sliceable sushi rolls, shrimp, tuna, easy-use chopsticks, a cleaver and more. Sushi rolls make realistic chopping sounds when sliced! US/Canada Shipping Only

Countryside from Kevin So
An album filled with “heartfelt great songs, great singing and great playing…simply something you’ll love if you’re a fan of originality, melody, surprising lyrics and beautiful instrumentation, beautifully played.” Learn more about this artist and listen to samples of his work here.

Book from the Maui New Zealand series from Global Kids Oz
Enjoy a book of from this collection of New Zealand Maori Myths and Legends that every New Zealand child is brought up with in school!

Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella from Lee & Low
In the first English retelling of this ancient Cambodian tale, our heroine goes further, survives more, and has to conquer her own mortality to regain her rightful place. Angkat—child of ashes—endures great wrongs as she seeks to rise above the distresses caused by her own family. US Shipping only

Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose About Chinese Musical Instruments from Lee & Low
Including both flights of fancy and practical considerations, lively poems capture each child’s musical experience with a different Chinese instrument, while sidebars provide more information about each one. US Shipping only

Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story from Lee & Low
The incredible true story of the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award. US Shipping only

Juna’s Jar from Lee & Low
When her best friend moves away, Juna sets out to search for him with the help of a special jar. What Juna finds is that adventure—and new friends—can be found in the most unexpected places. US Shipping only

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow from Lee & Low
A powerful story of hope, recounting the little known tale of the art schools that offered moments of solace and self-expression to Japanese Americans in the US internment camps of World War II. US Shipping only

Enter for a Chance to Win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

October: Healthy Lung Month

Health Lung MonTH
I have recently been in communication with a wonderful lady, a Mesothelioma survivor, a mom and a blogger – Heather Von St. James. She shared her story with me and believe it or not, it was some interesting coincidence since I have a very close friend whose father is in the last days of this earthly life due to the same cancer Heather won a battle with.
This is how I came to know that October is nominated as Healthy Lung Month by Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. This month they are approaching bloggers around the world to raise awareness for lung health and I gladly decided to participate. Here is a great infographic  on general lung health and Mesothelioma (click to enlarge) :
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Growing up in a household with a father who smoked heavily, we have always been exposed to the second hand smoke. That didn’t stop me or my sister from trying our hand in this addictive habit. I was quite lucky to rid of it when I did – when I later read about the risks that second and third hand smoke cause, I have become very serious about not having myself, and down the road –  my family, exposed to it.
However, while there are some obvious “dangers” we can avoid, there are also elements in the nature and technology that can affect us gravely but the harm won’t be discovered until much later in life. Such is the Asbestos – a very poisonous mineral whose byproducts affect our lung lining. This exposure causes a very painful and very hard to treat cancer called Mesothelioma Cancer.  There are other risk factors that can cause Mesothelioma, however Asbestos is known to be the primary one.
I remember as a child we used to hang out A LOT at the construction sites. And play with materials there. So, as a matter of fact, I could possibly be exposed to this mineral as well if it was in fact used in those construction sites (I can only hope and pray I didn’t! It’s been close to 30 years ago and the length of latency is anywhere between 10 and 40 years!).
How can we, as parents, ensure the lung health in our children? Here are a few ideas I came up with after reading all the information in lung diseases and lung cancer:
1. By all means, do not allow your children to be in very close proximity to construction materials which might or definitely contain Asbestos. It refers to city constructions and shipyards.
2. If you works at a construction site or in the shipyard, take preventive measurements, such as wear masks, cover your skin and hair, change your clothes before going back home (since the elements tend to get stuck to those and you may inadvertently carry Asbestos byproducts back home to your loved ones!)
3. Avoid smoking and exposing yourself and your family to smoke.
4. If you live in areas with high air pollution, get an air purifier and avoid being outside during the days with heavy pollution (or wear masks!)
5. Air out your house from time to time. And keep it as dust free as possible.
6. Getting some plants, like aloe or cactus, will help with keeping the air in the house cleaner.
7. Go for full body checks at least once a year and keep an eye on getting strange and unusual symptoms.
8. Don’t delay going to the doctor if you or your children get sick. Diagnosis the disease and deciding on a course of treatment will help prevent complications.
9. Go out with your children, take them to grassy areas with trees, if possible. It will not only promote general health, but will also help them get in touch with the nature.
10. Swimming is know to help strengthen the lungs. Go swimming!
11. Exercise. Even a mild exercise and walking give you more chances for improving health.
I am sure there are many more preventive measures to ensure lung health you can list. So please, share them with me!
I wish you all health!

 

 

Special Guest Thursday: Super – Noche {Kid World Citizen}

Welcome to Special Guest Thursday!
When I first started blogging seriously I virtually met some incredible bloggers and even wrote guest posts for them. One of them is Becky of Kid World Citizen – a blog and an amazing source for everything in regard of raising global citizens. I was impressed how easy going Becky was and how multicultural and accepting her family was.
Today I am very happy to have her as a special Thursday guest. Being a mom of 5 she shares some insights on and importance of family traditions and how to organise a date night with children!

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Becky is the mom of 5 multicultural kids, an ESL teacher, author of The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners and founder of KidWorldCitizen.org. She is passionate about activities that teach kids cultural and global awareness, and shares them on TpT, facebook and twitter.

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Wherever I go, I am asked if I own a daycare or run a school. It could be because I have 5 kids (it’s only five though, we’re not as large as the  Duggar’s!)… or because the kids look like they are all almost the same age (our 9 year olds are 3 months apart and our 7 year olds are 1 month apart.. and we are fostering a baby boy). Probably though, it’s because our family has a mixture of cultures, and kids who are both biological and adopted, and it’s hard to believe: “they are all yours!?”

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When we were trudging through the immense amount of papers and social worker visits in order to be “approved” as an adoptive or foster family, we had to take hours of training on raising children. Due to the nature of adoption, our kids have been through traumas that have changed their little hearts and minds, in order to protect themselves.

The most important job of any parent is to surround our children with unconditional love, so they feel (and are) protected, attended to, accepted, and adored. Because the bonding process is intensified with kids who have lost the only family they have known, our training included ways to facilitate attachment, and to connect with our children. One of the most important ways to do so is to spend one-on-one time with each of your children, on a consistent basis- no screens, no phones, no interruptions.

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Agreeing that it’s necessary to give individual attention is one thing, but going through with it is the challenge- we’re all either working, hustling through chores, chauffeuring kids to sports and dance and violin, trying to get dinner on the table, helping with homework, etc. The list is endless! And yet- whether you are an adoptive family, whether you work inside the home, outside the home, whether you have 10 kids or a singleton, whether you’re a single parent, or you have grandparents nearby (well, then I’m really envious), – all of our kids can benefit from a little dedicated, individual attention.

One way our family has fun with this is to plan a“date night”— or as we call it in our house a “super-noche” (Spanish for “super night”).

We started off when the kids were little, as a way for either me or my husband to take one (or sometimes 2) of our kids on a special outing at night- sometimes even on  school night! Sometimes it’s dressing up and going out for ice cream or hot cider, other times it’s going to see a show, go on a long bike ride, or go dancing in the Town Square. It doesn’t have to be expensive- in fact my sons’ favorite super-noche is to go to a nearby stream and throw rocks in the water. We have spent hours walking by the water looking for baby alligators (we live outside Houston!) and talking about “stuff.”

Without the interruptions of the other kids, and with no hurry to get back, the conversation flows easily. We made a rule that anything we talk about on a super-noche is a secret from the other kids, and all of a sudden I’m hearing stories from school and the playground that they didn’t want to share at the dinner table: who likes who, or something embarrassing or silly. 

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Our date nights have become a family tradition that I hope we will continue throughout their lives. With our busy schedules and homework and crazy running after school, these special times are one way we reconnect with each of our kids. Thought our super-noches might only last about an hour, we hope the memories of the special times last much longer.

Special Guest Thursday: Enjoying Summer With Whole Family {Lanugo: Latino De Corazon}

We continue with Special Guest Thursdays and today Lanugo, the first-ever, Latino de Corazón™ lifestyle and entertainment brand for kids focused on values and heritage is visiting my blog!
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They graciously shared already existing article on Ideas to Enjoy This Summer with the Whole Family – a very timely topic since the summer is here and many families are preparing to spend a vacation out of town or in town! 
My family as you know will be spending time bonding with the new baby and we have 2 short trips planned out of town: my mother will be here and my husband and daughters will take her to Macau (I won’t be able to go, unfortunately!); and we will be traveling to Guangzhou to apply for new baby’s passport. 

Disclaimer: this article is copied and republished with the permission of Lanugo: Latino de Corazón™

Lanugo is a, socially responsible, children’s entertainment startup company with the purpose of helping mamás proudly embrace and pass on the richness of the Latino culture to their children through our fictional Latino-inspired world, with well-developed story lines and characters. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, Instagram and YouTube
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A very wise lady once said that, “all of God’s children need traveling shoes,” and we couldn’t agree more with this point of view. This excellent and selfless mamá pata, who understood that we all needed to go our way in order to learn more about ourselves, got to the point of moving to Ghana for several years so that her and her son, both African-Americans, could re-connect with their African heritage and enrich their identity. This woman was: Maya Angelou, and her example is worth following.
Summer vacations are here, and if you have the opportunity of traveling with your Lanuguitos to countries that would enrich their culture, go ahead and do so. People, including children, tend to easily forget what they’re told and even what others do to them, but they will never forget the emotions that they felt. Let’s invite them to enjoy the richness and peculiarities of the Latin culture. Let’s invite them to celebrate and to breathe the air you breathed when you were kids, to walk down the streets in which you laughed so much, to spend time with neighborhood kids, to talk to the owner of the “mercadito” down the street… bottom line, to re-connect with their heritage.
Why? It has been scientifically proven that children that know, value and are proud of their heritage have a higher self-esteem and overall performance in school. They even have lower risk of depression and of joining gangs. And, of course, it will give you the opportunity of strengthening in them the Spanish language in an intensive yet fun way.
If, for any reason, you are not able to travel to that special place that we all have in our hearts, there is still the opportunity of transmitting our Latin pride to our Lanuguitos. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and go on an imaginary trip, organize a Latin party, and take a creative approach to help your kids define their identity a little more. If you are in need of ideas, we invite you to visit our blog post with “10 tips for instilling cultural pride and interest in our children” to keep our culture alive.
Knowing how important it is for our children’s identity to explore and investigate about their heritage, this summer our Lanuguitos put on their traveling shoes, and are going on vacation with us to Latin America to discover and enjoy the wonderful treasures that one can find there. Don’t be surprised if we have too much fun and we forget to send you pictures. We will be living the moment!
Remember: “No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place” – Maya Angelou. Rest in peace Maya. Today we are thankful for your legacy and we dedicate our “humble” words, but always full of heart.
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Thank you, Lanugo, for sharing! How about everyone else: how do you plan to spend your summer vacation? 

Backyard Barbecue Blog Hop: Mountain Climbing

 

Announcing the first annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop!

First Annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop

 

 We are so excited to kick off the season with a bloghop to celebrate all of the wonderful recipes, activities, and crafts that summertime brings!

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When I first thought of a topic to write for this blog \hop, I wanted to introduce the way the BBQ is done in our city, Zhuhai. However, I was so devastated to find out that all the pictures from every BBQ we went here to are missing!

So instead, I am introducing to you another very popular activity around here: mountain climbing.

Zhuhai is located in a mountainous area. From one side we have the sea, from another one – multiple mountains (not very high). This kind of landscape sort of traps the humidity and heat within the city and lots of people look for various escapes during summer. Mountain climbing is one of them, though it is an all-time favorite activity throughout the year.

One of the most popular mountains around here is Banzhanshan – Ban Zhan Mountain. The mountain is considered very special since there is a tunnel through it that connects 2 districts of Zhuhai  – Ningxi and Gongbei. Without this tunnel it would really be hard to go from one district to another and would take up much time to travel!

Since the mountain is located in the city, people like climbing it, exploring long pathways leading all the way to the top and opening a gorgeous view all year long.

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People often bring snacks and drinks with them and they can sit down at specially designated areas (you’d be surprised how many benches and places for that are there at different levels!), rest, chat, play games and enjoy their snacks.

Kids also love climbing the moutain as there are no cars, few bikes and they can run about free!

My daughter loves picking flowers so she thoroughly enjoys such outings as she can find fallen leaves and flowers and collect as many as she likes.

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Being outside is one of the best things the summer can offer! Even though it gets pretty hot in our city, we find place and time to be out without getting too hot or too burnt!

How do you spend your summers?

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Please link up below all of your family-friendly summertime ideas below. The linky will be open through July 13, so be sure to come back later in the summer to share more of your great summertime posts!

The Backyard Barbecue Bloghop is brought to you by:

All Done Monkey

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Mud Hut Mama

With our wonderful co-hosts:

The Squishable Baby

Creative World of Varya

Kid World Citizen

Something 2 Offer

Local Fun for Kids

Rainy Day Mum


Dating your husband with children

How many families have an ongoing issue with “reviving” the romance due to spending all the free time with children? How many complain that they can never go on a date because of young children? As parents with young children and no family/babysitter have you been able to get out on a date? Most probably you will say “no”.

Well, good news for you is that you don’t have to wait till all your children are old enough to be left on their own – you CAN go on a date… with your children.

What is a date basically? It is a time two people spend together getting to know each other or indulging into a quality time to show each other more love and affection. I don’t see a reason why it can’t be done with your children around.

Here are some ideas for such dates:

1. A family picnic.

2. A boat ride on the lake.

3. A bike ride around an island, in a park or by the seaside.

4. A lunch/dinner in a fancy restaurant.

5. A surprise coffee invitation.

6. A surprise trip to the cinema.

How can you ensure it is still a date and not just a family outing? I really don’t think there is a way to do it. But!

Here are few things for you to keep in mind when you organize such a date:

1. Simply keep it in mind and don’t let occasional interruption to make you forget it.

2. To make it even more special, make a date invitation card stating place, time, theme and dress code.

3. Be flexible and try to relax- dating with your children can be tricky and a bit stressful!

4. Show each other more affection than usually – your children learn about relationships from you!

I love our little spontaneous or schedule dates/activities. It helps us spend more quality time with each other, brings warmth to our hearts and puts a smile on our face.

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Visit Inspired By Family Magazine’s page for Valentine Day’s Dating Ideas, Activities and Traditions to see what other blogger moms have to share!


Blogs that participate in this project:

Kids Activities Blog, My Nearest And Dearest, Pleasantest Thing, Play Dr Mom, Glittering Muffins, Inspired By Family Mag, Mama Miss, Life At The Zoo, Toddling Into Madness, Sense of Wonder, Educators Spin on It, Little Aritsits, Home Learning Journey, Frogs And Snails and Puppy dog Tails, Pragmatic Mom, The Good Long Road, Mamas Like Me, Kids Stuff World , Toddler Approved and Adventures in Mommydom

Click here to enter your link and view all of the fabulous ideas!

Volunteering your creativity and talents



For me volunteering is applying my talents and abilities to a good cause that can help others. There are many ways to volunteer for the betterment of others: some volunteers in shelters, orphanages, nursing homes; some brave ones go on long-term and short-term service to remote places to educate people in rural areas or assist them with medical care.

We volunteer to share our knowledge of English with people. Everything started with my in-laws. They set up the first English corner in their house, attracting young (and not so young) adults who were willing to practice and improve their oral English skills. Mom and dad found themselves cooperating with local Outdoor Activities Group that also does a lot of volunteering: cleaning parks and mountain sites, raising money for good causes. They held English corner in their living room twice a week, gathering around 30 people each time! Friends would sit on sofas, chairs and even the floor.

  

When they left, our little family took over this activity. Our daughter was less than 1 year old at that time. She was at first the only child who took part in this activity. When we moved to a bigger apartment and had more friends join us, some of them started bringing their children so they would play together while the parents participated in the activity.

We always tried to promote creativity and imaginative thinking during our corners. We made things together, drew maps and murals, made stories and used creative approach to tasks. We also gathered for picnics and made dumplings together.

      

Once a lady approached me. She didn’t speak any English and had someone help her translate. She offered me to conduct English corner at the Charity Federation where she worked and the participants would be children from low-middle class families and from families with one parent. After giving it some consideration, I took upon this task. I went there every week together with our oldest daughter and facilitated the activity. I  also officially registered to be a volunteer for the city of Zhuhai.

I had to stop volunteering for this activity as I got pregnant with our second daughter and the children and the charity federation threw a big party for us. It was so touching – children played instruments, we played games. It was amazing.

We still keep in touch and get together from time to time.

So how is my volunteering related to creativity? Well, for starters I always encouraged children to use their imagination. I gave them tasks that required them not just answer questions but to think and come up with creative answers. I taught them songs about love, peace and compassion. I asked them to write short essays and read in class. Our daughter loved being around children and until now she asks me if we are going to resume this activity.

I hope I can soon restart working with these children and do some more. And I plan to involve both of our children in this. I strongly feel that letting them be a part of this from early age will help them become better people.

Do you volunteer? If yes, share your stories with me!