Teaching Kids About The World: Week 1 Africa

Teaching Kids About The World: Week 1 Africa

Today was the last day of school here down in South Carolina.  My baby graduated Kindergarten today (no cap and gown ceremony at his school though)!

 So with the school year over, and more time on our hands, I was searching for something fun and educational to do with him over summer break to keep him occupied.  My son loooves learning about the world (wonder where he got that from??) so I came up with the idea to teach him about one new area of the world (continent, country, place) each week.  We’d start with A for the first week and end at Z (or that’s the grand plan, lol).

This week was A week.  I gave him a few choices and showed him some pictures a la Google images of each option and let him choose which area he wanted to learn about.

He chose from Alaska, Antarctica, Africa, or Australia.

This week he chose………….Africa!!!



We started the week on Monday by printing out a small world map.

I had him find Africa on the map and we talked about the fact that there are 7 continents on Earth and that Asia is the largest.  Then Africa.  And we learned that Africa is 3 times as big as the United States.

Since Africa is so large, and there is so much to learn about, we picked one of the countries- Kenya- and printed out a color by number of it’s flag.

I also showed him pictures of something I knew he would love in Nairobi, Kenya.  The Giraffe House.  Where you can eat breakfast and have giraffe’s come up and stick their heads in the windows right at your breakfast table!!

Source
Source

This looks so cool.  I would love to experience it and I knew my son would love it and spark the little wanderlust inside him as well.  And it did!  He said “Mommy…..can we go there???”  Maybe one day.

Tuesday we learned about some African art.  I showed him some pictures online and then took him to a local (oddly enough) Starbucks that had some art on their walls.  We also learned about the African Maasai Necklaces and did an art project to make our own.  I used this pin that I found to show us how to make them.

Wednesday we talked about safaris and I was super excited to do this art project with him.  I followed the instructions on this pin and they turned out beautifully if I do say so myself 🙂  You make them using water colors and I don’t know about you,  but for us, water colors never come out bright and pretty.  So for another fun little thing to do, we decided to try to make our own paints.  If you decide to  make these, be aware that they need to dry overnight.  (Or for us, they weren’t ready in the morning, so I stuck them in the fridge while he was at school and they were good to go by the time he got home!).  I’m really excited about how the paints came out…..and the project because let’s just say….I’m not the most artistic person in the world…..or even in the top 92%,  That’s right, I’m somewhere in the bottom 8% I’d guess, haha.

Thursday we went on our own little safari around town.  If I had planned better, I would have found some little safari hat or something for him to wear, but pretty much we just went around our city and I let him take pictures of the animals we found along the way.  Now, we don’t live near giraffes and lions and zebras…but we do have some cool birds, alligators, and dolphins.

Friday, we learned some more about the history and people of Africa.  We also learned that Africa is home to the largest river (the Nile) and the biggest desert (the Sahara).  I’d like to say that we made these African pancakes as well, but honestly we ran out of time.

My son and I both had a lot of fun learning about Africa this week.  He’s excited for the rest of the weeks to come.  I really love the fact that I don’t have 100% control over which area we learn about.  I give him a couple options, but ultimately it’s up to him.  That way, it’s more likely that we each learn some amazing new things together!

Next week however, we are going to skip over B and move on to C because we’re going on a trip to Canada at the end of the week.  I figure it’s probably a good idea to have him learn a bit about it first before we go.  Then, when we get back, we’ll go back and learn our B area.

What do you think?  Do you do something similar with your kids?  Are there other interesting Africa projects to teach young kids??  If you want to follow along to get ideas for projects for your kids, you can follow my Pinterest board.  I’ll be updating it, oh, I don’t know….obsessively, with new projects and ideas from countries around the world.  Stay tuned for next week when we learn about Canada!!!

Why I Love Long Flights

Why I Love Long Flights

So many people seem to hate flying, especially on long flights.  I’ve seen a lot of articles lately on how to “survive” a long plane ride.  And….I feel you.  I can see why people would think that way.

  But I’m over here, like “10 hour flight??  Oh heck yes!  2 hour layover??  Don’t mind if I do!”

Now granted, usually I’m screaming these things when I travel without the kids, because well….10 hour flights and layover upon layover with children involved is a game changer indeed.  I’ve had some hellish experiences, but that’s for another post!

But when traveling by myself or with my husband….I like flying.  I enjoy it.  It’s part of the experience.  Yes, even if there are delays!  Come on, I know I can’t be the only one.

So, without further ado:

Why I Love Long Flights
  • I like to think of it as “the calm before the storm”.  If you’re expecting a busy vacation (which I usually am… My motto is “I can rest when I get home!”), I like to use the plane ride as a place to relax and de-stress.  I mean, what else can you do?  You’re confined to a seat for the next however many hours, and *usually* planes are a quiet place.  Except for the random baby crying or if you get seated next to an incessant talker.  
  • For me, the moment I step foot into an airport, my vacation starts.  Some people think of the plane ride as just a means to get to their destination where the fun can finally begin….not me.  Remember how we talked about being confined to that one seat for hours??    That is me time!  I’m gonna break out a good book, watch a movie or two on those fancy little gadgets they hand out, have a cocktail, eat some snacks that I packed, do some journaling about the trip, it’s a party up in here!!!
  • Maybe I’ll even break out the guide book and do some last minute trip plans.  Who am I kidding, I’ve had this done months in advance,  but I take the time to visualize the trip and how I want it to go.  Revel in the anticipation.  For me, this might be the most exciting part of the trip.  Because anything can happen.  You are about to embark on an adventure in a new place and nothing has tainted that vision yet.
  • I just plain love flying.  If I can, I book a window seat so that I can spend some time looking out at the scenery.  Seeing the city that we leave behind get smaller and smaller, maybe catch a sunset, marvel at being the same height as the clouds, see the lights of a new city come to be…and just enjoy  being up in the air.  The vacation I had been dreaming about has finally started.
Source
  • I even like layovers, especially if it’s in a new airport or city that I’ve never been to.  Another to check off the list.  Each airport, while much the same, can also be uniquely different.  Maybe they have a local food to try, cheesy souvenirs to look at, interesting hidden little places.  Did you know that some airports have yoga rooms??  And most airports have chapels (which, if you’re stuck there overnight or for a long long layover and need some peace and quiet, is an excellent place to hide out).  Plus, just people watching at an airport is wonderful.  I love watching everyone go by- wondering where they’re off to or if this is home for them.  I like the busy energy of airports, the overhead announcements, walking by each gate and seeing where that particular plane is going.
I’m just in love with the excitement of it all.  With every plane you step into, you know that new possibilities and experiences await on the other side of that door.  Once you step outside again, you are in a whole new world 🙂

I know I’m not the only one….what are some of the reasons you enjoy flying??

Stitch Fix Review May 2016

Stitch Fix Review May 2016

Stitch Fix Review May 2016
Time for another Stitch Fix Review!  This month I begged my stylist to send me the floral tank that I had in my last fix but returned.  I loved it, but didn’t have the extra money to spend on it last month.  I was in luck:  look what I saw when I opened the box!
Loveappella Mavina Floral Print Keyhole Detail Tank- $48
This shirt is perfect.  I love the little cut out at the top, it’s soft, and casual.  It’s one of those shirts that I don’t have to think about.  It goes great with jeans or skirts and does well with so many different colors.
Status:  Kept!


Gilli Kamile Knit Dress- $64


This little guy wanted to pop in for a picture!
I’ve found that I love Gilli dresses.  I’ve received a couple similar ones that I’ve kept in past fixes and raved about them.  My stylist remembered and sent me this one as well.  The style of the top is the same as the other dresses I’ve kept from this brand.  The ruching across the chest and waist, the wide shoulder straps….those are all aspects that I loved about the other dresses as well.  But this one is different in that it has a patterned bottom…and the texture of the bottom is like a really soft velvet??  I don’t know, but it’s pretty amazing.  I had asked for some mixed materials/patterns and she hit the nail on the head with this one!  And it’s sooo comfy, extra bonus points!!
Status:  Kept!!!



Market & Spruce Mora Textured Short- $58 with the Market & Spruce Gillia Lace Detail Knit Top- $58

I have had this shirt on my Stitch Fix inspiration Pinterest Board for a long time.  They finally had it in and available in my size.  I was so happy to see it and even more happy when I put it on and found it it fit exactly as I imagined!  I think the different patterns are really cute and adds a little something to an otherwise normal striped shirt.  The top portion, where the design is, is also lacy which I also enjoy.  
The shorts are another story.  I really wanted these to work out, because I liked the pattern and the color…but they were a little tight in the waist.  It has those  metal clasps and the inside button if you know what I’m talking about, and I was able to get it to close, but….it wasn’t very flattering.  I liked that the bottom portion of the shorts wasn’t sewn into the cuff.  You are able to roll them up or down to whatever length you are comfortable with.
Status:  Shirt Kept, Shorts Returned



Street Level Kaelyn Laser  Cut Two Tone Reversible Tote- $68

It’s also reversible!
And comes with a cute little clutch!

This was another item that’s been on my Pinterest board for a while.  What I loved most about it was print in the front that broke way to see another color underneath.  And it was reversible to be a completely new purse.  I had pinned the navy/orange one because I really liked those colors together.  This brown/black one is nice, but I didn’t really need those colors.  I usually play my clothes really safe, mostly wearing neutrals, so I like to add a little pop with my accessories. I probably would have kept this if it had been a different color, as it is a great purse.  It even comes with a little clutch inside!

Status:  Returned

3/5 not bad!  My husband thought I should keep everything in this box, but I decided that since the shorts were too tight and I didn’t really need another black bag that I should be good and save the extra money.

Next month I asked my stylist to see if she can send items that all kind of mix and match together and area easy to pack/won’t wrinkle much as I’m going to be traveling up north for about 10 days in early June and I only want to bring a carry on.  Wish me luck on being able to fit all my clothes and other items I want to bring for 10 days in a carry on and personal item!  This is the first time I’m attempting to really “pack light” for a trip, but I really want to start doing it.  It makes traveling so much easier.

If you haven’t tried Stitch Fix yet, start by filling out your style profile to give an idea to your own stylist about the kinds of clothes you like!  But I must warn you….you may become addicted!  It’s so much fun!  I’ve been doing this for about a year and a half now!

 

*Some links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I may receive a small compensation at no cost to you.  Thank you for supporting the website in this way!

Can’t get enough Stitch Fix??  See all my past fixes, here!

Monday’s Weekly Links

Monday’s Weekly Links

Welcome to our first edition of Weekly Links!





I realize that I need a goal and a timeline to set for myself in order to get things done.  So in an effort to get back on track with posting on certain days that you all can expect, every Monday I’m going to do a “weekly links” post.  It will be a compilation of all the cool travel related articles I’ve found throughout the previous week.  Whether it’s something about an amazing destination I heard of, some interesting or shocking event or festival somewhere, a funny travel related article, unique budget travel tips……just a highlight of my favorite travel related articles that I came across throughout the previous week!

*Along the same lines with sticking to a timeline, you can also expect Wednesdays to now be “Wanderlust Wednesdays” where I’ll post about a new destination that’s been on my mind.  Things to do there, interesting facts, food, places to stay, etc!*





* This first one, is just a fun image I came across.  Does anyone want to take this bus with me??

If you go, you’ll have to let me know how it is, because I don’t think I can do this!  Holy Magoly, look how narrow those roads/turns are!  And there aren’t even any guardrails!

If you really do want to check this bus tour out, you can find information by searching:

Bus travelling through Tranda Dhank, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India



I hear the drivers are very skilled, but also go pretty fast….I’m not cool enough to take this, lol.

* Okay, these have been around for a while, but I just found them again and they are HILARIOUS….but also really really sad since they are real and people actually said these things.  Do yourself a favor and read this article about 20 Vacation Complaints received from a travel company.  My favorites are “No one told us there would be fish in the sea…the children were frightened”, and absurd ones like “The beach was too sandy”, or this couple grasping at straws “My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

* I hear time and time again that traveling through Central America is something that is a must do.  Not only because of the wonderful scenery, people, and culture, but because it can be really easy on the budget.  Here is a breakdown someone did on the cost of travel in Central America.  It breaks it down by country and gives you the average daily cost of food, drinks, activities, lodging, transport, and “other”.

Central America Travel Budget:

* I always find these types of articles interesting.  This one is about the typical breakfasts eaten from around the world.  Does anyone know how accurate these are?  Like, do the people in these countries really eat this for breakfast often or is it just what the country is known for??  As a side note, if you’re from, or spent a good deal of time in another country, I would love to know your experiences on what typical breakfasts are there.  Let me know in the comments section below!

* I’m going to end this week’s list on a somber note asking for thoughts, aid, or prayers for Alberta, Canada.  They have been experiencing raging wildfires for days now.  Over 80,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, thousands of people have lost their homes to the fire.  As far as I have heard, no human lives have been lost due to the city’s hard work and being able to give enough to notice to get residents out of town in time.  However, the wildfires now cover more than 700 square miles and are continuing.  The city needs heavy, continuous rain to help put out the fires.  It’s too big of a job for the firefighters to control on their own.  From reports I’ve read, it doesn’t look like the area is due for heavy heavy rain right now.  Human lives are thankfully being saved, but the fires are still destroying their beautiful nature, wildlife, homes, businesses, etc all around the area.  Let’s send prayers and help how we can.

A convoy drives past wildfire in Canada
Source

So, what do you think?  Would you ride the bus that is likely to fall of the cliff??  Did you laugh/cry at the vacation complaints?  What’s your experience with the typical breakfasts in other countries??