Even before I had my boys, I knew I wanted to raise my kids to be keenly aware of the world around them. Given my multicultural upbringing, global and cultural awareness is very important to me and something that I want to pass on to my kids. Since the kids are still little, I’ve tried to bring in cultural diversity into our daily lives with simple things like books, food, language (my oldest is almost 3 and trilingual, and even though our youngest is too young to speak yet, he’s already exposed to all three languages as well). We even sing birthday songs in two languages, English and Spanish (the Venezuelan version, which is notoriously long). I’m not brave enough to sing it in Chinese at a birthday party, but if I teach it to the kids, maybe they can sing it instead of me ;-p
Over the holidays I had the opportunity to try out the Little Doebahyou Subscription Box* with my oldest son. Little Doebahyou is a monthly subscription service featuring an activity box filled with fun facts, recipes and cultural activities about different countries. All the content is carefully curated each month to help kids experience and learn about the African Diaspora around the world through the travels of siblings Guaye and Grear.
Since I ordered my box right before Christmas, I picked the holiday edition (I know, this post is so late!!! Welcome to my working-mom life!). To be honest, I’m not sure who was more excited to open the box, myself or Liam!
Our box included so many goodies! Take a look:
- The Little Doebahyou box (could be used as a lunch box)
- A post card from Guaye and Grear (with journal activity)
- A journal and pen
- A passport and travel stickers
- A world map (I am so going to frame this and hang it in the kids’ room!!!)
- A set of colors
- A travel bag tag
- Activity cards
- One recipe
- Materials to make an ornament
- A coloring mask
As we poured the content of the box on the table, I explained to Liam that different people celebrate the holidays in different ways around the world. Before we began each activity, I read the activity cards aloud.
The first thing Liam reached for was the coloring mask. It’s a Jankunu mask from Belize, I told him, reading from the card. Not sure he was even listening to me at this point. To my surprise, he asked me for the mask a couple of days ago, asking me to remind him what it’s called and where it’s from (he was listening!).
After coloring, we made a mini wreath ornament for our Christmas tree using the materials provided.
Finally, we played some more with the passport and the stickers before we moved on to the world map. We looked at all the different countries in the world, and I showed him where mami and papi were born (Venezuela). We also found China, where grandma and grandpa are from. His next question was, of course, where is Liam from. So we found the US in the map, and I pointed to Virginia. Then, we (I) looked for the countries in the activity cards.
One of the things I love the most about the Little Doebahyou box is that the activities are very versatile and spans across several ages. You can go back to the activities at a different time and revisit them with your kids. This may be a month later, or even as they are older and are able to understand the concepts at a different level. One example of this is the passport. Right now, it may be a cute little blue book where my son can stick stickers. Later on, we can talk about how we use passports to travel to other countries and see it in action (hopefully if we travel this summer).
I know this may sound like a lot for a toddler (soon-to-be pre-schooler, yikes!) to grasp, but I’m a firm believer that it’s never too early to talk to kids about the world around them. Even if that “world” means the neighboring town, or the cross-country state where relatives live. It introduces the kids to the concept, however abstract, that there is much more out there to explore than their immediate world.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas for teaching kids about the world around them?
*I received a free box from Little Doebahyou in exchange for writing this review. All opinions are mine.