Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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Articles about 'Arts and Crafts'
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It’s almost the time of year when many of us will be preparing gingerbread houses with our families! We don’t often think of it but, of course, gingerbread houses are associated with the story of Hansel and Gretel. They’re lured into the home of the witch in the forest since it’s made of gingerbread and […]
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Here’s a beautiful chart that illustrates the relationships between many Western languages.  It was created by Minna Sundberg.   You can see a larger version here and you can buy it here.
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Sadao Makuza wrote to us about Halloween in Japan… Halloween here is mainly a sales strategy in department stores and supermarkets. Children only go trick-or-treating if it’s arranged in school or with family and friends. Halloween first appeared in Japan in the 1970’s by the Kiddy Land Company store in Tokyo to promote Halloween goods. […]
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Can you imagine seeing a Giant Rubber Duck floating in a river by you?  A Giant Rubber Duck has been sited in some major cities around the world! The Rubber Duck sculpture was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman.   It’s been part of a tour called "Spreading Joy around the World". The hope is to […]
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I love Japanese haikus!  Here’s a haiku poem I came across while working on a song about Mt. Fuji. The poem was written by Kobayashi Issa in the Edo period… 蝸牛 そろそろ登れ 富士の山 English Translation: O snail, Climb Mt. Fuji, But slowly, slowly! Pronunciation: Katatsumuri Soro soro nobore Fuji no yama I think these prints […]
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Someone posted a picture on Facebook recently of this Fisher Price House from the seventies. It may seem silly, but the floor dropped beneath me and I could remember being little and playing with that exact same house.  I was transported back in time for a split second and could remember being four years old.  […]
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Archeologists in Russia unearthed documents back in the 1950’s that were written on birch bark with a stylus.  Some of the documents were doodles by a 7 year old boy named Onfim from Novgorod.  Onfim was learning to write, but he doodled in the process.  Below you can see some of his drawings. In the […]
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I saw this pretty autumn tree craft at our local library’s children’s room.  Here’s how you make it… Supplies:  Medicine Dropper, Glossy Photo Paper, Watercolor Paint, Straw, Brown Construction Paper (for tree trunk). Drip watercolor paint onto the top half of the paper using the medicine dropper.  Use autumnal colors like yellow, orange, green and […]
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By Monique Palomares The bear is the symbol of the city of Berlin in Germany.  You can see it printed on mugs and magnets.  You can find different sized teddy-bears symbolizing Berlin. You can also find a bear map in a subway station showing which train to take. Though this one is not for sale! […]
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This summer we brought our kids to see "The Art of the Brick" at Discovery Times Square in New York City. It features Nathan Sawaya’s Lego artwork.   Here’s my 12 year old daughter’s assessment of the show… Nathan Sawaya’s Lego sculptures are truly works of art. They are well built and neatly sculpted brick by […]
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Etegami is a Japanese style of drawing with a written message on it. Etegami artist Debbie created the drawing here which contains the Japanese phrase "otenki uranai".  That basically means "a trick for prophesying the weather."  Here’s what Debbie wrote about the weather trick: "When I was little, the neighborhood kids and I followed an […]
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A Johnny-cake is a small flat cake (akin to a little pancake) made out of cornmeal, water and salt. They were widely eaten in the U.S. in the 19th century.  Johnny-cakes are called hoecakes in the South. The folk tale "Johnny-cake" is almost the same story as "The Gingerbread Man" except that a Johnny-cake is […]
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Cinnamon Ornaments smell great!  They’re very easy to make and are a nice early Christmas gift to give.  I made ours in somewhat neutral shapes so people could keep them hanging around the house for the yummy smell after Christmas.  We made stars, crescent moons, hearts and trees.  Below you can find the recipe for […]
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MP3 of Twinkling Bugs  (Recording of 1st & 3rd Verses) Twinkling Bugs When the sun sinks under the world’s red rim, And the river fades till its shores are dim. And the trees are dark where the shadows lie,   Then they go by,     By,       By– The twinkling bugs go by. They trim […]
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"Little Snowflake" is a poem about Christmas by Hannah More Kahaus (1745-1833).  You can listen to an mp3 recording of it below and read along with the poem. MP3 of Little Snowflake Little Snowflake Little snow-flake, soft and white, Drops down in the silent night ; Soft she came with steady poise, Making not a […]
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This is cool… Radial symmetry is where an organism has almost identical looking parts if cut into a pie.  Only the top and bottom look different.   The sea anemones in this print display radial symmetry. The video below shows how to create radial symmetry artwork.  It helps teach kids this scientific concept. Check out how […]
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Here’s the colorful poem "The Sky Was" by E. E. Cummings (1894 – 1962) with an mp3 recording… MP3 of The Sky Was The Sky Was the      sky            was can    dy    lu minous             edible spry         pinks shy lemons greens    coo    l choc olate s.   un    der,   a    lo co […]
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This French song about a church bell ringer is amusing! I guess it’s because we’ve all been in the situation where someone around us was making noise that we had no control over.  Below you can listen to the mp3 recording of the song, read the original French lyrics along with an English translation… MP3 […]
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Here’s a fun illustration called "A Tour in the Toy Country" by British illustrator Randolph Caldecott (1846 – 1886).  Caldecott illustrated many books for children.
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There’s a sense of joy in making a Halloween costume for your child… not to mention the pride you feel when you see them wear it. The site No Twiddle Twaddle has links to 50+ easy to make Halloween costumes for kids that you don’t have to sew! Enjoy!  Mama Lisa
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