November 9th, 2016
We recently posted a Japanese song called The Sound of Insects – 虫のこえ (Mushi no Koe). In the process of researching the song, I found out that Japanese and Chinese people sometimes keep crickets as pets. The practice was more common in Japan in the past, but it seems some people still do it. The […]
January 11th, 2016
"Pochi" is a generic name for a dog in Japan just like the English stereotypical dog names "Spot" or "Rover". Sadao wrote about it from Japan: "Pochi" was the most popular dog name in the Meiji Period (about 100 years ago). There are theories about where the name comes from. One is that a French […]
August 24th, 2015
Here’s a beautiful little movie that’s narrated by a 6 six year old, giving great advice about life and how to deal with fears… the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.
April 7th, 2015
May 5th is Children’s Day in Japan! Carp shaped windsocks are flown to celebrate the day. Crafts include origami (おりがみ) of carp streamers (こいのぼり) and samurai helmets (かぶと). Here’s a video showing how to make an origami carp windsock… Here’s a video showing how to make a samurai helmet. (If you make it larger and […]
September 9th, 2014
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 […]
July 1st, 2014
For all of you who speak Spanish or French and are bringing up your children multilingual, check out Pluribus Linguis to see how one family goes about this ambitious task. (The site is in French and Spanish.) Feel free to share your own experiences bringing up multilingual kids in the comments below. Pour vous qui […]
March 24th, 2014
NPR recently asked people what they thought was true as a kid. Here are a couple of my favorites: Kim: "When the news mentioned guerrilla warfare, I wondered why gorillas were fighting." Helen: "I thought the ‘olden days’ were in black and white." Emily: "LMNOP was one letter of the alphabet." [I thought that too! […]
January 18th, 2014
Once a few years ago I had a conversation with a friend from China about cooking in the U.S. She found it amusing that most Americans cook with recipes… recipes that tell you exactly how to cook with precise measurements of ingredients. She said that in China recipes were handed down within the family and […]
January 16th, 2014
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. […]
November 7th, 2013
Today is my dog Mango’s 4th birthday! When Mango turned one, and my daughter was much younger, we had a big dog birthday party. We invited other kids with their dogs. As a special treat I made homemade Tuna Treats for all the dogs. This year I made Mango these treats once again. Boy, was […]
November 4th, 2013
Emanuela works in a school with young kids from different countries. She asked if anyone could help with some questions about how children are cared for and disciplined in various cultures. Here’s her letter: I have a special request to you and I think you can help me because you know people of many cultures. […]
September 13th, 2013
This week our kids went back to school where I live. Parents had Meet-the-Teacher Night where they meet their children’s teachers and hear about the year to come. My daughter’s Math teacher read the following poem to us about how teachers and parents have to work together to help children learn and develop. The poem […]
July 10th, 2013
Michelle Obama hosted a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House this week. The 54 kids invited were the winners of Epicurious’ Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. The kids all created yummy recipes that were half vegetable or fruit, and affordable. You can download the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook online for free.
April 11th, 2013
My family and I took a trip to Washington DC last weekend. It’s the first time we’d been there in many years and there have been a lot of changes. Several new major monuments have opened. One of the most impressive is the FDR Monument. It’s a particularly great destination if anyone in your party […]
March 15th, 2013
To increase your family’s intake of fruit and veggies in school or at work, here’s a simple trick… Cut an apple or orange and place a rubber band around it. Then place it in a baggy or container. It keeps the fruit fresh and juicy on the inside, yet it’s easy to eat. Enjoy! –Mama […]
March 14th, 2013
Here’s a great list of 100 Ways to Be Kind to Your Child. Because kindness starts at home! Love, Mama Lisa
February 20th, 2013
When my son was born, my husband’s grandmother asked if she could tie a red ribbon to the bottom of his crib. This was to ward off the "evil eye" and keep away bad luck. Some people wear a red string or bracelet on their left hand to ward off the "evil eye" too. The […]
February 7th, 2013
All kids should watch this video below for inspiration… it’s a good answer the question, "Why should I do well in school?"
February 2nd, 2013
Andrea Garrido shared with us an early childhood memory of the Spanish lullaby called "La loba". She’s from Montevideo, Uruguay. Here’s what she wrote: Since I was young, I heard "The She-Wolf" as a lullaby sung in my family. My grandmother sang it to me at night when I stayed at her home overnight. She […]
January 7th, 2013
The poem, Perseverance or Try Again by William Hickson appeared as a song in his book "The Singing Master" in 1836. It’s believed he coined the proverb "If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again": ‘Tis a lesson you should heed– Try, try, try again; If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try, try […]
December 23rd, 2012
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 […]
November 8th, 2012
We’ve been without electricity, and have had only intermittent internet connections, since last Monday due to Hurricane Sandy. There are many people in similar situations (or worse) in the areas affected by the hurricane. This is the most we’ve been without electronical devices and computers since they became widespread in the 1990’s. I’ve found we’re […]
October 5th, 2012
What is Success? is a poem written by Bessie A. Stanley. It’s a poem that explores what it means to live a full, fruitful, compassionate life. These are topics that are important to speak with children about. You can listen to the poem and read along below… MP3 of What is Success? What is Success? […]
September 11th, 2012
Here’s a 3 minute video for kids about the 8 secrets to success. Psst… here’s what they are… Passion (do it for love, not money) Hard Work Get Good at It Push (through self doubt, etc.) Serve Others Something of Value Ideas Focus Persistence (through failure, etc.) (Warning: There’s one bad word used at the […]
June 19th, 2012
It can be difficult to roll your R’s when speaking in Spanish. This video gives some great tips to get those R’s a-rolling! Enjoy! Mama Lisa
June 15th, 2012
Here’s the poem “Only a Dad” by Edgar Albert Guest. I’m posting this now in time for Father’s Day for my dad who brought up four kids just like the father in the poem. MP3 Recording of Only a Dad Only A Dad Only a dad, with a tired face, Coming home from the daily […]
May 12th, 2012
Remember this… Boy times have changed!
April 10th, 2012
Florence wrote asking for help finding a childhood story. Here’s her letter: Hello Lisa, My Grandpa was Swedish and when I was growing up he and my Dad would tell us a story about Uncle Bobby and his two monkeys; Jim & Jockle (sp?). They were naughty little monkeys. That’s about all I can recall. […]
April 4th, 2012
Most kids in the US have to learn where all the 50 states are at some point in elementary school. My daughter had to learn them for a test this week. We tried apps for the iPad and Android to help her learn them. None of the ones we found were very helpful. So we […]
April 3rd, 2012
I’ve posted the song My Pigeon House twice already (click the link for one popular version) and see more versions of Pigeon House on my blog. I know many people are interested in this song, so when I found a version from 1917 in "Primary Education" (Vol. 25), I became very curious. But before getting […]
February 6th, 2012
My daughter’s class had a multicultural celebration recently where each kid interviewed a relative about a recipe that’s been handed down in the family. My daughter interviewed my Mom about her manicotti recipe. Here’s part of what she learned: "Manicotti is from Italy, and it’s been in my family since 1810. It was passed down […]
February 4th, 2012
My daughter’s 5th grade class had a Multicultural Feast this week. The feast was about both writing and exploring one’s cultural heritage. The students had to ask a relative for a recipe that’s been handed down within the family and then to interview that person about the history of the recipe. All of the recipes […]
January 31st, 2012
My daughter had her ears pierced last year. She had problems with different earrings causing reactions to her skin. We tried nickel free earrings, 14 karat gold, sterling silver, hypoallergenic, titanium and on and on. Finally, after a long search we found earrings that didn’t cause a reaction! They’re made of 304 surgical steel with […]
December 7th, 2011
The Gift of the Magi is a short story written by O. Henry in the early 1900’s. The story is at heart of what the holiday season and gift giving should be about… a selfless act to make another person happy… it’s not about the money you spend that’s important… it’s the sentiment behind the […]
November 29th, 2011
My nephew Nick creates his own recipes. How cool is that! Here you’ll find his Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake recipe with a note he wrote about cooking from scratch… Dear Mama Lisa, I made this peanut butter chocolate cake for my mom, on her birthday. Her two favorite ingredients are peanut butter and chocolate. Her […]
October 14th, 2011
There’s nothing like playing with your daughter’s hair and making a fancy do to make her feel special. I’m normally not to good at hairdos. Recently though, I was taught this simple trick… Get some fancy mini hair claws. Then, take thin amounts of hair from each side of the head above the ears and […]
May 12th, 2011
I love this video… Funny Talking Dog Video Enjoy! Mama Lisa
March 2nd, 2011
Emanuela Marsura is a preschool teacher in Italy. She wrote to me about how her students cook in her school: "We do cooking every Friday. We have prepared: gnocchi with potatoes, taralli napoletani, cakes and many biscuits! The Children love Friday!" Cooking is a great opportunity for kids to learn… they measure the ingredients (learning […]
February 8th, 2011
This year my daughter’s class is doing a nice, simple project. They’re not buying Valentines from the store to give to all the kids in the class. Instead, they’re each cutting out hearts out of construction paper. On one side they’re putting a classmate’s name and on the other side they’re writing something nice about […]
February 5th, 2011
This recipe makes sugar cookies a little healthier by substituting whole wheat pastry flour for some of the multipurpose flour, canola oil for some of the butter, and honey for some of the sugar. I already posted one version of this recipe. This new one uses less eggs and less ingredients overall. My husband likes […]
February 4th, 2011
There’s a science lesson in making natural brown food coloring. I recently wrote about creating natural red food coloring from the water made from cooking beets. Once you make red food coloring from beets it’s easy to get brown. Here are the basics to making red food coloring: Peel about 3 beets and chop […]
February 2nd, 2011
It’s very satisfying to make your own food coloring out of natural ingredients. It’s also educational for children to see how people used to get color out of fruits and vegetables. Not everything has to come pre-bottled from a factory! Since Valentine’s Day is coming soon, today I’ll explain how to make red and pink […]
January 14th, 2011
Ben’s Bells is a project based in Tucson, Arizona, whose primary goal is to spread kindness. The tragedy that started Ben’s Bells was the death of 3 year old Ben. After Ben’s death, his family found that little acts of kindness were what brought them through their tragedy. They started making bells and hanging them […]
January 11th, 2011
Sugar Cookies are traditionally made in the US for holidays and other special events, especially when kids are there. In the past, I posted a recipe for Sugar Cookies made with whole wheat pastry flour. Here’s a recipe for more traditional Sugar Cookies… Recipe for Sugar Cookies 1 cup Butter 3 Eggs 1 T. Vanilla […]
January 10th, 2011
Sugar cookies are nice to make for holidays and special events. They look so festive. Making cut out cookies is a fun way to get your kids to learn about baking. They can start learning to follow a recipe, roll out dough and then make the shapes with cookie cutters. This recipe makes sugar […]
December 23rd, 2010
This reindeer went to visit my daughter’s school the other day. Actually, she made him… but look how he came alive! He’s ready to learn. All you have to do to make a candy cane reindeer is to glue a red pompom on a candy cane as a nose, 2 googly eyes above it and […]
December 22nd, 2010
Here are some simple instructions to create a handprint ornament. It can be used as a Christmas decoration or for Chanukah or Mother’s Day or any time you want to hang something cute! 1. Cut out a circle using a thick piece of paper of the color of your choosing (about 6 1/2 inches […]
December 18th, 2010
A lot of people are still having a tough time financially. Even if you’re not, who can’t use ways to spend less money for Christmas, but still give nice, fun gifts? One great idea is to trade in old electronic games and equipment to GameStop for credit towards new toys. You won’t get the original […]
December 17th, 2010
My daughter made these thumbprint guys in art class today. They’re made with paint and Sharpie permanent markers. All you do is dip your thumb in paint and make thumbprints in different places on thick paper. Let the thumbprints dry. Then add details with a black Sharpie marker. At top you can see a guy […]
December 9th, 2010
This is what I thought when I took my doggie for a walk yesterday… MP3 of Doggie Walk Dogs love to smell everything!
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
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People everywhere love Christmas - but we don't all celebrate it the same way. Mama Lisa's Christmas Around The World is a celebration of the diversity and love with which many different cultures mark this joyful time of year.You'll read about traditions and songs from many different nations. The songs are given in their original languages and with English translations.What makes the book really special is the many comments from Mama Lisa's correspondents who have shared stories and memories from their own lives. The memories of childhood touch us forever!
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In Kid Songs Around The World we've gathered 100 of our favorite songs and rhymes from all the continents of the globe.
Each song includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation, and most include sheet music. All include links to web pages where you can listen to recordings, hear the tune or watch a video performance. Each includes a beautiful illustration.
Many have commentary sent to us by our correspondents who write about the history of the songs and what they meant in their lives.
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