Today we're traveling north from Kenya to visit Hungary in central Europe. Hungary is a small country - only about the size of the st...

Read and Rise Global Explorers 2021 - Hungary

 


Today we're traveling north from Kenya to visit Hungary in central Europe. Hungary is a small country - only about the size of the state of Indiana - that is surrounded on all sides by other countries. But Hungary has some very interesting features and foods that we will explore!

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  This week we're heading to Kenya - just in time for the great migration ! Every year, millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle follo...

Read and Rise Global Explorers 2021 - Kenya

 


This week we're heading to Kenya - just in time for the great migration! Every year, millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle follow the rain and lush grasses from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. At this time of year, the herds are heading north to Kenya. The zebra usually lead the way and eat the uppermost grass, leaving the shorter greener grass for the wildebeest. I love this example of animals living in harmony with each other and the earth!

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We love getting scallion pancakes when we order Chinese takeout so when I came across a recipe for some on The Hong Kong Cookery , I knew we...

Chinese Scallion Pancakes Recipe


We love getting scallion pancakes when we order Chinese takeout so when I came across a recipe for some on The Hong Kong Cookery, I knew we had to try it! They are not quite the same as the ones from the restaurants - not as thin and oily - but I think I actually prefer them better! They're not necessarily hard to make, but they do take a good amount of time. What's great about this recipe, though, is that your kids can easily be involved with the entire process. So let's get cooking!

Chinese Scallion Pancakes (adapted from The Hong Kong Cookery)

Ingredients:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup water (plus more if needed)
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped scallions

Directions:

1. Add boiling water to flour and stir with a spoon until the water is absorbed.

2. Add in room temperature water and knead until everything comes together into a soft dough. If needed, add water 1 tbsp at a time. Cover and let dough rest 20 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and oil. 

4. After 20 minutes, divide your dough into 4 portions and shape into balls. Sprinkle some flour on your working surface and thinly roll out one of the balls of dough.


5. Brush the oil paste all over the round.


6. Sprinkle scallions over the dough - sprinkle a little or a lot!


7. Roll up the pancake, gently flatten it, and then spread the oil paste all over the roll.


8. Roll the pancake once more into a spiral, so it looks like a snail shell, and tuck the end underneath. Repeat this process with the other 3 balls. 


9. Now lay the spiral down with the tucked end underneath and roll it out into a thin pancake.
 
10. Heat a non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat. When hot, add the pancake and cook until the top looks dry and white. Flip and cook a few more minutes.

11. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Finally, add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook each pancake a second time until both sides are golden and crispy. Cut into wedges and serve hot.



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  Mala beads are used in Buddhist prayer and meditation to help you stay focused on your mantra. Traditionally, mantras were repeated in set...

DIY Mala Bracelets

 


Mala beads are used in Buddhist prayer and meditation to help you stay focused on your mantra. Traditionally, mantras were repeated in sets of 108 and so strands of mala beads have 108 beads plus a guru bead. Mala bracelets can be made with 18 beads to help you keep track of 18 cycles of chanting. Here's how to make your own mala bracelet.

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  Here we go! We're off on our first adventure! This week we're zooming off to Asia, to explore the third largest country in the wor...

Read and Rise Global Explorers 2021 - China

 


Here we go! We're off on our first adventure! This week we're zooming off to Asia, to explore the third largest country in the world - China! 

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  When I came up with the idea for Read and Rise Global Explorers, I was thinking about those world subscription boxes like Little Passports...

DIY Cardboard Shoebox Suitcase

 


When I came up with the idea for Read and Rise Global Explorers, I was thinking about those world subscription boxes like Little Passports and Little Global Citizens. Both of those are super cute and Lil C absolutely loved getting a new package in the mail (she'd been gifted 6 months of Little Passports for a birthday). However, I know subscription boxes can get pricey - especially if you have multiple children - and not everyone can afford them. So I wanted to create something that could be done with virtually any budget, utilizing library books, video read alouds, and printables to help you and your children explore various countries around the world! But the first things we needed were a suitcase and a passport! You can get the printable passport in the post for "My Granny Went to Market," but just keep reading to find out how to turn a simple shoebox into a suitcase!

For this project, almost any cardboard shoebox can be used, but the easiest are ones where the lid is attached to the base. If you only have boxes with separate lids, you'll have to snip two of the corners and glue one of the long flaps to the base so you can open it like a suitcase. After that the instructions will be the same for both kinds of boxes.

Supplies needed:
- cardboard shoebox
- scrap pieces of corrugated and thin (like cereal box) cardboard
- 2 small brads (paper fasteners)

Instructions
1. Open up all the flaps on the shoebox and reassemble it inside out so the outside of your suitcase is a solid plain color.


Box open


Box closed

2. Cut a 3/4"x4" piece of corrugated cardboard and a 2.5"x10" piece of thin cardboard. You're going to wrap the small piece in the large piece to create a handle. To make sure everything's centered, draw lines at 3" and 7" and place your small piece in between those lines. Then mark lines on either side of your small piece so you know where to fold in the next step. (Fyi, don't do what I did, mark your lines on the patterned side of your cardboard not the plain.)


4. Fold along the long lines you made in the last step. I always use a ruler to help make long straight folds.


5. Place your small piece inside and fold the cardboard around it, gluing it shut. Fold the sides up.


6. An inch and a half from each end, fold the cardboard in the opposite direction as shown below.


7. Make a small hole in the middle of each end flap (I used a very small Phillips screwdriver).


8. Attach to the middle of the front side of the shoebox using the two brads (it doesn't have to be exactly precisely in the middle, but doing some loose measurements will help it not be lopsided).


9. To create the latch that will hold the suitcase closed, you'll need 4 more pieces of corrugated cardboard. The long piece should be as tall as your box and about 3/4" wide. The other long piece should be about 3/4"x4" and the two short pieces will be about 3/4"x3/4" (if mine don't look square it's because I didn't actually measure...)


10. Glue the long strip to the inside of the lid.


11. Glue the two small pieces to the ends of the 4" strip.


12. Glue the 4" strip at the bottom of the box over the long strip. The vertical strip will slide underneath the horizontal strip and keep the suitcase closed while you're carrying it. 


Now you're ready to decorate your suitcase and come travel with us! 

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  This summer we will be traveling the world, visiting and exploring 7 amazing countries through stories, activities, and cooking! This week...

'My Granny Went to Market' - Read and Rise Global Explorers 2021

 


This summer we will be traveling the world, visiting and exploring 7 amazing countries through stories, activities, and cooking! This week, we need to prepare for our world tour by making a suitcase to hold all our treasures, printing a map to track our travels, and creating a passport to hold memories from each country!

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'Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag' Book Review

 

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  I think "Jamie is Jamie" by Afsaneh Moradian is the perfect way to end Pride Month. To me, Pride Month is about celebrating the ...

'Jamie is Jamie' - Read and Rise June 2021

 


I think "Jamie is Jamie" by Afsaneh Moradian is the perfect way to end Pride Month. To me, Pride Month is about celebrating the ability to be ourselves - to look the way that makes us happiest and to follow our hearts and love who we love. It is also about letting others know that we love and support them even if they choose paths different from our own. Some people may think bringing up Pride Month and the LBGTQ community is a sensitive topic which is inappropriate for young children. But I think it's a highly important topic to introduce to children in an age-appropriate way because not only does it help build a foundation of acceptance that can be broadened to include anyone different from ourselves, it also lets children know that there are no limits to what they can do or who they can be. And the book "Jamie is Jamie" does just that. It addresses societal gender roles in a way that even the youngest children can understand. As a bonus, it also highlights the importance of free play time in early childhood which speaks right to my heart as a former early childhood educator.

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  June 12th is Loving Day , celebrating the landmark case Loving v. Virginia. Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested in 1958 because they ...

'The Case for Loving' - Read and Rise June 2021

 

June 12th is Loving Day, celebrating the landmark case Loving v. Virginia. Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested in 1958 because they were an interracial couple living in Virginia, where it was illegal to marry someone of a different race. The Lovings and their lawyers argued that interracial marriage laws were unlawful and based on slavery laws and white supremacy. 9 years later, on June 12, 1967, the Lovings won their case in the Supreme Court. 

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  During our unit on coral reefs and the ocean, we learned that oil spills are a constant problem! We decided to investigate to figure out w...

Story Based STEAM - 'Oil Spill'

 


During our unit on coral reefs and the ocean, we learned that oil spills are a constant problem! We decided to investigate to figure out why they were such a big problem and what we could do to help.


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We read "Oil Spill" by Melvin Berger to find out more about how oil spills happen and how they affect plants and wildlife. "Oil Spill" also explains how experts clean up the ocean and affected animals after oil spills and provides some tips on how you can help.

We like to get our hands involved in our learning, so while I was reading the story, Lil C and Squidgy were creating their own mini oil spills.


I gave each of them a plastic shoebox filled with some toy ocean animals, a few rocks and shells, and some cleaning supplies. We removed the cleaning supplies and filled the bin with an inch or two of water.



Then I gave them a "boat" (I didn't have two small toy boats so we used Hatchimal eggs) and a little bottle of "crude oil" (cooking oil mixed with a bit of cocoa powder). 



They carefully poured the oil mixture into their "boat" and then spilled the oil! They soon discovered that even though it was floating in clumps on the surface, it was not easy to clean up!



To assist in their cleanup efforts, they were each given 5 cotton balls, 3 sponge strips, a spoon, and a toothbrush. Lil C determined that soaking up the oil with the cotton balls and sponges worked better than trying to scoop with the spoon and the toothbrush didn't seem to be helpful at all! In spite of their best efforts, there was still a good amount of oil left in the water and they also discovered that everything IN the water was coated with oil!



The last part of our activity was to clean the animals (and all the other oily things while we were at it) so we could release them back into the wild! This was where the toothbrush came in handy, scrubbing the animals clean with some nice soapy water. 

In the end, we learned how challenging it can be to clean up an oil spill and that the best way to help was to try and limit our crude oil use by cutting power use at home (or investing in clean energy), limiting how much we drive, and avoid single use plastics as some of them are made from oil-based plastics. 

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We LOVE animals in our house but Lil C especially loves marine animals and getting up close and personal with a dolphin is her favorite crea...

Best Ocean Shows for Kids


We LOVE animals in our house but Lil C especially loves marine animals and getting up close and personal with a dolphin is her favorite creature encounter EVER (full disclosure: the above dolphin encounter at Clearwater Marine Aquarium was actually her second time with a dolphin, first time was in Mexico when she was 4). I'm fairly certain I've learned more about animals in the past several years watching kids' shows and documentaries with my kids than in my entire school career. 

Here are some shows that have taught us about the ocean and so many of its amazing and weird creatures:



Octonauts - Octonauts is a Disney Junior show and all seasons can be watched on Netflix as well as some bonus movies. The Octonauts are a crew of animals who live underwater in an Octopod and embark on adventures exploring, rescuing, and protecting the ocean and the creatures who live in it.



Wild Kratts - Wild Kratts on PBS Kids is an amazing show for learning about ALL the world's creatures, but there are plenty of episodes featuring marine animals.



Blue Planet/Blue Planet II - This BBC Earth docuseries is available to watch on Netflix with episodes about the deep seas, open seas, frozen seas, coral seas, and more. The footage they are able to get of creatures all over the oceans are always mind blowing!



DisneyNature Dolphin Reef - This cute documentary available on Disney+ follows the story of young dolphin, Echo, as he learns that if he is to survive, he must learn to find food and be a helpful member of the pod. Dolphins are such amazing animals and getting to see the personalities of these dolphins is so much fun!



Dolphin Tale/Dolphin Tale 2 - Lil C fell in LOVE with Winter and Hope after seeing these movies which is why our trip to Clearwater Marine Aquarium was so special and memorable for her. She is hanging out with Hope in the photo at the top of this post. These movies are fictional, but based on the true story of Winter the dolphin's rescue, rehab, and eventual pairing with Hope. We love these movies because they show the love and dedication of marine biologists, vets, and aquarium staff when it comes to rescuing, rehabilitating, releasing, and caring for animals who cannot safely be released. It also highlights the constant dangers humans pose to marine animals and has made us want to be more active in helping to protect those animals. 


We've only watched Blue Planet, but this article lists 7 other ocean documentaries on Netflix: 8 Inspiring Ocean Documentaries Streaming on Netflix. We'll have to check out more of them!

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'Kevin the Unicorn: It's Not All Rainbows' - Read and Rise June 2021

 

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'The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm' - Read and Rise May 2021

 


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'Hector's Favorite Place' - Read and Rise May 2021

 

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'Sometimes I'm Bombaloo' - Read and Rise May 2021

 

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  This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases - at zero cost to you.

'In My Heart' - Read and Rise May 2021 (with feelings song!)

 

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'Trees Make Perfect Pets' - Read and Rise April 2021

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'From Seed to Plant' - Read and Rise April 2021

 


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