Schoolís out for summer! Kids are lost in a lazy haze of swimming, camps and vacations. But, as the excitement of having no homework fades, it is often replaced with, ìMom! Iím booooooored!î
What a great time to encourage solidarity with their sponsored friend. Have them do a little research about the country, culture and history of their friend. The library has wonderful books for all ages about different countries. This will make letter writing easier, too, because the research may stir up good questions they can ask of their friend.
Over the next four weeks, we will offer some ideas and activities that you can do with your children or grandchildren that will teach them about other cultures.
The most global, common element about childhood is play. Children play. Even when faced with inhumane conditions and hardship, it is part of a childís nature to engage in some kind of play. There are many games that are manifested in areas all around the planet in various forms (hide and seek, tag, jump rope games, etc.) but there are many games that seem to be organic, having grown out of the imaginations of a nationís children. The following is a game that children play in Chile.
Mar, Luna, Sol (Ocean, Moon, Sun)
You need a couple of steps where the children can stand side by side. This can be the front porch or the steps of a pool.
The bottom step (or the ground) is Mar (ocean). The next one up is Luna (moon) and the top step is Sol (sun). One person is the caller. The caller says either, ìMar, Luna or Solî and everyone has to jump to that step. The caller keeps choosing different levels and everyone must jump to that step. If a players jumps to the wrong step, they are out. The last one left standing wins and gets to be the caller.
There are many great Web sites where you can find games that are played by children in your friendís country. Research the games together with your own children or grandchildren. Then, let the games (and the learning) begin!
You can also look at our 2008 edition of Sacred Ground for more games around the world (look at page 15 of the pdf).