Count Your Way Through Afghanistan by Jim Haskins & Kathleen Benson – This book will give your kids a good intro about Afghan culture and many of Afghanistan’s unique features. It was simple and kept both of my kid’s attention. We also loved learning to count to 10 in Pashto, one of the major languages of Afghanistan. This is a great introductory book.
I See the Sun in Afghanistan by Dodie King – I wish I would have know about this book when we did our project. It’s a perfect choice because it tells about the culture through the eyes of a child. I may now have read this book, but my friend Becky at Kid World Citizen recently reviewed it. Find her review here.
A True Book: Afghanistan by Ann Heinrichs – I love this series of books for the basic, age-appropriate introduction it gives about each country of the world. It may be a bit long for a younger child, but it’s easy to summarize and it has a lot of great photos.
Tweens and Teens
Extra Credit by Andrew Clements (appropriate for grades 3 through 7) – Sixth grader, Abby Carson, hates doing homework. But, when she finds out she’s in danger of being held back, she agrees to do an extra credit project, writing to a pen pal in another country. The letters flow back and forth between Abby and her pen pal, Sadeed and his sister Amira, from Afghanistan. This is a fantastic book that shows that despite cultural differences, we’re all the same. Read this one together if you’re looking for a book that will spark a lot of great conversations.
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis (appropriate for grades 5 and up) – This book was good friends, really good. It’s the story of 11-year-old Parvana, who is living under the Taliban regime in Kabul, Afghanistan. After her father is arrested, Parvana is the only person in the family that is able to work and provide money. She’s only able to do this because she can disguise herself as a boy. The story is engaging and eye-opening. It’s a must read. Note: This is the first book in a trilogy. I have not yet read the other two, Parvana’s Journey and Mud City, but they are on my must-read list.
You can find our Afghanistan art project, watercolor tiles, here.
I tend to get big ideas… very big ideas. It makes me nervous just putting this out there, because this is one of those ideas that seems impossible. And, maybe it is. Then again, maybe it’s not. But, nonetheless, here it is. We’re going to be working our way through all the countries of the world through books and art projects. Wow!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.
I get very comfortable sitting in my corner of the world. Here in the US, it can be very hard to experience the world by travelling. Because of that, I’ve so often seen people block it out and dismiss it as unimportant. Even our schools often do a poor job educating our kids about the world. Luckily, I was always fascinated by world cultures. I was the kid who checked out all those countries of the world books at my local library. I loved them. And, that interest has never gone away.
I hope to encourage my girls to learn about world cultures too. We’ve tried foods, read books, and made crafts. We’ve done the things outlined in this post: 10 Ways to Explore the World Without Leaving Home. And so far so good. Their interest has been sparked. They know there is a whole big world outside of our small town and they want to learn about it.
I’ve been thinking about this idea for several months now. I’m a loyal reader of Global Table Adventures where they cooked their way through every country in the world alphabetically. It is such an amazing adventure and I’m sure we’ll be cooking up some of their recipes to supplement our own personal adventure. As much as I love and admire this concept, I wanted to do something different, something that was more “us”.
I’ll be borrowing the alphabetical concept, but instead of food, we’ll be making art. I want to do at least one art project for each country and I’ll share them here at Creative Family Fun. The projects will be geared towards elementary-aged kids, since that is the age my girls are now. Sometimes we’ll take our inspiration from folk art and sometimes from historical places. Other times, we’ll be inspired by unique architecture or a famous sculpture. No matter what, it will be something that connects us to that part of the world.
I also plan on sharing book recommendations for most, but not all, of the countries. I already know that there will be some countries that we won’t be able to find books about, though goodness knows I’ve tried. (Have you ever tried looking for a book about Andorra?) And for others, there will be many books to choose from. I’ll be sharing books for all ages, even adults, since I plan on stretching my own comfort zone in my book choices. Our cornerstone book for the project is our Oxford Atlas of the World, which is an amazing resource.
When I asked the girls if they were interested in this project, they got so excited. I was so happy to see their enthusiasm and hope it sticks around. We don’t have a set timeline as I have no desire to make this project stressful. What I do hope by doing this is to mold a couple of global citizens, help them discover the amazing diversity of the world, and to increase my own knowledge of the world. I also hope to inspire you and your kids to explore the world through art & books.
In addition to sharing here on the blog, I’ll also be sharing on Instagram with the hashtag #projectaroundtheworld. You can follow my account here. Whenever you want to join in, feel free to share your projects with #projectaroundtheworld. I’d love to see them.
Thank you for joining us on this jouney!
I think I learn just as much, if not more than the kids do when we study another country. Russia was no exception. I hope you’ve enjoyed our virtual journey.
If you’re looking for more resources to teach your kids a little about Russia, here is a list of 10 fun ways to learn about Russia
Disclosure: There are Amazon Affiliate and other affiliate links in this article which means, at no additional cost to you, we could receive compensation for our recommendations. You can read our full disclosure policy on our Disclosure Page for more details.
Eat a little Russian food. Make piroshkis with Juggling With Kids.
Make an adorable fold-out Russian nesting doll card with Zakka Life.
Make Russian folk clothing artwork with Painted Paper.
If you’re looking for even more activities, you can see all of our Russia posts here.