Sunday, July 15, 2012

Integrating Culture: Asian-Pacific Amrican Heritage Month

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States have enrichened the American Culture. Just like most cultures, they also have a "designated month" which is in May. But with everything going that month, I knew we could celebrate it anytime.

A few things about Hawaii from my point of view:
1. I went there for my honeymoon and fell in love.
2. It looks exactly like the pictures.
3. I really don't care to take my children before maybe the age of 13. It can be expensive and we can do the beach thing on the "mainland." I really want them to travel, just to closer places that won't hurt my wallet.

Thankfully, I live in a state that has many Pacific Islanders residing. I began looking for presentations. The big kids and Diva E's first experience was a great one. It was a group of young kids learning the dances, so they were putting on a free performance. I forgot to warn the little one that they would be without their shirts, Diva E screamed out, "EWW, mommy, he has no shirt on." At the age of three she still talks about the man who wore no shirt and had fire on a stick. It made an impression.

You may not be able to attend presentations, but here are some things you can do:
1. Watch a YouTube video of a dance or two and try to do the same dance or create your own dances.
2. Make flowers to put in your hair
3. Find shells to make bracelets and necklaces
4. Invite friends over to do a big cookout and have your own Luau (we have a great hawaiian restaurant I love to order from.)

 Some great ideas of what a luau can be here at this Party ideas website .

Here are great books you can share with your child:
I love the counting book, it has a CD with it.

There are many events that your city may even hold if there is a large Asian/Pacific Islander population. I know for us here in Utah, the Polynesian Cultural Center is coming to visit us to perform favorite pieces from their performance Ha:Breath of life. I was so excited right and bought tickets right away! What a great way to end the theme week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Integrating Art: Keeping the memories

There is nothing better than your child coming home with wonderful artwork that they made at school. This occurs more at the preschool and lower grade levels. I do not like to keep things around. Never have and never will. So how, as a mom can I make her feel special and celebrate her beautiful art without it junking my house? One way is using her artwork as cards to send to family members. Another is to create a book. It is very simple, take a picture of the artwork and place it in a folder for later keeping. After you get a collection worthy to fill a book, you can go on to websites like or to create the book. I took pictures over the last year and a half and gave it as an Easter present. She loves it, and now she has documentation of her artwork, and I have less clutter. Now, she has a book she can read over and over again.
The quote on the back: " Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things they way they really are or people might thing we're stupid." Julie Feiffer