Once you’re done, submit your creation to email@example.com for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win! Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!
Interested in entering the contest for next month? Take a picture of your child’s completed activity book picture and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Activity Book Entry” in the subject line. We pick one winner each month to receive a $100 Tea gift certificate. We’ll also post all honorable mentions on our blog page and all submissions will be posted on our Flickr page.
Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.
For our Tiger Jungle Shirt, I imagined a time where the Balinese jungles were filled with tigers. I drew the design in a very primitive hand & then carved it out of a linoleum block to create a tribal look.
Sadly, in our time, we will never see even a single tiger in the Balinese forests. This is the only picture you will ever see of the Balinese Tiger. The last tiger in Bali was shot and killed in 1937 and the subspecies went extinct. The drawing below by Russian artist, Evgenia Barinova recapturing that sad event.
While this seems a little more somber than our regular “behind the design” posts, I feel its extremely important to teach our children to protect our fragile wildlife. There is still hope for the last of 3 subspecies of Tiger in Indonesia – the Sumatran Tiger. Their population is frightening small, estimated at less than 300 individuals. The best way to help is to pass this knowledge to our children and raise a generation of mindful, passionate little citizens who want to protect all the creatures of this beautiful planet.
“Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.” – Jane Gooodall
National Geographic is currently running an amazing campaign, Cause an Uproar, to help with big cat conservation. They have a great kid’s section to get children involved in the conservation efforts.
How do you teach your little citizens about wildlife preservation? Share with us in the comments section below.
Today we’re thrilled feature an interview with Maya Ajmera, the founder of The Global Fund for Children and co-author of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World , a children’s book that uncovers significance and connections through global clothing. A portion of the proceeds from each book sale supports The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking program.
What inspired you to write a book about children’s clothing?
As a child of South Asian descent growing up in the US, I loved when we had dress up day at school. I would dress up in a Salwar Kameez from India—a long tunic with pants underneath. It was very colorful and fun, but it was also very different from the really nice Easter dresses that the other girls were wearing. Growing up in the South at that time, I didn’t know a lot of children who were different culturally. This book hits home for me—it explores and celebrates those differences.
Kindergarten students at the Self Help Community Center in Cambodia show off their new school uniforms.
How does the book relate to your work with The Global Fund for Children?
Throughout the world we support children in various circumstances, and even if the children are poor, they always have something nice to wear set aside. It could be a good pair of shoes, or a nice top, a school uniform—but it’s something that a child or family holds onto very dearly, often for celebrations.
I think about our work with indigenous groups in Guatemala and their traditional woven clothing. Or the Self Help Community Centre in Cambodia; these children are extremely poor, but they have brightly colored uniforms that they love—those uniforms mean a lot, and those colors mean a lot. It’s about dignity and identity.
This young Guatemalan girl wears a dress traditional to the indigenous Ixil Maya. A beneficiary of GFC grantee partner Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral y Multidisciplinario APPEDIBIMI, she is also featured on the back cover of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World.
What do you hope children will get out of reading this book?
I hope children will recognize the many things they have in common in how they dress up. But I hope they also notice and enjoy the many differences in color and style. Everything from sports uniforms to beadwork to face paint—it’s all dressing up and it’s all fun.
What’s up next for Global Fund for Children Books?
We’re finishing up a book about global health called Healthy Kids. It explores the things all children need to be safe and healthy. And part of being healthy is the clothing you wear—clothing in many ways is about identity, but it also provides protection and helps you stay healthy!
Be sure to enter the “What We Wear” photo contest by submitting a photo of your child in their favorite outfit to email@example.com for your chance to win a copy of the “What we Wear” book and a $100 Tea gift certificate. Find the official entry rules here: http://bit.ly/AAa1XB.
Our third Foreign Correspondenthas returned from her travels! Mary, her husband, and her two children traveled to Mexico this winter. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part four of their adventure. To learn more about her family’s adventures, check out herThe World is a Book blog.
While souvenirs are mostly associated with trinkets, I’d rather like to think of its other Spanish meaning of “recuerdo” – a memory. This is how we want to look at souvenirs – tangible memories of a wonderful family vacation. It was quite appropriate since our family visited predominantly Spanish speaking countries of Mexico, Belize and Honduras. My 9-year old daughter says a souvenir is special because “it helps me remember where I’ve been”.
Mexico was a treasure trove of souvenirs for all of us. We were a little bit more restrained in Belize and Honduras as our time was limited and shopping wasn’t as abundant compared to Mexico. Imagine the excitement with the variety of maracas they could play with and the number of sombreros they could try on.
So, what were the most popular souvenirs for kids when we visited Mexico? The typical maracas, small guitars, marionettes and sombreros were everywhere. But, the one with the most appeal to children, especially boys, were the Lucha Libre masks. These were the colorful masks of animals, heroes or pop culture items that Mexican wrestlers wore.
Souvenirs are not only about the shopping experience but also the cultural association with a place. Over the years, we’ve bought dolls and beanie babies representing each country or city visited. We’ve probably collected enough to assemble our own United Nations parade. My daughter found more dolls from three new countries during this trip, each wearing their traditional native costumes to add to her collection. I’m glad she’s still young enough to enjoy them. It’s a simple connection she has to a country and a culture.
Interacting with the vendors and practicing friendly phrases in the local language is among the joys of shopping in a foreign country for us. Our kids loved saying ‘Hola’, ‘Gracias’ and ‘Adios’. They enjoyed saying the minimal Spanish they knew and the vendors were more than happy responding with big smiles on their faces for attempting to talk in the native tongue. We’ve found through the years that a simple hello and thank you to vendors in their local language goes a long way while traveling.
When the vacation is over and as they go on their daily lives, souvenirs can transport the kids back to that special time and place. Souvenirs can represent the local people they met, the areas they explored and their experiences during the visit.
Our third Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Mary, her husband, and her two children traveled to Central America this winter. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part three of their adventure. To learn more about her family’s adventures, check out her The World is a Book blog.
During our excursion, we visited the country’s only zoo despite our limited time in Belize. The Belize Zoo was established in 1983 as a haven for animals used in a forest documentary. In time, it became a refuge for animals that have been orphaned, rescued, or donated from private owners.
This is unlike any zoo we’ve ever visited. It currently houses over 150 different animals all native to Belize. Animals lived in thick landscapes much like their natural habitat instead of concrete cages. The enclosure fences were shorter. We were able to see most of the animals up close. On some exhibits, we could have reached in and touched them. Of course we were tempted, but didn’t.
The zoo was so large, we had to come back a second day to see the rest of the animals. There were no giraffes or elephants here – much to my kids’ disappointment at first. Instead, we were instead treated to animals we have never heard of or seen before. Ever heard of a tapir (Belize’s national animal that looks like an anteater), a Jabiru stork, a quash (racoon relative) or a motmot (bird)?
We also had the opportunity to visit a monkey exhibit in Roatan, Honduras during this trip. I was particularly nervous of letting my kids step inside but was assured the monkeys were safe. Once inside, the monkeys instantly clamored to find the nearest arm or shoulder to climb on.
These animal encounters were one of the trip highlights for our kids. They were introduced to new animals and learned about the importance of their native habitat. These were memorable experiences that certainly fostered their love and appreciation for animals.
Visit our Studio T blog tomorrow to learn about the family’s experience in Mexican markets.
Our third Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Mary, her husband, and her two children traveled to Central America this winter. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part two of their adventure. To learn more about her family’s adventures, check out her The World is a Book blog.
In Kohunlich, the most impressive site was the pyramid-like Temple of the Masks. The center stairs were flanked on each side by three levels of sculpted stucco masks at about 6-8 feet high each. They were believed to represent the Maya Sun God “Kinich Ahau”. The diverse faces were also thought to represent ancient Kohunlich rulers.
The giant masks were magnificent and remarkably preserved considering they were built around 500 AD. Some of them still had hints of their original color. The faces were the only three-dimensional areas. There were many symbolic messages on the masks with many different interpretations. We saw the masks up close by climbing the steep staircase. It was worth the climb to the top for some spectacular views of the forest canopy.
In order to keep up our kids’ spirit of exploration, we engaged them in some activities. We asked them to identify items they saw around the masks and what its meaning could be. Travel after all is a learning experience.
My husband and I knew that visiting the ruins would be a challenge to hold our kids’ interest. They kept themselves occupied by looking for animals and exploring hidden corners. Sometimes, kids have more important things to discover.
Visit our Studio T blog tomorrow to learn about the family’s animal encounters in Central America.