5 Simple Creative Exceptional Ideas for Teaching your Kids about Israel
My name is Tali. I’m a mother of 2 boys ages 9 & 10. I make movies and invent toys and I’m also one of the creators of the Genesi Box.
I’d like to share with you 5 ideas I’ve learned from very creative people I know (like toy inventors and toy designers and alternative education people).
1. **Retro Alert** Israeli Pen Pal (with an innovative twist)
I’m talking about a real Pen Pal, not a virtual one! With real letters in the mail, and including the experience of waiting and anticipating a letter!! Envelops, stamps and all the stuff from “way back when…” Because there’s nothing more exciting than getting a real letter in the mail… let alone from a foreign country.
How to find a Pen Pal from Israel?
I’ll help you (like every other typical mom, I’m also in a million parents’ WhatsApp groups). You are welcome to contact me by email email@example.com to write your child’s age and I’ll try to find the right Pen Pal match-up. There are a lot of parents in Israel, who, like me, would like to find Pen Pal friend for their kid from America or anywhere else in the world, with whom they could learn about different cultures and build friendships.
2. How to overcome the language barrier? With visual language!
Your kids are only speaking English and young Israeli kids – not yet…
But kids can talk without words!! Just ask them to make a simple collage that tells their story and details about their life. They can make it on the computer or with paper, scissors, and glue.
When we find a Pen Pal for your child, I’ll send you an email I prepared with ideas and instructions for making a collage by hand or on the computer.
If you prefer to make a collage on the computer, here are also a few links to cute free Apps for easy collage making.
3. How to overcome the language barrier (again)? - With technology!
Ask your child to add just a few words in Hebrew – for his/her Israeli pen pal (and the Israeli kid will, of course, write a few words for your child in English).
How will they know which words to use?
Simple – with Google Translate! Just translate the words you want to add and copy/paste into the collage.
4. What will they write about?
Hmmmm… What will we talk about? I don’t know him/her…
In addition to the collage instructions in that email that I sent you – we’ve also prepared and added a special Pen Pal Comic Strip.
It’s a really cute concept that encourages children to talk and share their story. It’s also very easy to use and to understand.
Here are a few examples of what it looks like after my son filled it in with his answers.
5. How will we make it so much fun that our kids will really wait for the letter?
Ask your Pen Pal to add a tiny surprise to the letter. Something he/she likes, that can also make their Pen Pal feel more connected to their world. This little surprise will surely make kids wait with anticipation for the letters from overseas that carry their little surprises inside…
Here are some photos of things my kids have sent to their Pen Pals.
It’s all small things that didn’t cost anything or around $1 – but made their Pen Pals very very happy.
Here’s a short list of what you get from this idea:
- Teaching my child about Israel and connecting him/her to Israel in a very authentic way
- Sparking my child’s creativity and imagination
- Teaching my child how to tell an interesting story without words
- Helping my child to develop patience and delaying gratification as it takes time for a letter to get to its destination.
- Developing technological skills – making collages, using Google Translate…
- Learning a few words in Hebrew
- Learning a little about how we used to communicate in the past; about the experience of getting postcards and letters with surprises that carry the smells and flavors of distant intriguing places
So, what are you waiting for?
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you all the materials I’ve prepared and do everything I can to make a connection between your child and an Israeli Pen Pal.
Don’t forget to share with us photos of your family having fun learning about Israel.