Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Special Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts That Give Back

Spread Joy This Holiday Season!

I love the holidays. For our family, I try to use the holiday season as an opportunity to focus on quality time together, and we often engage in service activities to make the season even more special. We focus on sustainable gift giving, which I recently wrote about for the Multicultural Kid Blogs, and highlight presence over presents. That being said, I enjoy seeking out gifts that give back and support others. Here's a gift guide featuring some of my favorite gifts that give back.

Holiday Cards for a Cause

Gifts for Baby

Beanies and Booties from Sevenly ($7 from every Sevenly purchase goes to a charity. Each week, a different charity is featured.)

Bibs from RED or Swaddle Blankets from RED (RED supports efforts to provide lifesaving drug treatments for individuals with HIV and to provide drug treatments that prevent the HIV from passing from a mother to their baby). 

Very Hungry Caterpillar Onesie from Out of Print via TOMS Shoes (Out of Print donates books to communities that need them.) 

Denim Newborn Hat from Krochet Kids International via TOMS Shoes (Krochet Kids International provides skills training and mentorship to allow families to earn consistent income.)

Gifts for Kids

Books for Children and Teens -- Better World Books offers a wide variety of books and donates books to children in need and raises funds for literacy and libraries. 

Girl's T-Shirt from Girl Rising to support equal education and educational access for girls around the world. 

TOMS Shoes for Kids (For every pair of shoes purchases at TOMS, a child in need also receives a pair of shoes; one for one. A pair of shoes is also donated for each gift card purchase.)

Adorabe T-Shirt, Sweatshirts and Friendship Bracelets from Pablove (The Pablove Foundation invests in pediatric cancer research, provides education regarding childhood cancer and provides free photography workshops/art programs for children with cancer.) 

Unique Youth Soccer Ball that is practically indestructible from One World Futbol (For every soccer ball purchased, a soccer ball is given to youth in need through organizations working in disadvantaged communities, including war zones and refugee camps.) 

Hoot (Owl) Beanie from Krochet Kids International via TOMS Shoes 

Putumayo Kids Present: Kids World Party, a world music CD from Amnesty International to support human rights for all  

Nahuala Rectangle Trays (Set of 3) from Noonday - I would love to use these for various sensory experiences or activity trays or for seasonal decor. Great for a child's room or for your own room! (Noonday uses fashion to create economic opportunity to the vulnerable through no-interest loans, scholarships, living wage jobs and much more. Noonday also hosts adoption trunk shows to assist families struggling with financial costs of adoption.)

If you're already shopping at Kohl's this holiday season, look for Kohl's Cares products, typically stuffed animals or books in which 100% of the net profit from those specific items go toward health and education initiatives for children.

Gifts for Writers (Adults, Teens, Tweens or Children)

I love Moleskin notebooks. They make fabulous gifts for writers or busy mamas (like me). RED has a special edition notebook just for their campaign. It looks lovely.  

Greeting Card Pack via Girl Rising

Fair Trade, Handmade Fabric Journal via Amnesty International

Blossoming Buck Journal from Denik via TOMS Shoes (for every journal purchased, Denik contributes $1 to building a school and artists receive 5% royalties for their cover art for the journals).

Gifts for Moms (from Kids)

(Gifts for under $20 so children/youth could purchase with their own money!)

RED Beaded Bracelet from RED for only $5 

Chloe Headband from Krochet Kids International via TOMS Shoes 

Dots Cluth from Joyn via TOMS Shoes (Joyn provides living wage jobs, educational opportunities and more for artisans in the Himalayas.) 

Vessel of Light Candle - 50th Anniversary Amnesty International Candle

Gifts for Foodies

William Sonoma Cutting Board with iPad stand made by Orange Chef Co. to support No Kid Hungry

Wooden Utensil Set from Badala via TOMS Shoes (Badala provides employment for widows and single mothers and provides scholarships for orphans. Bonus - this set is under $15!) 

Le Creuset Mini Cocottes, Set of 3 via William and Sonoma to support No Kid Hungry

Tech Accessories

RED has several tech accessories including iPhone cases and more

Unexpected/Unique Gift Ideas 

For more ideas for gifts that give back, check out this list of 10 Inspiring "Buy One Give One" Projects

The Wounded Warrior Project Under Armour Collection 

Beautiful Photography Prints from Pablove 

Chocolates, Pencils, and Hats that give back as well as Holiday Service Ideas from Pragmatic Mom 

Waiting for Mamu short film from Shine Global with every dollar spent to download the film going directly to the Early Childhood Development Center featured in the film during this exclusive 90 day release period.

Girl Rising DVD to support equal education for girls around the world.

SMUGGLED DVD - Smuggled is the latest multi-award winning film that I produced in 2012 and which my company has been screening throughout the U.S. (at film festivals, university campuses and community organizations) for the past two years. Our company is called Think Ten Media Group because 10% of all proceeds go toward charities. In the case of SMUGGLED, 10% of profits from the sales of the film are being donated to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and their efforts to respond to the crisis of unaccompanied minors along the border. 

Complete Kid Blogger Network Gift Guides to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

For all of the gift guides shared through Kid Blogger Network Holiday Gift Guide and much more, follow Erica • What Do We Do All Day?'s board Gift Guides for Kids on Pinterest.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Review: Crazy Horse's Vision {Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop}

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month 

November is Native American Heritage Month, which offers a great opportunity to teach children about Native American history and culture. With my sons, Wild Thing (5) and Caterpillar (3), I've found that children's books, cultural events and unique outings allow my children to actively engage as they begin learning about Native American history and culture. 
I received a copy of this book from Lee and Low Books in order to review it.
Recently, we've been reading Crazy Horse's Vision written by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by S.D. Nelson. I was immediately drawn to the beautiful illustrations, which look painted. I worried, though, that with 2-3 short paragraphs per page, my boys might not sit and listen as I read the entire book to them. But, they both listened intently.

Crazy Horse's Vision tells the story of Crazy Horse before he was Crazy Horse, when he was a baby and a young boy called Curly, and then as he grew up to be a man, who would, ultimately, lead his people. This time period in his life also overlaps with the first white settlers coming to the area where the Lakota lived and shows a glimpse of the strife and violence that came from these early encounters. We learn that Crazy Horse feels that he will need to defend his people, and thus goes on a vision quest. (Wild Thing thought Crazy Horse's vision quest as similar to Luke Skywalker going to the Dagobah system to find Master Yoda and seeing a vision of Darth Vader).

What Crazy Horse learns is that to help his people, he must keep nothing for himself. The book captivate and engages and can be used, for older children, as a starting point for learning more about the Lakota and the Battle of Little Bighorn, which is not part of the book, but is glimpsed through the inside cover page artwork. (For my young children, I'll wait to teach them about the battle). 

When I asked my sons what they liked about the book, Caterpillar (3) shared that he loved the horses in the book, and Wild Thing (5) liked Crazy Horse's vision as he rides his horse through a thunderstorm. He also asked me if the story was make-believe or real, which gave me an opportunity to teach him more about Native American history. Through Lee and Low, you can view illustrations from the book, learn more about it and find teaching ideas and resources for learning about the Lakota.

Another way we teach our children about Native American culture is by attending cultural events. A city near our small town hosts an annual Hart of the West Pow Wow and Native American Craft Fair each September. The boys enjoyed watching the various performances at the event, creating their own "cave paintings" and much more. Caterpillar especially loved the big drums, and it reminded me that many Native Americans are also Veterans. 

Finally, another way to teach children about Native American history and culture is to look for outings and sites to visit. In Carpinteria, near Santa Barbara, we discovered the Tomol Interpretative Play Area near Carpinteria State Beach. Not only is this play area lots of fun, but it also offers a rich learning experience as many of the play structures are inspired by the Chumash, a tribe that originally lived in this area. The play structure includes two sweat houses and an "ap" as climbing structures as well as a canoe. The bridge at the play area is a manifestation of the Chumash legend of the Rainbow Bridge. 
Image copyright of NaturePlayground via Fun Orange County Parks
Our boys love this play area and we do too! 
Daddy hanging out in the canoe at Tomol Interpretative Play Area.
How do you learn about Native American culture and history with your children? If this is part of your own family history and heritage, I'd love to hear how you pass that heritage on to your children. Sharing at: After School Link Up Party
 photo 2014NAHMbutton-001_zpsc85ee76c.jpg

Multicultural Kid Blogs is proud to host the first annual Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop & Giveaway! Link up your posts on Native American cultures below, and be sure to enter to win one of our great prize packages! For more great posts about Native cultures, be sure to follow our Native/Indigenous Cultures board on Pinterest!


November 3:
November 6:
November 7:
November 10:
November 13:

Our Giveaway

1st Prize Package US shipping only
Children of the TipiChildren of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days, edited by Michael O. Fitzgerald
2nd Prize Package
Buffalo SongBuffalo Song by Joseph Bruchac
Jim Thorpe's Bright PathJim Thorpe's Bright Path, by Joseph Bruchac
3rd Prize
Himdag postcard setPostcard set from Paper Papel Papier: pack of 12 craft postcards decorated with the word himdag (value $18). Himdag is from the O’odham ├▒iok language of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona and northwest Mexico. To embrace Himdag is to walk in balance, alone, with others, with nature, and with the Creator.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Native American Cultures Linkup

Now it's your turn to share!