Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Culture Box from Japan!

A few weeks ago, Lulu, a fellow mom and blogger from Cherry Blossom Adventures (check her out!), contacted me and asked if I thought Tyler would like a box of items from Japan where she lives (though she actually grew up in interesting!). She was doing a continent/cultural exchange with other bloggers and wished to send a box to us as well, with nothing expected from us in return. I was overwhelmed by the generosity and of course accepted! Though we just received this today and haven't had a chance to do much with the contents yet, I wanted to share with you and to publicly thank Lulu and her family for their kindness!

The package arrived in two days! I can't believe how fast it go to us here to our southern/midwest US state! 

Wow! We were so excited by the contents! There are coins (including one with in a hole it which is said to be lucky), traditional toys, training chopsticks for toddlers and regular chopsticks, food and candy, tea, stickers, a "maneki neko" or "lucky cat" which brings a household wealth and luck !), a neat traditional craft (Teru Teru Boza) with instructions that is to be done during rainy times to make the rain stop, a little flag, origami cranes, origami book and tons of papers, postcards, cute erasers, adorable mini cupcake holders, photos of Laura and her family, info on their culture, interesting facts about Japan (did you know there are four types of characters in the writing system to learn?!), and their family's story.
Trying out the training chopsticks. It will be a lot of good work for him to learn to use these, likely for eating as well as activities!

Here he is with some of the traditional toys. In his hand is a dendama and on the floor in front is a spinning top called a koma.

The adorable erasers were a hit!

Tyler's favorite item is the maneki neko, or "lucky cat". I've seen these before somewhere but never knew that they bring luck and wealth with their raised paw until I read her note. How neat!

There were some beautiful post cards included

He saw me using the chopsticks (I was actually able to pick things up!) and wanted to try.

Seaweed and rice crackers. I tried one, but all he did was sniff it over and over. I hope he will give it a shot eventually!

It doesn't matter what language the packaging is in, little kids know candy when they see it! This was a grape taffy-like candy. We split a piece and it was so flavorful and good! Tyler wasn't in the mood to try new things but I guarantee he will eat some later.

 These little cupcake holders with different animal pictures in them are so cute and durable! He really enjoyed these.

This is a Japanese flag sticker, though when he first saw it he assumed it stood for the quantity "one" like his math cards.

Someday, when we're able, we will certainly be sending a box in return! I'm quite excited to do so, really! What a wonderful idea. Thank you again to our new friends Lulu, Shun, Noah and Shion in Japan!


  1. What a fabulous friend. And a neat idea, I may use this at my center!

    I've been reading you for a while for inspiration for homemade games at my center. We are fortunate to have a free Montessori charter for both my older kids.

    Keep up the writing and ideas.

  2. What a great idea and a wonderful way to learn about different cultures! Looks like it will be hours of fun for you and your son.

  3. Am so glad it arrived safe and sound. So lovely to see pictures of Tyler smiling and observing the contents! Reading your blog always gives me lots of lovely ideas and I have enjoyed following your adventures with raising Tyler in a Montessori home so THANK YOU for sharing.

    Take care

    1. Hi,
      I just stubbled onto this blog via pinterest. Wow....what a great concept. Are there places to exchange boxes in a classroom environment? I'm thinking, my son's first grade class? Thanks

    2. I haven't heard of anything for schools but then again I don't run in those circles right now. I am sure that something like that must exist somewhere! It's such a fun way to learn about and connect with other cultures! Good luck!

  4. I love Continent boxes so much fun! I can't wait until Logan is a little older and we can participate in some of these too. Lulu did a great job with her Japan box. I hope Tyler has fun with it, it looks like he is!

  5. I found your blog through the August baby forum on bc. I had asked the question about numbers and colors. I like your blog! It is exactly the kind of thing I have been looking for!

  6. I'm going to share this link with the readers on facebook/KidWorldCitizen ! They will love it:).

    1. Thank you! It really has been a neat experience!