We are so lucky now that our kids can literally have the world at their fingertips. With technology today and well-designed educational apps, kids can basically explore the world from the comfort of their own home.
Virtual travel is something that our family has enjoyed for years now–through food especially.
Recently we had a chance to do a little exploration of sorts–enjoying a meal at a nearby Belgian restaurant and then challenging ourselves to make the same recipe at home.
It was a blast.
And along the way, we researched and experimented and learned a ton.
Your at-home cultural adventure need not be focused on Belgian mussels; you can do whatever exploring suits your own family. But here’s how we did it.
And read on to find out how you can even win a chance at a $25,000 Trip of a Lifetime for your family.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Belgian Mussels With Kids–A Cultural Adventure at Home:
When we started brainstorming how we wanted to explore another culture at home, we started first by looking around us.
- What ethnic restaurants were nearby?
- Which cultures did we want to explore?
- What foods did we want to try?
- What could we do with little financial strain?
- Which recipes could we then try at home?
- What interested my kids most?
We really didn’t have to look too far. With a top-rated Belgian restaurant named Mannekin-Pis within an hour’s driving distance, I knew we had a winner.
A little research into the background of the restaurant–and the reason for its name–was enough to get Maddy, Owen, and Cora more than interested.
And the minute the kids caught sight of the small boy statue, relieving himself into a fountain, they went nuts.
What the whaaaa? Look at what that guy is doing!
He’s peeing in a fountain! Mom! Why’d you leave this here?
Why is he in all those different costumes? Who’s dressing him up?
Then Maddy, Owen, and Cora read the articles, and they found some answers.
We talked a little about what they learned: who the statue was, some of the legends, where he was located, and why he was all dressed up.
I said, So we’re actually going to go to a restaurant not too far from us that is called Mannekin-Pis, and we’re going to try some new Belgian foods. How’s that sound?
They were psyched. Psyched.
At the restaurant, we explored a ton of new foods: traditional Belgian mussels, seafood stew, potato-leek soup, pork, trout, and of course, Belgian chocolates for dessert.
We were thrilled to try to replicate one of the recipes on our own, and we decided that the mussels would be the most fun to try.
Owen stepped up as the main chef for our mussels dinner. We searched and searched and found a recipe that most reminded us of the pot of mussels we had only a few nights before: Mussels in Saffron and White Wine Broth.
We made our shopping list, assembled our ingredients, and started cooking.
Our recipe had us trying saffron, a new-for-us spice, and preparing a food we had never previously attempted.
If you’d like to grab our recipe, you can download it here as a pdf: belgian mussels _ teachmama.com
(If you choose to share the recipe–and we hope you do!–please link to this post instead of the attachment page! Thank you!)
Owen really took charge of this recipe. It was a riot.
He did everything from chopping the vegetables for the broth to cutting bread to cleaning the mussels, and he was uber proud when he finished.
The mussels were a complete success!
But even more important than making a new for us food was showing Maddy, Owen, and Cora that with a little bit of time, effort, and energy, they could bring a totally new culture to our very own home.
I love it when kids do some serious learning in the kitchen!
You could do just about anything like we did–experience a new food at a restaurant and then try to bring it home.
It’s a fantastic learning experience for the whole family.
And it doesn’t have to stop with food; consider learning a new culture through crafts, dances, songs, or language.
MWorld Educational App:
Or, if you’re not sure where to begin, know that bringing cool cultural experiences into our homes is easier than ever thanks to technology.
We’ve been playing with a new app for the past few weeks called MWorld.
MWorld is an educational app that lets kids celebrate the world in all its glory.
The MWorld app allows users to explore, create their own worlds, and discover new and exciting adventures.
Created by an incredible team of educators and developers from Monash University, this app packs an incredible amount of fun and creative learning into one platform.
Maddy, Owen, and Cora are only just beginning to scratch the surface of all that MWorld has to offer. And they’re learning a ton and enjoying the ride.
It’s a must-see.
I have 100, 20-credit MWorld codes to give to 100 teachmama.com readers valued at over $25 each!
- Head over to MWorld site, discoverMWorld.com, and create an account.
- Enter this special code: amymwjtujg
- Log into your account and redeem your 20 MWorld credits!
Please note: This offer is only valid with purchase and can only be redeemed once per account. All MWorld purchases are subject to the terms and conditions available atdiscovermworld.com/terms-
Trip of a Lifetime:
Free codes for 100 teachmama.com readers? Really.
And a chance to win a Trip of a Lifetime? Yes. Really.
Do you want to go on the trip of a lifetime? To celebrate the global launch of MWorld, Monash is offering an adventurous family the opportunity to travel the world with a AUD $25,000 (over USD $20,000) travel voucher.
Head to the Trip of a Lifetime site to find out more and to share what you would do on your ‘trip of a lifetime’
Who knows? You may win your trip around the world, iPads, GoPros, and more! If you win, let me know!!
fyi: This post is part of my work with the MWorld Trip of a Lifetime program. As always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my personal experience as a parent and educator–and, of course, my three little world travelers.