Welcome to this week’s Exploring Geography post, brought to you by The Good Long Road. Jenni Fischer is a mom of two, Wild Thing (her toddler) and Caterpillar (her 10 month-old), as well as an independent filmmaker who has taught filmmaking to youth and has run after-school programs through her company Think Ten Media Group. She writes about her experiences with Wild Thing and Caterpillar at The Good Long Road with an emphasis on mindfulness, imagination, and creative activities related to her toddler’s favorite children’s books. Jenni ran a bunch of fantastic posts for the Fourth of July, including these Homemade Pop Tarts and 10 Art & Science Explosions. I also love her parenting post, When Your Kid is “That Kid”.
I’m very excited to write about Thailand because my brother recently moved there. Wild Thing loves learning about the place Uncle Thomas lives. We’ve learned that “sa wat” is the basic greeting in Thailand. Similar to hello, “sa wat” actually translates to mean blessings or good fortune. (This site has basic Thai phrases that you can listen to for correct pronunciation). Sa wat is never said alone. You would said “ratree sawat” for good morning or “sawat dee” for a generic greeting at any time of day. “Dee” means good and so it’s the “good” in “good blessings” that you wish on the other person.
To see where Uncle Thomas lives, we’ve been using Google Maps and discovered a great feature. If you click your mouse on the yellow man on your map, you can then control him. Wherever you place him on the map, you will get a Google Earth image of that place.
Here are a couple of photos Uncle Thomas emailed us from Thailand (Both show Buddhist temples or wats, in the background and then up close. Buddhism is the primary religion in Thailand. I shared ideas about teaching kids about Buddhism in my previous Exploring Geography post on Tibet.)
Another cool thing about Thailand for kids are the elephants — they are often featured in traditional Thai art and are even in used, sometimes, for transportation in much of Asia, including Thailand. So we’re reading books about elephants, pretending to be elephants and making our own elephant art. We made these foil Asian elephants after seeing them on Kid World Citizen.
The elephant book I recommend is Elephants: A Book for Children by Steve Bloom, and our favorite Thai children’s book is Hush! A Thai Lullaby in which the mother goes around telling all of the animals in the area to be quiet because the baby is sleeping. Wild Thing loved re-telling the story and pretending to be all of the animals. Plus, I like helping him learn to be quiet when the baby is sleeping, since he has a 11 month-old brother.
We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about Thailand with us!
Thank you, Jenni, for sharing a piece of Thailand! We borrowed and loved that Thai Lullabye book from the library about a year ago – time to check it out again!