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Seattle, Washington: World Culture for Kids

World Culture for Kids at Mama Smiles Joyful Parenting

Today we are visiting Seattle, Washington with Karen, author of the book Empowering the Children: 12 Universal Values Your Child Must Learn to Succeed in Life to help children learn they don’t have to be grown-ups to change the world. 

Seattle, Washington

Water, water everywhere! Seattle has lots of water. There are lakes, ship canals, Puget sound, and rain. What does that mean for the people who live here?

Some people live on houseboats. They don’t drive their houses around on the water, but they do float on the lake!


We have lots of ways to get around on the water:

Sea planes take off from and land on South Lake Union’s watery surface instead of the paved runways most planes use.


Stand-up paddle boarders do exactly that, stand on a surf board and paddle!


Some people even attach a bike to their board and peddle their dog around South Lake Union!


We have all kinds of boats, from tall sailboats, big ferry boats that transport people and cars to tiny kayaks made for one person. All of the water travel keeps our drawbridges very busy. The drawbridge in Fremont is one of the busiest in the world, opening an average of 35 times each day!


If you come to the Fremont Bridge, make sure to visit the troll that lives under the Aurora Bridge just a few blocks away. He is so big, he is holding a VW Bug in his hand! Plus, you can climb on him!


All of this water means we can find herons near the lakes and seals near the locks and beaches. Moist ground makes it easy to find slugs and snails. We can even bring one inside for the day and have a snail circus! Do you think it can walk across the tightrope?


We have lots of fresh seafood and farmers markets. Photo:


It is common to find people with pet chickens and gardens in their yards. Blackberries grow so easily, they are considered a weed (the most delicious weed I’ve ever had!).


We love nature and play outside when it is sunny and when it is raining. Lots of people think that it rains all of the time in Seattle, but we get the same amount of rain as St.Louis and Key West (approximately 38 inches/year). We experiment with water, dripping it on trays and changing the incline to see what happens.

rain trays4

We look for drops outside when it is raining, perhaps on the slide, to see what happens when the drops race down toward the ground. What do you think happens when two drops bump into each other? We also look for the biggest puddles we can find and jump in them.


Winter snow covers the mountains that surround Seattle, and the melting snow provides us with drinking water and hydroelectricity. We want to understand our environment so we learn about what happens when warm weather melts the glaciers and snow. What happens to ice when we trickle warm water over it? What does it mean for animals and people if we don’t get enough snow, or if the snow melts too fast?


People in Seattle also like to reuse and recycle items. We collect boxes, bottles, and plastic containers to build machines that have doors that open, secret hiding spots, ramps, and knobs. We can use them for many things! When we are finished with them, we put them in the recycling bin.


I hope you enjoyed a little tour of Seattle! Come and visit us anytime because we always love to make new friends. If you live far away and can’t travel here, try some of our experiments with water, snails, and recyclables. Let us know what you discovered!

Karen Szillat has over twenty years experience in Early Childhood Education as a teacher, consultant, and administrator. Karen has worked with hundreds of children in Illinois, Wisconsin, Germany, California, and Washington.


Thank you, Karen, for this wonderful post! I have never been to Seattle, but now I really want to go – and you’ve given me some great activities I can do with my kids from Massachusetts, as well!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

11 thoughts on “Seattle, Washington: World Culture for Kids”

  1. The bicycle boat made me laugh out loud! And I would love to see the drawbridge in action. I have friends in Seattle, so maybe I’ll go someday.

  2. Seattle really is a fun place for families to connect with nature! And you never know what you might see, since there are so many creative and resourceful folks here! I love exploring the neighborhoods just for that reason.

  3. I’ve only been in Seattle once and for a very short time but I loved what I saw. This post makes we want to visit again with the kids.

  4. I have a friend that moved to Washington and goes to Seattle a lot. It looks like such a beautiful and friendly place where kids can learn and see nature in its real environment.

  5. Ah! It’s nice to see Seattle so sunny! We visited and it lived up to its reputation and rained a lot but we thought it was a fantastic vibrant city! Loved it!

  6. jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa

    I have always wanted to visit Seattle. It looks like such an interesting and beautiful city. And I agree, that troll is cool. (however my kiddos might not sleep after visiting him)

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