Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

Follow along with us as we explore World Cultures - subscribe by email


Thursday, June 12, 2014

World Cup 2014 - A Great Learning Opportunity | Multicultural Kid Blogs World Cup for Kids

Today, billions around the world will be glued to their tv screens to watch the opening ceremonies of the Fifa World Cup hosted in Brazil. This sporting event is the most watched in the world because it's all about futbol.

Known to most of the world as football, the world's most popular sport is known to Canadians and Americans as soccer. So why the sudden interest on our blog?

It certainly isn't because we are particularly athletic, or interested in competitive sports, though Elle has recently joined a team and is enjoying it. Our interest lies in this one fact:

soccer is a global game that brings people together

Soccer in the streets of Cuba
Photo credit: Renee Bastiaanssen
Many a jaw may drop when I admit I had never even heard of the World Cup until several months ago when Multicultural Kid Blogs brought it to my attention. I was naturally excited about a proposed project related to the World Cup that would include learning about different cultures. And then I started learning about this global tournament.

The New York Times has an incredible slideshow of football being played around the world, in various circumstances.

Ambivalence quickly set in. The Fifa World Cup is hosted in Brazil this year and has been the subject of numerous controversies and bearer of social ills. Brazilians have brought to media attention the enormous cost to the country, while healthcare and education lag. Laws have been changed to meet Fifa's demands, and residents have been evicted from their homes (sometimes brutally) for commercial development. Fifa itself is rife with corruption. In all honesty, this seemed like just the sort of event I am inclined to boycott.

Photo credit: Jean-Marc Liotier
An important focus in our household is of global awareness, of becoming world citizens. It is a priority for us to immerse ourselves in various cultures as best we can in order to open our hearts and minds. This is why we will be following the World Cup, along with its protesters and dissidents. 

The Streetchild World Cup is a competition that was also held in Brazil recently, with the aim of trying to ensure better treatment for street children around the world

We will use the World Cup as an opportunity to learn about citizen response and the importance of social responsibility. We will follow the global game of soccer, a sport that to so many is a chance to escape daily struggles, and that continues to bring people together. We will cheer the spirit of global cooperation and the celebration of achievement. We will support the aim that sporting tournaments bring together diverse people and are an opportunity to reach out in friendship. 

Photo credit: Pedro Guzman
And so, with my continued aim to teach kids about geography, global cooperation and cultural diversity, we are joining a great, diverse group of bloggers and taking part in the Multicultural Kid Blogs World Cup for Kids Project. As the 32 nations compete in the World Cup, this project will help you (and us) explore each and everyone of these countries. 

Starting today, and for the next month during the tournament, each team is represented by a blogger, and when their team plays, there will be a post with kid friendly information and activities about that country. This means you can expect 2 to 8 great posts each day! You can follow along with all 32 countries at Multicultural Kid Blogs, and I'll be featuring some on our Facebook page (follow us!) You can also find the Fifa schedule here.

Since we are exploring West Africa this year, I will be posting about Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon. I will also be posting about Greece, having explored it two years ago. There will be some information about each of these countries, and something for you to try. For the first round of games, I will be posting about a popular drink children enjoy in each of these countries. The second round will be popular games, and the third a book with a related craft or activity. I hope you follow along with us!

Here's our schedule: 

June 13th - Popular kids drink: Ginger beer (its non alcoholic)

June 18th - Children's books

June 23rd - Art/Craft

Cote d'Ivoire
June 14th - Popular kids drink: Bissap 

June 19th - Children's books

June 24th - Art/Craft

June 14th - Popular kids drink: Greek Lantern

June 19th - Children's books

June 24th - Art/Craft

In the meantime, get to know a little bit about Brazil and enjoy some Brazilian treats. There are also plenty of ideas to celebrate the world cup on the Multicultural Kid Blogs Pinterest board and a great printable activity pack created especially for this project here.

Photo credit for photograph in introductory image: Presentation College


  1. Very good points about following the event *and* the controversies. Ignoring either misses some great educational opportunities.
    I look forward to this series!

    1. I'm so looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

  2. Love your post! I can't wait to learn more about Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire (and Greece!:)


Thanks for stopping by to visit. Please feel free to leave a comment, it's lovely to hear from you!

Blog Design by Delicious Design Studio