Bonne année! Shana Tova! Feliz año nuevo! Felice Anno Nuovo or Buon anno! Happy New Year!


World of Liberty is excited to say hello to 2017 and start January off with a bang! That expression comes from the way several countries ring in the new year. Literally with a bang. The bang of a pan. The bang of a pistol. The bang of a firecracker. Why such
Bangloud noises? Ancient cultures used gunfire and fire power to ward off bad spirits that might hinder their fresh start. It’s thought that the loud noise would scare off the demons or send them on a different route, allowing people to enter the new year free of evil. Gives a whole new meaning to banging pots and pans in the street right? And you just thought it was for fun. You can also try ringing a bell like they do in Italy, beating a drum like they do in Switzerland, or party horns like they do in North America. Whatever you can find to make a loud noise, use it to join in the tradition of centuries ago. Leave the bad behind, and let the goodness and wealth pour in!

Not only do we like to fill the air with noise to celebrate the new year but many countries also have food traditions to help them start the year off right. In Spain,  people eat 12 grapes, one for every stroke of the clock at midnight and for good luck in each month of the new year. Armenia has a special bread that has luck and good wishes kneaded into the dough before it’s baked. Talk about made with love. While in Ireland, they throw the bread at the wall to ward off evil spirits rather than eating it. The PrintSwiss also have a funny food tradition where they drop cream or ice cream on the floor to bring good luck in the new year. Other countries believe in eating round foods like doughnuts to signify coming “full circle” and bring good fortune in the new year. There’s so many ways to begin the new year. All in all, it’s about getting rid of any negativity of the previous year and putting your best foot forward. So make some noise and eat up. Try adopting some fun new traditions this year to spice things up in 2017. 

One day this month that will surely bring a smile to your face is Winnie the Pooh Day. January 18th is the birthday of A. A. Milne, Winnie The Poohthe creator of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, a day in which fans can celebrate their love of Pooh Bear. People all over the world can celebrate this most cuddly of days by putting together a teddy bear picnic and venturing out into a park or nearby woods. A menu of honey, nuts, and fruit would surely settle a rumbly in your tumbly as Pooh might say. Bring your favorite A. A. Milne storybook about the adventures in the 100 Acre Wood and read it with your favorite teddy bear and friends. You can talk about the traits of your favorite characters whether it’s Tigger’s ability to have fun, fun, fun, fun, fun or Eeyore’s constantly disappearing tail. It might even be fun to draw a picture of what your house would look like if you lived in the 100 Acre Wood. Whatever you decide to do remember…34527-Youre-Braver-Than-You-Believe

That Winnie the Pooh was a wise bear.

 

If Winnie the Pooh day didn’t meet your love quota for the month, fear not for Hug Day is here. Mark your calendar for January 21st to get your hug on. Rev. Kevin Zaborney Hug Dayfounded National Hug Day in 1986 in Michigan. He chose this day between Christmas and Valentine’s Day as a time when he felt people might need their spirits lifted. Number one rule on
Hug Day, ask before you hug, as not everyone is so inclined to be touchy feely. That’s exactly why this day was created though, Kevin Zaborney felt that Americans needed an opportunity to show their emotions and not keep it all inside as our society tends to do. Hugs have been scientifically known to reduce stress by increasing the hormone oxytocin in your blood. Hugs also lower the risk of depression as well as lower your blood pressure. There are so many benefits that come with such a simple hug. So embrace this day, pun intended. Go hug your parents, your friends, your teachers, your neighbor, if they are ok with the gesture, and spread that love. 

 

There’s no better way to kick off 2017 than with hugs and Winnie the Pooh. This year already sounds like it’s World of Liberty Logostarting off on the right foot. World of Liberty wishes you the best in achieving all of your goals. Let’s make this world a more loving place filled with happy people. 

 

 

Brrrrrrrrrr! It’s that time of year where it’s frosty outside and toasty inside. There’s cheer in the air and a spirit of sharing at World of Liberty. It seems as though the calendar saved the
best dates for last. We can’t think of a better way to end the year than on a giving note.

Before we get to the biggest holiday of the year, there is another special day that is celebrated across the world. You have all heard of St. Nicholas, right? Well, December 6th is St. Nicholas St NicholasDay, also known as Feast Day. St. Nicholas is a real person from 4th Century Greece known to help the needy by placing coins in their shoes. His name means “bearer of gifts” and there are several stories about him bestowing gifts to children that are well behaved. When the children knew he was coming they would leave carrots for his donkey in their shoes or boots, and St. Nicholas would leave sweets, fruit, nuts, and coins inside of their shoes in return.  Many parts of this worldly tradition are represented in our modern day Christmas celebrations. For instance, this is where the tradition of hanging your stockings originated. This day is meant to remember the kindness and giving nature of Saint Nicholas rather than focus on what you have received, be grateful for what you have been given.

We are very blessed in America, but December 7th reminds us of a day “that will live in infamy.” Can you name the President that spoke those famous words? That would be Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, in response to the surprise attacks from Japan Pearl Harbor Dayon the naval base at Pearl Harbor inHawaii. Over 350 Japanese fighter planes bombed Pearl Harbor early that morning, upon which America was forced to declare their entrance into World War II. Eight battleships were damaged, 4 sunk, in efforts to expand the Empire of Japan. The USS Arizona was the only battleship unable to be raised and is memorialized forever underwater off the shore of Oahu. You can visit the site of this historic attack and the museum in the USS Missouri. Even though the 7th is not an official federal holiday, we will always remember and honor the thousands of lives lost in the fight that day.

On a lighter note, let’s talk about the Festival of Lights known as Hanukkah. This 8 day long Jewish celebration can start as early as November depending on the Hebrew calendar for that given Webyear. Each day an additional candle is lit on the 9 branched menorah, representing the 8 days and nights the oil burned on what was supposed to be only a day’s worth of oil. This miracle took place after the successful Maccabean revolt and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Truly a miracle to celebrate!  Hanukkah is full of tradition such as reciting three blessings before lighting the candles each night. It is also customary to play a game of dreidel after the candles are lit. Playing dreidel represents the games the Jews would play to disguise the fact that they had gathered to read the Torah which has been outlawed back in 2nd century BC.  The soldiers would think they were gambling rather than learning. Can you imagine having to hide the fact that you were learning? Take the opportunity to find a dreidel of your own and play at home. You might also  want to enjoy foods made in oil such as latkes and doughnuts as they do traditionally. Sounds yummy right? It’s all done to remember the importance of oil all those centuries ago. If you aren’t Jewish yourself, perhaps you can join in the festivities with a friend and experience the wonder that is Hanukkah.

One of the newest holidays in the month of December, full of culture and community, is Kwanzaa. It was first celebrated in 1966 as a specifically African-American holiday that starts on PrintDecember 26th to January 1st. It was created by Maulana Karenga to honor African heritage. Each of the 7 days of the holiday represent a core principle. Unity, Self-Determination, Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Every day of Kwanzaa you can discuss what these principles mean in your everyday life and their importance. It’s great culmination of food and gift-giving. World of Liberty thinks Kwanzaa is fantastic addition to creating community and enjoying the abundance this season brings.

That brings us to the biggest holiday of the year, Christmas. December 25th is the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. They celebrate by attending church on Christmas Eve and enjoying the retelling of the Christmas Story through the display of a nativity. This was the original reason for Christmas over 2000 years ago. Over the years christmas treetraditions have been added to what we know today as Christmas, which brings us back to St. Nicholas. Remember him? Even though he is celebrated on December 6th in the rest of the world, in America we have celebrate the legend of St. Nick with Santa Clause on the 25th. He is indeed the gift giver as children well know. And just like St. Nicholas, Santa Clause only rewards kids that have been good all year. While St. Nicholas would leave a stick in the shoe of the bad children for their parents to punish them with, Santa Clause is known for leaving a lump of coal to those that are naughty. In the end, it’s all about being kind to one another and being on your best behavior. Instead of focusing on what you will receive this Christmas, try doing something for others. Make an ornament for your best friend. Create a Christmas card for your parents. Go caroling to spread cheer in your neighborhood. There’s so many wonderful ways to celebrate Christmas!

No matter what you believe in, this month is all about celebration with family and friends. So gather together and get festive. Put up a tree and decorate. Light up your home with candles with the help and supervision of an adult of course. December MemeMake your favorite food and cookies. And most importantly, share with those around you. There’s nothing quite like seeing your loved ones smile because of something you did for them. Enjoy the rest of 2015 and let there be peace and joy around you this season.

 

Changing leaves, crisp apples, and pumpkin everything is all around. It’s officially fall… or autumn depending on which you prefer. Fall is the only season with two names, or actually 3 liberty one hand raiseddepending on how far back you want to investigate. The original name for this season was “harvest” since the months of the fall season are when the farmers reap all of the crops grown over the summer. “Autumn” is a reference to the autumnal equinox, when the sun shines on the equator for an equal amount of time during the day and night. Then “fall” comes from the idea of the falling leaf which is a typical sign of the season depending on what climate you live in.

Speaking of falling, this month World of Liberty celebrates Columbus Day which honors the discoveries made by the great explorer Christopher Columbus. Columbus DayHis brave quest in 1492, upon 3 ships proved that we should not fear falling off the edge of the earth because the world is actually round, not flat. Can you imagine thinking that you would fall off the face of the earth if you sailed too far out into the ocean? Seems silly to us now, but back in 1492 things were a lot different. The whole point of the voyage was to discover the New World. Columbus did find a New World, but it was not India as he originally thought. It was America! Native Americans were the actual founders of America and inhabited the land prior to Christopher’s search. We commemorate October 11th as Columbus Day, also referred to as Discoverer’s Day, in celebration of the discovery and voyage to find the New World and proving the world is round.

UN KidsUnited Nations Day also celebrates the world and it’s people on October 24th. Do you feel a theme happening in October? World of Liberty is a big fan of the organization known as the United Nations and their efforts towards world peace and the betterment of humanity ranging from world hunger to the environment and health issues.  This year United Nations Day, which is always on the 24th and Make a Difference Day, which is the 4th Saturday of the month, will be one in the same.  Make a Difference Day was started back in 1990, and created to encourage people to volunteer in their communities by helping others. So whether it’s helping a neighbor with household chores, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or donating old clothes to the goodwill, get out there and make a difference in your very own community. You can even make it a monthly activity with friends.

Now to reward yourself for making a difference, grab your friends and a pumpkin for Carve a Pumpkin Day which also falls on Halloween, October 31st. The most popular day for Georgie Pumpkinspumpkins all over the world. Under the supervision of an adult, carve out a Jack O’ Lantern face of your own design, or trace a pattern onto your orange gourd for a more intricate look, or just go silly with glitter, glue, and markers for the most outlandish porch buddy you can imagine.

In the spirit of traditional Halloween festivities, walk your neighborhood to check out all the other pumpkins while participating in the long time custom of trick or treating. Have you thought of your costume yet? Dressing up is one of the best parts of Halloween. The whole act of wearing a costume stems back thousands of years  when the Celtic people believed ghosts roamed the earth on this one night a year. So the townspeople would wear masks and dress up as ghosts and ghouls to fool the spirits. Over time different traditions developed, such as bonfires and parades in which people would beg for treats like pastries and money. Sounds very similar to what we now know as trick or treating right? Well, trick or treating came into existence when Halloween came to America and the immigrants from Europe started their own version of Halloween festivities. As years went by, Halloween lost it’s religious and superstitious overtones and became more about the community and fun. Get your creative juices flowing and craft up a fun costume.

While you’re in the pumpkin spirit don’t forget to check out our 1st app, It’s Raining Pumpkins in Delaware!

1896849_622205277867128_1367792726_nFall into adventure this October!

Love,

Liberty Lane

It’s back to school and end of summer time! September

Did you have a good summer? Here at World of Liberty we certainly did! We spent some time in New York visiting Lady Liberty and the World Trade Center, did some camping on the California coast and even traveled all the way to Australia. We’rliberty one hand raisede ready to get back to school and back to the fun of learning!
This past weekend we celebrated Labor Day. We all look forward to Labor Day as the last barbecue day and the unofficial end of summer celebration. Do you know what Labor Day is actually for?

The first Labor Day took place in 1882. A group of workers in New York came together to protest the long hours and unsafe conditions of the factories. After that first Labor Day states all over the country started to host Labor Days in honor of the American worker. Finally, in 1894 Congress passed a law to make the first Monday in September a national holiday.

Labor Day is unique among national holidays. It doesn’t celebrate one person nor does it celebrate the end of a war nor does it commemorate a single event. Labor Day is the only national holiday that celebrates the average American. It celebrates all of us! This is our day to realize that all of the hard work we put in day-to-day has grown this great nation. When we come together we accomplish amazing things.

Never forget2On Friday, September 11th, we hope everyone takes a moment to remember the events we now know as  “9/11.” Many American’s find it hard to relive the tragedy of 9/11/2001, but we feel it’s important to honor those who lost their lives on that fateful day. Not only did American citizens die that day, but citizens from 90 different countries perished as well. We honor the memory of all who died that day, with special thought and prayers to the many heroes who rushed in to save as many as they could, but lost their own lives in their selfless efforts. We will never forget.

Here’s a great video  from Brain Pop. It’s a good one to share with your kids because it talks about why September 11th happened and what it means to us here in America. It also gives some thoughtful questions to talk to your kids about.

Don’t worry, September isn’t all seriousness. On September 18th  we all get to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day! We’ll be heading to Umami to have one of the best cheeseburgers ever.

Are you up for a cheeseburger challenge? Submit your recipe to us for the Best Cheeseburger Ever and include the hashtag #BestCheeseburgerEver. Do you put a special ingredient in your patties? Or is it the condiments that make your cheeseburger perfect? We want to know! Tweet us, email us or Facebook us your thoughts.World of Liberty Logo

Have a wonderful September. We look forward to hearing from you!

Happy August Readers! This is a very fun month for World of Liberty because we get to celebrate two of our favorite characters! August hosts both National Aviation Day and National Dog Day. Truman and Ellie are super excited! But there’s another reason we feel that August is very special, on August 7 America celebrates Purple Heart Day.

some gave all3

August 7th is a day to reflect on the sacrifice given by soldiers wounded in combat. The Purple Heart started out as the Badge of Military Merit during the American Revolution. George Washington gave a Badge of Military Merit to enlisted men who had proved themselves in battle. Merit means the quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward (Dictionary.com). Washington believed that soldiers should be honored for their merit. However the Badge of Military Merit disappeared after the revolution. It wasn’t until 1932 when Congress created the Purple Heart that America once again had a badge honoring merit. Congress “revived [the Purple Heart] out of respect to [Washington’s] memory and military achievements.” (ThePurpleHeart.com/history)

Take time this month to honor those who’ve served. Here are our top 3 suggestions…

  1. Write a letter to a soldier thanking them for their service. You can send them through Operation Gratitude.
  2. Contact your local VA to see how you can volunteer to help.
  3. Have your kids collect money in August by doing chores and odd jobs. They can donate their earnings to an organization that supports veterans like the Military Order of the Purple Heart Foundation.

National_Aviation_DayOn August 19 we will celebrate our very own Truman with National Aviation Day!

National Aviation Day started in 1939 when President Franklin D Roosevelt proclaimed Orville Wrights birthday National Aviation Day. We’re going to celebrate today by having a paper airplane contest and Truman’s going to be the judge! Check out the incredible variety of paper airplane designs on FoldNFly.com. Try one out and let us know which you like best!

1896849_622205277867128_1367792726_nWe also get to celebrate with Ellie this month because August 26th is National Dog Day! Ellie is way more than a dog, she’s our best friend! We don’t know where we’d be without her. On August 26th we would love to see pictures of your dogs. Tweet us your favorite puppy pics. #DOGust #EllieBFF

Don’t forget the summer is almost over but it’s never too late for an adventure. Have a great rest of summer!

It’s June! School’s out and the wonderful promise of summer lies ahead of us. It's June

We know that sometimes this enticingly empty stretch of unstructured time can seem daunting to fill. Here are some activities and suggestions for summer. As always, we’ve looked a little bit into the history of things because we can’t help but be passionate about American history. Buckle your seat belts because here comes summer!

Major Days in June

D-Day, June 6

June 6, 1944 was D-Day and the beginning of the end of World War II. On D-Day American, Canadian, British and French troops all joined forces to reclaim the beaches of Normandy. This day was a turning point in the war. If your kids are looking to learn more about D-Day they can check out the article on Ducksters.com This great article goes over the how, what, when, where and why of D-Day and explores our country connections with our Allied Forces; Canada, Great Britain and France.

Flag Day, June 14th

This June 14th America will be celebrating it’s 99th Flag Day! President Woodrow Wilson scheduled the first Flag Day in 1916. Flag Day never became a national holiday but just the same Americans love to celebrate our flag. Here are some fun facts we found about Old Glory. Check out Kids Konnect to learn even more!

14th of June - American Flag Day greeting card
14th of June – American Flag Day greeting card
  • The American flag’s nickname is “stars and stripes” also referred to as “Old Glory”
  • The flag’s design has changed 27 times over it’s history and was last changed in 1960 to include our 50th state, Hawaii
  • The 13 stripes on the flag represent the 13 colonies
  • There is a star for each of the 50 states, go ahead and count them!
  • The design of our current 50 star flag was designed by a high school student for a class project and he only got a B- as his final grade (mentalfloss.com)

Fathers Day, June 19th

Did you know that Father’s Day was actually protested in the 1920’s and 30’s?

The first Fathers Day is attributed to Sonora Smart Dodd. She was one of six children raised by a single father and in 1910 decided that her dad deserved a celebration. President Coolridge tried to get the states to celebrate Fathers Day but most fathers “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving”(History.com). The 1920’s and 30’s saw such a backlash on Fathers Day that there were even rallies in Central Park in New York! World War II put a stop to all the controversy and in 1972 the day became a national holiday in America.

Mom, I’m Bored!

Bored kids
Bored kids

Well, if your kids have already downloaded both World of Liberty apps, “It’s Raining Pumpkins in Delaware” and “Chicago’s Green River Leads to the Emerald Isle”, we recommend you let them…stay bored! That’s right. It turns out that boredom is actually a state of mind that breeds creativity and helps children with problem solving skills. Several studies have recently been released showing the positive outcome of being bored. Aha! Parenting has a great article about it (read here).

Unstructured time gives your kids the opportunity to, “respond to the stirrings of their own hearts” (Aha!). So, boredom is actually good for you. Who knew?

The word boredom was first used in Charles Dickens’ Bleak House which was published in 1852. Of course, the state of mind has existed throughout human history. According to Simthsonian.com it turns out that even ancient Romans experienced boredom!

So, go ahead!Be bored this summer, you never know where it may lead you.

Liberty’s Letters 

Vol. 1

The M’s of May

May is here and we’ve realized that there are a lot of M’s to celebrate with merrymaking and memorialization! One of our favorite things here at World of Liberty is discovering how/why things are connected to the history of our country.

Mother’s Day

We love learning so we took a look into where Mother’s Day came from. Mother’s Day was started by Anna Jarvis in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia. We’ve been celebrating mothers in America for over 100 years! According to History.com Mother’s Day actually started as a group of women seeking to achieve reconciliation and peace between the North and South after the Civil War. Our fore-mothers sure knew the importance of a unified America!

The creator of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, remained childless for her whole life. We all are lucky to have mothers and/or a great mothering relationship. Jarvis proves that mothers are more then just the women who gave birth to us. Mothers are the women who mentor, love and cherish us.

In 2014, Cardstore, did a “prank interview” with dozens of applicants. They placed an online ad for a Director of Operations. As the interview unfolds it becomes clear that this isn’t just any old job that people are applying for. This is the most important job in the whole world!

World’s Toughest Job

Thank you to all our Mom’s out there! We love you so!!!!

Memorial Day

memorial-day-2015

We are proud to be Americans and are humbled and honored by the sacrifices that our troops make for us.
Memorial Day is a day where we get to honor our troops. We honor the dead for the sacrifice they made in fighting for freedom in America. We honor their sacrifice by remembering them and continuing the crusade by, “rising up in their stead and continuing the fight for liberty and justice for all.” (USMemorialDay.org)

Traditionally the American flag is quickly raised then slowly lowered to half-staff position where it remains until noon. The half-staff position is to remember the dead. At noon the flag is then raised again all the way. This is a symbol for us all to remember the living and to live our lives in a way that honors the sacrifice of those who have fallen.

Here are some other great ways to celebrate Memorial Day…

We at World of Liberty are grateful for the sacrifices made by our service men and women. We are honored to live in a country of heroes.

Have you forgotten yet?… 

Look up, and swear by the green of the Spring that you’ll never forget. 

~ Siegfried Sassoon

Welcome to the World of Liberty website!

Join in the magical adventures of best pals Liberty Lane, Ellie, Georgie and Truman app1as they explore America! Together they travel state by state to discover “country connections” –things America has in common with countries all over the world!

Their magical journeys always include helping new friends, learning historic and geographic facts and inspiring children of all ages to discover more about our world! We welcome you to discover our first storybook adventure app! In “It’s Raining Pumpkins in Delaware,” Liberty and her pals go to Delaware and Sweden by way of a sister city “country connection.”

See you in our first adventure!