Ever wonder what type of foods other kids eat for breakfast? Maybe interested in catching a glimpse of their classrooms or bedtime routines? This DVD series called Families of the World from Master Communications takes you and your family on a fun, voyeuristic tour of kids’ everyday lives in 25 different countries.
The series enables future travelers to reach across the globe and visit other people and cultures, all from a child’s point of view. Always focusing on two children from differing households, one urban, one rural, and narrated by children themselves, Families of the World DVDs invite viewers along their daily routines, introducing both the similarities and differences that exist – despite living in the same country – within their individual lives.
This month, we viewed the two of the newest releases in the series – Families of Kenya and Families of Afghanistan. My kids are a bit younger than the recommended age for the DVDs but with the 30 minute running time it was able to maintain their interest. I would love to keep these around for when they get older. They were so professionally done and reminded me of the quality of similar shorter segments you may see on Sesame Street or other PBS kids programming.
Families of Kenya introduced us to Prince, an 11-year-old sixth grader who lives with his family in the city of Nairobi. We follow Prince as he helps with morning chores before heading off to school, where we sit in on science class. After class he rides bikes with a friend, making sure to clean off the dust from the road caused by the area’s year long drought. Homework follows dinner, then its video games before bed. During the weekend, Prince helps with the shopping, attends church and enjoys a local festival featuring tribal dances. The second portion of the tape introduced us to John, an eleven-year-old boy who starts his day on his family’s farm at 5:00 am. Then it’s an hour-long walk to school where he attends the seventh grade six days a week. We are also taken on a safari tour run by John’s cousin and shown the wildlife of Africa, including lions, elephants, zebras and hyenas.
In Families of Afghanistan we meet Zamora, 13, who lives in the country with her parents, three sisters, two brothers and two uncles. An early riser, Zamora has chores to complete before breakfast, tending cows and chickens. She shows us how the homes in her village are built around a common courtyard to protect them and their vegetable gardens from the elements. At meals, she often feeds her uncle who lost his arms and eyesight to a land mine. She attends religion class, where she studies the Koran, and performs her daily prayers five times a day. Next we meet Madina, 12, who lives in the city of Kabul. Unlike Zamora, Madina has morning classes, including studies in math, science, language, history and sports. After school and the midday meal she shares with her family, Madina helps with household chores like vacuuming and ironing, then enjoys an afternoon snowball fight before doing her homework, eating supper and playing games.
The DVDs are recommended for ages 5-11 and retail for $29.95 each. The series feature families in countries such as Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, France and more. Each DVD includes a free PDF Teacher’s Guide, which features the script, copy-ready maps, discussion and activity guides, recipes, glossaries and more. To order call 1-800-765-5885 or visit www.familiesoftheworld.com
– That’s IT Mommy, Jill
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