Award-winning toy playsets that immerse kids in world cultures
I was in fourth grade when my elementary school in SE Ohio hosted a group of children from China for a week through the sister-city program. Growing up in Appalachia and never having been anywhere outside of the east coast at the time, China seemed like such a far away place. The excitement about meeting kids like me from another country had been mounting at my school for weeks. We learned how to say ‘Nín hǎo’, which meant ‘hello’ and ‘Zàijiàn’, which meant ‘goodbye’ in simplified Chinese. We learned all about their customs and traditions and how to do a proper greeting. These things have stuck with me through my adulthood. I still remember meeting the group of children as our classmates smiled and said ‘Nín hǎo’ and they said ‘hello’ to us. I wanted to ask them questions and understand what they were saying in their native tongue, but I could only say hello and goodbye and nod politely. It was my first real experience with meeting someone from a different culture and as we had lunch and did little activities with the group for the week, I was fascinated that I knew so little about the rest of the world. I wanted to know more, experience more, and do more in my life than living in Appalachia and it was my first time believing that I could just travel on a plane and visit a brand new place and immerse myself into a new culture. That experience was a wonderful memory and probably one that I can pinpoint as one of the events of my life that started me on the path to wanting to know more about the world economy and different cultures which certainly became the biggest factor for me in learning macroeconomics and eventually getting my undergraduate degree in economics.
I am well aware that events in our childhood shape our adult lives and I’ve always wanted to instill in my children that the world is a much bigger place than where we now live in Austin, Texas. It’s exciting to me that my kindergartner is learning Spanish, which was something I did not get to do until I was in high school. We’ve studied world maps and have read and watched documentaries on other countries and have celebrated a new country every year in our household so we can learn as much as we can about our Earth. I think when you learn about the differences in others around the world, you also start to recognize the similarities and while I feel blessed that we are Americans, I also think we have a responsibility to engage and interact with other cultures in a positive way so we can all learn from each other. If you follow my blog and check out my Pinterest board called “Cultural and Lingual Kids” you will know that I seek out ways to integrate macroeconomics into my kids lives in fun ways and I was excited about a new and award-winning company called World Village Playsets and their very first creative playset is all about China.
- Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Socially Responsible 2015
- Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Toys of the Year 2015
- Parents’ Choice Silver Honor, 2015
- Creative Child 2015 TOY OF THE YEAR Award, Kids Playsets
“Right out of the box, the beauty and quality of the World Village Playset – China is inescapable. ” Parents’ Choice Foundation Founder, Whole Wide World Toys: Laura Barta has lived and worked on four continents in 10 years and she says that it has changed her life and shaped the lives of her children. Her family’s curiosity about what makes people and places the same and different and back in the States she wanted to create toys that showed everyday life in other countries. Her dedication to making her toy line feel like children are really getting to experience a new country has made Whole Wide World Toys the Creative Child’s 2015 Toy of the Year Award and there is much more to come from the Barta family. Follow her new adventures through her Facebook page and Twitter (@WholeWorldToys) account.
List Price: $ 59.99