Sunday, November 7, 2010

Culture Kits

We had so much fun discovering our culture kit that it deserves another mention here. These are kits that some libraries own that can be checked out for a week or two, that are full of memorabilia from one country. The Russian one contained what you see in the photos below, plus story books in English and Russian, school books in Russian, posters, video cassettes and all sorts of shoes. It is a great beginning to the study of another culture.

We spent the week reading legends and stories from Russia and planning for our festival. The piano players in the family learned a Russian tune on the piano and the friends who joined us played us one as well. The only food I could think of as definitely Russian and easy to find were blinis and caviar (no one was old enough for vodka). I apologize to my Russian friends for being so very uneducated on Russian cuisine, but time was a little short that week, so my research in that department had been aborted.

Well, the caviar was easy, but blinis were not to be found in the local supermarkets with as much ease as I'd remembered. I spent half an hour walking the aisles with three different gentlemen from three different departments searching for, "what was that again? blankies? baninis? are them like tortillas?" They all clearly thought I was off my rocker and needed help of another kind than that they could give, but I stuck to my story, no one called the authorities and in the end, I gave up and bought a gluten-free crepe/pancake mix instead.

We made them at home from scratch. My friend Elizabeth and I stood at the stove making blini after blini, from a recipe I'd found online. We had a feast and lots of fun.

PS. Note on culture kits and your library. Apparently, after the initial enthusiasm for these tools back in the 90's, the librarians endorsement of them faded, as the task of checking in over a hundred individual items grew old. You may need to ask the librarian very nicely if they are available for check-out. Thank you to my friend, Joyce, a veteran homeschooler, for sharing her knowledge of the kits and many other topics as well.


  1. Yeah...we don't have those at our library...what a bummer. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of your kids and all the Russian learning. :)

  2. Hi Tammy,

    Thank you for stopping in!



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