Chasing Cheerios

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Clarification on the Cultural Exchange

There seems to be a fair amount of confusion about how this exchange will work, so I want to clarify...

If you choose to be in a group of 6, you will send out 6 packages to 6 different children in 6 different countries. You will (hopefully) receive 6 different packages from 6 children in 6 different countries.

Each package should contain a letter from your child to the recipient's child. The recipient's name should be included in the letter. I will type our letter on the computer, and change the name for each child. I will not write an original letter for each package as that would make it much too complicated and time-consuming.

Every package should contain at least 1 picture of the child who is sending the package. Each package should also contain several cultural items, such as coins, stamps, a small flag, stickers, postcards, trinkets, toys, candy, games, etc. For example, I may include several small toys that my children love...encapsulated foam animals that you put in water and they emerge from the capsule (I'm not sure what they are called), growing animals, silly bands, American Girl stickers, etc. I'm hoping to find things that are original to the US, but also fun and entertaining.

If you have any questions, PLEASE post them in the comments section of this post, so that everyone who is participating can read them. THANK YOU!!!


  1. Shar from Dubai here. I signed up for an exchange with 6 other cultures and was hoping to involve my class of 20, 4/5yo's, once the new year starts in September. I imagined that the letter from other participants would be addressed to my class ie 'Ms Shar's Class', instead of individual names and we would post out as Ms Shar's class or
    is this getting too complicated?

    If so, I could opt to have my own daughter participate in the exchange (she's 8 - is that too old?) and just show my class once she is done with exploring the items.

    Looking forward to the exchange. Thanks so much for organising this :)

  2. You can do it either your class or your daughter. 8 is not too old. The ages range from about 10 months old to about 10 years old. Let me know how you want it addressed, so I can include that in the info I send out to your group members.

  3. Thanks Melissa. I think I will stick with making this a class event (my daughter will also benefit anyway). So that will be 'Miss Shar's Class'. Thanks :)

  4. Melissa, I LOVE your idea of a cultural exchange for the kids! Last year two blog friends and I did one for ourselves+our kids and our kids loved receiving the packages from Germany and Japan. You can read about it here:

    You and your participants are going to have so much fun!!!! I'm excited for you!

    Didn't want to sign up because I'm too swamped this year, but wanted to suggest an idea. You could also do email cultural exchanges. Provided that you're OK with your kids using the computer, you could email a letter containing greetings and links to things you might not be able to put in an envelope. Examples: links to youtube videos of national anthems or traditional cultural folk dances, or favorite cultural music or children's songs from your country. Also sports that are often played in that country.
    This could be an add-on to what is already being sent out in the post, or an alternative to expensive shipping costs. Or if some participants signed up late, or didn't meet the deadline for you to sort into groups, they could participate in an email exchange instead of a postal exchange.

    Also, slightly related, MaryAnne at mamasmiles, is doing a very cool series on cultural exploration here

    She has guest authors come and write about life in their own country. Lots of fun!

  5. Aude from Ieland here. I signed up for an exchange with 12 other countries. I was wondering how many other people from Ireland signed up? Also, I am French but living in Ireland for th past 15 years and married to an Irish man. As we have a "bi-cultural" background in our house, I was wondering if I should stick to Ireland or should I also include trinkets from France in my packages?

  6. I think it sounds brill,I'm just wary about names and addresses over the internet.Not that I don't trust you or anything,I've just always been a bit scaredy about that kinda thing!I think it sounds so intriguing tho and I'm really tempted to say yay let's go for it!I can think of loads of things to send!

  7. Hi I'm having trouble posting comments I'm hoping this works :-)

  8. Is it still possible to join your cultural exchange (we're from France)? Thanks for reading

  9. Jess- I have the same concerns. I, of course, won't send any names and addresses to anyone other than the group members. Hopefully, everyone is honest and trustworthy. I almost always have our packages sent to an address other than our own which makes me feel a little better about the whole thing.

    Veronique- Email me your name, address, etc...I may need to create another group of 6, and I can add you to it if you wish.

  10. if you are still looking for members I'll be happy to join - we are based int he UK.
    Homeschool Escapade

  11. Zelda- I've had several people sound interested, but haven't gotten their information yet. So, I guess the first one to actually send in their info will be the last one in. Although, I do need another person for a 1 package exchange group, so I could probably accomodate everyone :)

  12. great- if you send me your email and the details you want and I'll pop it over.


  13. My email is Anyone who would like an exchange group of one, please let me know ASAP. I have one US participant who needs a group of 1 to exchange with.

  14. hi melissa! are you still looking for members? we are from israel, and be happy to join. i'll send you my mail.