Wordstir Family Game

Wordstir Family Game

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Wordstir Instructions

Give clues to get your family to guess the word on each card. Crossed-out words are off limits! Don’t miss out on the fun: Subscribe to our monthly kits to receive new playing cards each month.

Time: 5 min+   Players: 2+

Rounds: 1 min per card. The game ends when each person has taken the same number of turns and there isn’t an equal number of cards per player left. When the correct word is guessed, the other person or team starts their turn. If no one guesses the word, or an unsayable word is used, the card is either lost or goes back into play, depending on the number of players.

Scoring: If someone guesses your word, you earn a point. The person or team with the most words guessed correctly by others wins!

Turns:

2 people: One person draws a card and tries to get the other to guess the word. Losing a card will be on the honor system. Roles are then swapped.

3 people: One person draws a card and tries to get the player on their right to guess. The next person will give the clues to the player on their right, and so on. The person sitting out each round keeps the time and buzzes if a forbidden word is used.   

4+ people: Divide into teams. One player from Team A selects a card and tries to get their teammates to guess the word. Team B will keep the time and must buzz Team A’s clue-giver if a banned word is used. Team B draws the next card and the roles are swapped. If there is an odd number of players, someone on the smaller team will be the clue-giver twice.

Bento Box Lesson Plan

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This month, we’re heading to Japan! Inspired by this country’s unique culture, these lessons will give you a sneak peek into the tiny island’s fascinating history, geography, art, and traditions.

This curriculum provides a variety of subjects for every student to enjoy, with materials that can be easily tailored to your child’s needs. So get ready: pack your passport, and don’t forget your notebooks and pencil case!

Finding the Right Rice

When there are so many types of rice at the grocery store, it can be hard to decide which one you need. Here’s a cheat sheet:

Short-grain rice is short and wide. It’s softer and stickier than other rice when you cook it up. So it goes best with foods like sushi. Use short-grain rice to make recipes like our Adorable Onigiri.

Medium-grain rice is slightly longer and thinner than short-grain rice. This type of rice is less sticky too, and tastes tender and chewy when cooked. This is the kind of rice in risotto or paella.

Long-grain rice is long and thin, sometimes more than double the length of short-grain rice. It stays more spread apart when cooked, and that makes it good for saucy dishes. Basmati is a popular long-grain rice you might be familiar with. Try it with our Mexican Rice recipe!

Not sure which is which? Stack your rice grains side by side on the counter. The longest and thinnest is the long-grain, and the shortest and widest is the short-grain. And here’s a fun fact: wild rice is not actually rice! It’s a member of the grass family but is called “rice” due to its appearance. Who knew?

If you enjoyed these foodie facts, check out our monthly kits for more fun learning.

Noodle Tips

Do you know your noodles? They come in so many shapes and sizes. Next time you go to the supermarket, try to see how many kinds you can find! 

Soba – thin and made from buckwheat flour. Deep in color and flavor, it has extra protein and tastes great hot or cold. 

Udon – thick and chewy, these are popular in soup and so satisfying to slurp!

Somen – these thin white noodles are springy in texture and often served cold. 

Ramen – medium-thick and wavy. What is traditionally used in a ramen soup. 

Rice – unlike the others, these are made from, you guessed it, rice! Making them a great gluten-free alternative. 

Now you’re ready to get slurping! Check out our Mouthwatering Miso and Oodles of Noodles recipes, and mix it up with different noodle pairings to find your favorite. Be sure to check out our soup-making tips before you get started, and work on a Soup Scramble as your dish cooks! Just follow the package directions for exact cooking times.

For more fun learning and foodie facts, subscribe to our monthly kits.

How to Grate Fresh Ginger

A Chef’s Secret: How to Grate Fresh Ginger

Introduce your young chefs to ginger, a zesty ingredient that will give a boost of flavor to any dish. This all-star ingredient featured in our Bento Box kit pairs perfectly with Asian dishes, like our Oodles of Noodles and Baked Salmon. Here’s a pro tip: you can also add it to any entrees, smoothies and drinks, or desserts for an added kick! 

Ginger might appear intimidating, but it’s simple to prepare. A grown-up can help peel with a veggie peeler, then simply rub the ginger against the shell of our Turtle Grater, or a standard grater. Depending on the recipe, you may also dice up the ginger root with a paring knife.

This plant is chock-full of benefits, it’s practically medicine. It can help reduce nausea, soothe tummy troubles, and boost immunity. Who knew something so tasty could be good for you! 

If you’re looking for other ways to lend some Asian flair to your dishes, consider these delicious add-ins: bok choy, tofu, mirin, miso, sesame oil, bean sprouts, or nori (seaweed). Don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly kits for more tips on how to cook up culture right in your kitchen!

Dining In

Fancy it up! You don’t need to dine out at a French restaurant for a grand dinner.

Here are our top Kidstir tips for having a restaurant experience at home and turning any simple meal into a special occasion. Making a meal feel a little fancy is a great way to bond, teach manners and celebrate a great day. 

Start by getting your little one excited. They can write out a menu of what they are making — picture menus work too! Next, set the table, and fold napkins just like how they do it at restaurants. Now the important question: what’s for dinner? You could cook up this month’s kit, or prepare a Kidstir classic. You’ll feel like five stars making our Baked Salmon or Pasta Caprese

After you’re done cooking, everyone dresses up and comes to the table in style. Turn on music, light some candles, and say “Cheers!” For a cherry on top, add a vase of flowers, and serve on your best plates. Remember, use your best table manners: say “please” and “thank you,” and kiss the cook!

It’s great to slow down and celebrate the little things. You could toast a day of chores well done, a new skill learned, or a scholastic achievement. You could even encourage good habits — like letting your little chef host a meal when they finish a book and having them tell you all about it over dinner! By taking the time to acknowledge these moments, you motivate good behavior and create great memories for the whole family.

Onigiri

Onigiri

Onigiri, or rice balls, are a popular snack in Japan. Some people even eat them for breakfast! These little rice shapes take many forms and have been around for hundreds of years. Starting in the 1600s, many people began adding nori to the rice, to keep their hands from getting sticky while eating. 

Nori would grow to become a popular way of decorating, too, and today, creative folks make all kinds of creatures and shapes out of this delicious dish. Who says you can’t play with your food? 

Try recreating some of these fun onigiri for yourself:

  • Use your nori to make eyes and a mustache for a little onigiri man
  • Surround your rice with ramen to give a mane to your onigiri lion
  • Drop in some food coloring and add sesame seeds for onigiri watermelon slices

Kawaii

Photo of Kawaii Food

Have you ever heard the term “kawaii”? If not, you’ve probably seen it. This term loosely translates to a “culture of cuteness” that Japanese people hold dear. It’s the reason why so many characters, designs, merchandise, and cartoons that come from the island nation are so, well, adorable. 

Interestingly, the word kawaii originally comes from “kao hayushi,” which means “blushing.” Characters that are considered cute within Japanese culture are often shy or bashful, which means people tend to care for them more.

You might have spotted a few kawaii characters hidden throughout our Bento Box cooking kit. Can you name other examples of these loveable designs?