Sunday, June 19, 2011

Continent swap: items about Europe

A few months ago, I mentioned to you about a continent swap I was doing with  About a Girl (see the post here). This was a very "unformal" type of swap as we both agreed to take our time. She chose to send me items from over there mainly and I would send her items from Europe (especially Ireland and France). But we also decided that we would swap anything else we could find, either by post or by email. This system suited our busy lives perfectly, without putting any pressure on us. It has been (and still is) a very nice experience and it is such a nice opportunity to make new friends. About a Girl posted her package before me (she was definitely more organised!!!) but mine finally left about 10 days ago (or so...)

Here is what I gathered for my friend across the ocean.

                          1-  Let's start with Ireland:

  • Postcards from Ireland
  • A mini wooden  hurl (from Wexford, the county we live in). Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic origin and is played with sticks called hurls and a ball called a sliotar. Hurling is the national sport of Ireland. The object of the game is for players to use a wooden stick called a hurl to hit a small ball called a sliotar between the opponents' goalposts either over the crossbar for one point, or under the crossbar into a net guarded by a goalkeeper for one goal, which is equivalent to three points. The sliotar can be caught in the hand and carried for not more than four steps, struck in the air, or struck on the ground with the hurley. It can be kicked or slapped with an open hand (the hand pass) for short-range passing. A player who wants to carry the ball for more than three steps has to bounce or balance the sliotar on the end of the stick and the ball can only be handled twice while in his possession.

·         An Irish souvenir spoon with the Celtic cross and the shamrock (Irish emblem) on it.
·         An Irish thimble with the Claddagh ring symbol on it. The traditional Claddagh ring was given as a token of love or worn as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the city of Galway. The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown).
·         A magnet : our famous Irish Guinness (a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James's Gate, Dublin. Guinness is directly descended from the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century and is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide.) Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that "'antioxidant compounds' in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls (a great excuse for many!!!!!!) Guinness still accounts for more than a quarter of all beer sold in Ireland (what a national treasure!!). You can actually visit the brewery in Dublin. I may try to find some leaflets for you.

  • ·        A book “Everything Irish” which will tell you about leprechauns, St patrick, St Brigid etc.. with lots of fun crafts to do.

·         Traditional Irish dancing shoes
·         A little Irish dancer/puppet in traditional costume.

2-  And now for the rest of Europe, here is what I put together:

·         Laminated cards about the great Spanish conquistadors (I got it from a blog but I cannot remember which one. I think it might be Montessori Tidbits).

  • Greek stamps

·          A magnet in the shape of Brittany (where I come from), one of the many French regions as well as magnet of the map of France with the Eiffel Tour in the middle and the flag.
·         A traditional hat worn in Brittany in the past (check the old lady riding the bike on the magnet!). It is called a bigouden
·         The flag of Brittany
·         A book mark about Le Mont Saint Michel ( a landmark in Normandy – another regioStamps

·         Little plastic bottles representing our French wines.

·         An empty bottle of camembert (very popular cheese in france. We love our cheese)
·         French coins (before the Euro!) and English coins too.

Believe it or not, I still have to finish my own Europe continent box. And the rest of them too. I haven't done much with them though I had promised myself to have most of them completed by June! Shame. I am really hopin to catch up during the summer break. If any of you is interested in a continent swap with me, please leave me a comment! Keep in touch.


  1. Oh my goodness!!! That is amazing! I feel horrible that you will find your package seriously lacking! Thank you so much I can't wait to get it!! What a fantastic job you have done on gathering things.

  2. Nice Post!Its remind me old days of my school life!!
    Nice share.Thumbs Up!!
    Montessori Nursery London


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