Sweden for Toddlers and Preschoolers

This month we have been learning about and praying for Sweden. We live in Minnesota, which actually has quite a bit of Swedish heritage. There is so much so that there is a museum in Minneapolis that is dedicated to teaching about Swedish culture. We also have a few friends with quite a bit of Swedish heritage that live in Minnesota that were able to share a little about the Swedish culture that has been passed on in their families. Here are some of the fun ways the girls and I explored Swedish culture.

The American Swedish Institute

We, of course, took a trip to the American Swedish Institute. This mansion was once owned by a wealthy Swedish family in the Twin Cities, and still holds much of its original charm, including porcelain fireplaces, a beautiful stain-glass mural, and elegant carpet.

The Institute hosts different exhibits to teach about Swedish culture. They also have a kids area, sponsored by IKEA. When we visited, the kids area was set up as a Swedish Christmas market, and the girls loved exploring the various stalls and play bakery items.

Swedish Food

One of the funnest ways to explore a culture is to sample their food. I chatted with my good friend, Rebekah, who has quite a bit of Swedish heritage. She suggested we stop by Ingebretsens, a Scandanavian deli in Minneapolis. Rebekah suggested trying Swedish potato sausage, a Christmas favorite in her family. We picked up some sausage, which Naomi loved, and we also picked up some Swedish cookies called Kringla. They had toy versions of this treat at the American Swedish Institute, so it seemed perfect that we would get to try some. They were quite a treat, everyone loved them, and our package was devoured in a day.

Fika

While we enjoyed our Kringla, we practiced the Swedish ritual of Fika. I learned that Fika literally translates as coffee. However, it means quite more. It is a break in the day where one slows down, takes a breath, sips a coffee, and simply enjoys being with friends. It is often enjoyed with a pastry. It may also be enjoyed with tea. However, it cannot be enjoyed alone. It is a time to relax, let go of cares, and enjoy the company of those you love. We lit some candles, I brewed some coffee, the girls enjoyed some milk, and we snacked on our kringla together. We enjoyed this so much that we have started making it apart of our daily rhythms, to just have a slow moment to be together.

Media

A couple of media resources we enjoyed this week were the Spotify Swedish music station. It was fun to hear some of our favorite songs in a different language, as well as hear some new songs.

We also enjoyed listening to Five Minute Folklore stories about the Tomte (or Nisse in Norwegian). The story of the “Tomte and the Butter” was suggested to us by Ingebretson’s.

Pray With Us

Whether teaching a Sunday school class, or playing with your littles at home, please pray for the country of Sweden with us. When praying with toddlers. It does not have to be complex. Keep it simple. “Dear God, please show your love to the people of Sweden. Amen.”

How have you and your little ones explored Swedish culture? Comment below!

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