Praying for South Korea with Toddlers

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The Lunar New Year is coming up fast on February 1st this year. With several community events for Lunar New Year in our area, this holiday has become a favorite for us to learn about. It’s also become a tradition in our home to learn about and pray for one of the countries celebrating Lunar New Year. This year, we are doing a culture study on South Korea. Below you will find food, book, and music recommendations as well as ways to pray for fellow believers in Korea.

Lunar New Year

As mentioned above, we love learning how the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Korea. Chalk Academy has a lovely collection of  Korean Lunar New Year Activities and book recommendations for preschoolers, featuring both printable activities, crafts, and games for learning about the Korean Lunar New Year. We especially loved the ‘Design Your Own Hanbok’ printable activity that was suggested.

Music

Music can be a fun, and simple way to introduce littles to different languages and cultures. Below are some listening options our family enjoys and hope you do as well.

  • Jesus Loves Me in Korean: Jesus loves me is a popular Sunday School song in the United States that has been translated into several languages, including Korean. Listening to a familiar song in a different language can be a gentle way to introduce your little to languages around the world.

Books

The Ocean Calls By Tina Cho: We love all books by Tina Cho over here, and this book about real life Korean mermaids is fabulous for little ocean-lovers. It shares the story of Korean divers that have mastered the art of diving with minimal gear to find ocean treasures. 

Chef Boi Choi and the Street Food Remix by June Jo Lee: This beautiful book shares the story of Chef Roy Choi, a Korean American chef who used fusion food to feed his community, and inspire others to do the same.

Korean and English Nursery Rhymes by Danielle Wright: I love bilingual poetry books, and this one is fantastic because it comes with a CD for easy listening. If you are a poetry tea time family, I highly recommend checking out this collection of Korean-English poems.

My first book of Korean Words by Kyubyong Park: This read was such a fun introduction to Korean words. Written in English and rhyming with Korean words. This book offers basic Korean vocabulary and a glimpse at Korean culture.    

Food

Bee-Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park– This book is fantastic for getting littles interested in trying Korean food. Journey with a little girl and her mom to the store, and in the kitchen to make Bee Bim Bop. The best part, there is a recipe in the back for culinary explorers to make their own Bee Bim Bop.

Bonchon– is a Korean fast food option near our home, with the mission to ‘introduce the world to Korean comfort food.’ They feature both traditional Korean menu options as well as chicken wings, making it a hit for everyone in the family.  They also serve Mochi Ice cream for dessert. So really there is something everyone will enjoy.

Hoban Korean BBQ – Korean BBQ has been rising in popularity over here in the United States in recent years, and this BBQ is a delicious option in our area. My husband loves the short ribs, my kids love the steamed dumplings, and I haven’t tried anything from their menu I haven’t liked.

Praying for South Korea

I have been so in awe, the more I have learned How Christianity Spread to Korea. When Korean diplomats traveled to China, they heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and brought it back to their own people. When the women who would be known as the Korean Bible Women heard the Gospel, they shared it with more women, using their own context to share Jesus. One of the most famous Bible women, Kim Gang, (whose name was changed to Dorcas) shared “the day that Jesus Christ was preached in Korea began the emancipation of women from the bondage of thousands of years.” She said her baptism was “the happiest of my life.” She explained that until then in Confucian society as a woman she had never been called by her name, only by that of her father, husband, or son, but when “freedom had come to me, … I received a name, ‘Dorcas.’

As our littles grow, and learn church history, these are important stories and people for us to point them to, and for ourselves to be inspired by. May we follow them, as they followed Christ. And we continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Korea as they do the work Christ has called them to. Below are a couple of resources for littles sharing the work Korean Christians are doing in their own communities. May they inspire us to pray for the Global church, and inspire us to share Christ’s love:

  • Adventures in Odyssey: The Drop Box– For those who are fans of Adventures in Odyssey, this episode is a good resource for introducing little ones to the work of Pastor Lee Jon Rak. This Korean pastor wanted to offer an alternative to for parents feeling forced to abandon their infants in the streets, so he created a safe space for parents to leave babies they felt they could not care for. I like that this episode highlights a Korean pastor doing what he can to make change in his own community. I also love that the writers take the opportunity to briefly introduce children to pieces of Korean culture.
  • Rice from Heaven by Tina Cho is a beautiful story based on the author’s own experience working with South Korean churches and refugee relief groups working to aid those in North Korea. Follow a little girl as she works with her local church to send food into North Korea using balloons.

What resources have you used to learn about Korea with little ones?

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