World Culture for Kids: Brazil (Exploring Geography)

Lindsay Brems of A Teacher Mom brings us today’s Exploring Geography World Culture for Kids post about Brazil!

exploring geography at mama smiles

Fun Facts About Brazil

  • Brazil is the largest country in South America.
  • It is the only Portuguese-speaking country in South America.
  • Most Brazilians consider rice and beans to be their staple food.
  • Oranges in Brazil are green not orange (even though they are still called Oranges).
  • It is home to the world’s second largest river, the Amazon.
  • Brazil’s most popular sport is soccer and it will host the 2014 World Cup.
  • Brazil is also set to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Beauty of Brazil

Tropical Beauty of Brazil

Brazil’s climate throughout most of the country is warm and tropical and so everywhere that isn’t city is lush and green. A variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and coffee grow there. Many Brazilians boast that Brazil’s soil can grow anything. Often you can find bananas, coconuts, oranges and other fruits just growing on the side of the road. Every week people go to Feiras (or street markets) to buy fresh produce.

Sao Paulo

São Paulo is the biggest city in Brazil and the 7th largest city in the world. It carries all the conveniences of any modern city but with Brazilian flair.

Man Selling Bread on Bike

There are lots of street vendors selling anything from meals like pastels (fried pastry dough with meat or fruit inside) to sweets and treats like dulce de leite (similar to dulce de leche). This man is selling fresh bread from his bike for a Brazilian breakfast.

Lots of People

There are a lot of people that live in the cities and many live in tight quarters. Often people build on top of each other’s houses. This makes for mini mountains of houses.

Soccer is Always Fun

Soccer is by far Brazil’s favorite pastime, both watching and playing. Street soccer games are very common and in this crazy street game the boys dressed up like girls and girls dressed up like boys.

Typical Christmas Dinner

Because Brazil is in the Southern Hemisphere, their seasons are reversed from the United States. Christmas in December hits right in the middle of the Brazilian summer, so it is hot and toasty. It also means that watermelon, pineapple, bananas, mango, strawberries, grapes, guava, and passion fruit are typical at the Christmas meal. Yum!

Food

RiceBeansMeat

Food brings Brazilians together. Lunch is usually the biggest meal of the day in Brazil and rice, beans, and meat are almost always on the menu. Fresh fruit, fried bananas and pão de queijo (cheese bread) are also pretty common Brazilian foods.

Brigadeiro

One of Brazilians’ favorite treats is Brigadeiro. Try your hand at making this chocolatey treat with this simple recipe.

  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1Tbs Butter
  • 3 Tbs cocoa
  • Sprinkles

Mix all three ingredients into a saucepan and cook on medium heat until mixture thickens. Allow to cool to room temperature. Form into 1 inch balls (buttered hands work best) and roll in sprinkles or sugar. Finally, bite into the goodness of Brazil.

Children’s Books

If you want to get to know Brazil even better, check out these awesome books.

So Say the Little Monkeys by Nancy Van Laan

Amazon Boy by Ted Lewin

Adventures of Riley–Amazon River Rescue by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz

Learn More About Brazil

Here are a few more places to learn even more about beautiful Brazil

About the Author

Lindsay is a recently retired high school English teacher who now likes to put all her “teaching energy” into her own kids. She has a daughter (2 ½) and a son (1) and one more baby on the way. Her blog, A Teacher Mom, charts her journey to build a house of learning. Lindsay and a few of her “Teacher Mom” friends share ideas on how parents can make learning in the home constant, effective, innovative, but most importantly fun. Lindsay spent a couple of years living in Sao Paulo, Brazil and fell in love with the culture and country. She is excited to share a little of what she loves about Brazil.

Thank you, Lindsay, for this wonderful post about Brazil! Beans and rice are a staple in our home already, and I will definitely be making some Brigadeiros with my kids! Readers, be sure to check out Lindsay’s fantastic blog – here are three posts I love from her site: 10 Homemade Puppets That Will Make Any Kid Play Creative, Culture and Parenting, and Homemade Rock Band!

Exploring Geography is a weekly series of child-friendly introductions to countries, states, cities, and towns from all around the world. You can see all of the posts from this world culture series here. Interested in contributing a post? Email mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com for more information!

Comments

  1. says

    We have 2 Brazilian families working with us here in S. Africa. It’s always a treat to enjoy some fine Brazilian cuisine!

  2. says

    I could use some hot tropical weather right about now. This made me think about how interesting it is when kids first encounter cross-dressing and their reactions to it. I’m sure this is the response you were expecting when you posted this post…

  3. says

    The opposite seasons thing is so fascinating to me. I had a book I read in college and it was set in Australia, and it was so weird to read about summer things during Christmas……

  4. Silvia Maria says

    Hi! This is a comment from Brazil! It was very nice to read Lindsay’s views on my country as well as all the friendly comments! And although most of what Lindsay wrote is right, I’d like to add a little of an “insider” view.
    1. Yes, it is summer here at Christmas, but if you ask any brazilian (or most of them) which are the typical fruit at Christmas the answer will certainly be grapes, prums and nuts. I know these are not tropical fruits, but I think that is why they were considered special. When I was a child we would have grapes and prums only at Christmas time (or Christmas Eve as they were very expensive). Now these fruits are grown here and you can find them all year round but they are still Christmas fruits. Not bananas, or guavas.
    2. Doce de leite (not dulce!) is very delicious. But brigadeiro is really the most famous brazilian sweet. Lindsay’s recipe is perfect (and you know it’s thick enough when you can see the bottom of the pan). But I never saw anyone rolling them in sugar and really don’t think they will taste good this way as they will be too sweet. Chocolate sprinkles are the right thing.
    3. And finally, dispite having green oranges, we do have orange oranges as well! I just ate one today after lunch!

    Best wishes to you all! Silvia

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  1. [...] An introduction to Brazil written by Lindsay of A Teacher Mom for the Exploring Geography world culture for kids series at Mama Smiles.  [...]

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