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Sweet Potato Mama Volunteer Tour

Taipei Astronomical Museum - A Toddler in Taipei - Explore Taiwan with Kids

A Volunteer Tour Offered by Topology Travel

Visiting main attractions in Taipei is easy and fun, but have you ever wanted a more authentic travel experience for you and your children … an experience to encourage empathy, curiosity, humility, and generosity?

Topology Travel offers a unique family-friendly Sweet Potato Mama tour where you can spend time learning about the life of a Taipei street vendor. Sweet Potato Mamas are single moms who sell sweet potatoes on corners with the support of a local Taipei NGO.

The tour lasts for two hours, and during the first hour you get to visit the sweet potato preparation area. A local English speaking guide explains about the project, and the importance of sweet potatoes in Taiwan. There’s a number of carts at the facility, which kids can explore - pushing the carts, seeing tools such as tongs, a scale, and potato holders that the mamas use, also they can learn how the potatoes get cooked. Next is the washing area, where kids can see the weird and wonderful custom built potato washing machine.

They can push the buttons that bring the machine to life, so that every potato gets a proper bath before it gets spit out on the other side of the machine. The second hour consists of selling the potatoes. A Sweet Potato Mama with a cart can usually be found just around the block from the preparation area. While most don’t speak English, the guide helps facilitate any questions you might have for the Mama. The NGO originally came up with the Sweet Potato program as a way to help women flexibly work and also care for their children. It’s interesting to learn more about their lives while helping them sell sweet potatoes. The guide teaches everyone some basic Chinese to help sell the sweet potatoes, and kids can shout and wave handmade signs as they try to attract customers.

Topolgoy Tour welcomes all families, but the tour is most suitable for 6+, so they can properly grasp all the information provided by the tour guide!

Book a Tour:

Meeting Point: Shandao Temple MRT Station

Things to do with kids:

  • See sweet potato carts up close. Children can touch, push, and investigate the various items on a typical cart.

  • Learn about the tools used for handeling and cooking sweet potatoes.

  • Watch a load of potatoes get loaded into the custom built washer machine that cleans the potatoes before spitting them out into a basket.

  • Learn about the NGO’s work and the stories of the mamas selling potatoes.

  • Go outside and try selling some sweet potatoes!

Additional Information:

If you’re interested in any other tours from Topology Travel, the company specializes in helping design custom Taiwan trips, including those for families with children. The tours focus on providing real travel experience with hands-on activities, while also working around nap times, providing kid-friendly accommodations, and safe transportation with car seats and booster seats as needed. Check their website for more details.

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