10 Culturally Focused Activities for Kids This Winter

1
Mar

It sure has been a strange winter here in Indiana, yesterday was 70! Whether it’s been warm or cold, these are some great culturally focused activities!

Kids in other cultures play in similar ways, but they do it differently because of the circumstances. But kids will be kids, wherever they live! Teaching your kids about different cultures will help them appreciate differences in people and other traditions. I’ve compiled some culturally diverse activities to do with your children so they can see what it’s like to be a kid in a different culture. These ideas are also a great way to help internationally adopted children embrace their culture in the country they were born and learn about others. Use your imagination and make it fun, kids love to learn and explore.

  1. Create a passport – In order to travel to a different country you need a passport. Explain to your child why we need a passport and show them what one looks like. Then help your child make his or her own passport. Leave the pages blank so that as your child learns about a new country they can draw or glue a picture to stamp the pages.
  2. Map it out – Look at a world map and point out where different countries are. You can print coloring pages of maps or make a puzzle from a printed map and cardboard or if you are really crafty make a map from clay then paint it.
  3. Music and DanceTeach children songs and dances from different places around the world. Children can see that all people like to sing and dance, but every group has its own special ways of doing it. Talk with your children about how different music sounds and listen for the different instruments.
  4. Story time – Go to the library and pick out stories from different cultures and read them as a family. Talk about the differences between cultures. You can even explore familiar fairy tales like Cinderella and the differences of the tale from countries around the world.
  5. Language – Teach simple phrases from other languages such as how to say “hello,” “good-bye” and “thank-you.” If you need help pronouncing words Google Translate or Reverso are helpful sites that translate and pronounce words or phrases in many different languages.
  6. Food – Spice up dinner time by trying new recipes from other countries. Have children help with choosing a country, a recipe and preparing the meal. Talk about what meals are like in that culture.
  7. Get crafty – Use blankets or fabric to design clothing from different cultures. Drape fabric to make a Sari from India or a Sarong from Samoa. Make other crafts such as pottery, origami, or jewelry that you would find in other countries. For example, when learning about Mexico make a piñata, or for Bulgaria make a martenitsa. Have children make toys since in many other cultures kids cannot afford to buy toys and construct their own toys out of wood or clay. Search the internet for more ideas and use your imagination-the possibilities are endless.
  8. Visit museums – The Indianapolis Children’s Museum currently has a great Egypt exhibit where children get to board a model airplane and travel to Egypt to learn about modern Egyptian life. The first Thursday of every month Target sponsors Family Night Free from 4-8! Maybe there are opportunities like this in your state!
  9. Explore art – Look at art from different countries and note the differences. Have children try their hand at their own art. The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is always free and a great way to teach children to appreciate art from different cultures.
  10. Pen Pals – Having a friend in another country to write to is a great way for kids to learn about a new culture. There are free websites that will match your child with a pen pal around that world. If you would prefer your child write traditional letters International PenFriends (IPF) is a great website or if you prefer email check out ePals.

These are just a few ideas. Do your own research and make your own journey through another culture with your family. Enjoy your journey into another culture!

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.