Are you looking for ways to teach your kids about world cultures without needing a suitcase? Summer is almost over and kids are getting back to school. It is probably quite impossible for a last-minute trip abroad, but introducing them to various cultures and traditions is a helpful addition to their educational journey!
There are plenty of ways to teach your kids about different countries right in the comforts of your home. Using a few resources and lots of creativity, they will find this topic interesting and utterly fun!
But before we jump in to these activities, it’s worth asking the question – why should we even bother to teach our kids about world culture?
Well, there are many reasons, here are some of them:
- Teaching them about world cultures is a wonderful way to help them appreciate the differences in people and traditions.
- It’s a great way to let them realize that we are all different and that people from different countries have inherently unique histories, families, way of living, etc.
- With the growing diversity in classrooms these days, sharing culture is vital to understanding it. Nonetheless, even though countries have many things we can have in common, there are many things we can have in common despite the fact that we are from different cultures.
- It teaches our children the value of respect and appreciation of others.
Alright, let’s go ahead and learn about fun ways to teach our kids about world cultures this back-to-school season!
Give them books to read and explore.
Activity books that take them to various places and countries are among the best tools that help expand our children’s knowledge on world cultures. It’s always interesting to know about how other people from different parts of the globe do things, what their food tastes like, what their language and history is, and how to properly interact with them. Choose interactive books that encourage kids to write, color, solve puzzles, answer quizzes, and take on simple tasks that will make their learning journey fun and engaging!
Encourage learning through arts and crafts.
Another way to learn about and remember a new country or culture is through tactile experience, such as in the form of arts and crafts. For instance, if they’re studying Japan, you can have them try Shodo – a Japanese art of calligraphy or the world-famous origami – the Japanese art of folding paper to create decorative art. If they’re studying Spain, have your kids make their own Maracas using small paper bags, water-based paints, and some dried beans.
Cook them a traditional dish.
After such a fun and tiring activity, why not prepare your kids a traditional dish from that country they’re learning about? Ramen and noodles are popular in China, Japan and Korea, fish ‘n chips and Shepherd's' pie are a must-try in UK, and tamales in Mexico. You don’t need hire a native chef to cook an authentic foreign dish for you. You can simply Google a recipe. You will surely find a good one!
Teach them a foreign language.
Learning a foreign language is fun for kids. While you can always resort to enrolling them in a language class, you don’t really have to just so they can learn about a different culture. You will find video tutorials online where your kids can learn some basic foreign words and sentences. So, by the time you visit, say Japan or Germany, your little ones will be able to say things like “thank you” or “Nice to meet you” the way locals from that country do. It’s a fun learning experience for parents like you, too!
Celebrate International Holidays.
Countries like the UK, New Zealand, and Australia observe “Boxing Day” wherein locals give presents to their friends and family. Apart from that, they also give money and charitable donations to people in need. To celebrate this special occasion, let your kids “box” unused personal items or some canned goods to donate to charity. Chinese New Year is also a fun celebration popular worldwide. Why not prepare some Chinese treats, give gifts of money in red envelopes, and put up red decorations? It’s going to be fun!
Learning about world cultures benefit your kids in so many ways. Hopefully, these fun and easy activities can make their educational journey even more fun and engaging!
Check out our Kids' Travel Guide series and maps for kids. Now, more than ever! Teach your kids about the world!