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Kids are curious by nature and discovering that there are people and places around the world that are both similar and different from them is an important way to teach them about diversity and acceptance. These fun activities are the perfect way to teach kids about different cultures around the world and get them excited about learning!
Teach Your Kids About Different Cultures Around The World (Without Leaving Home)
Learning about different cultures around the world is an important way to help teach your children empathy, acceptance and understanding and give them cultural awareness that there is much more beyond the small world they currently know.
Exploring new cultures with kids can be both fun and educational for the whole family and is a great way to learn about diversity.
Best of all, you can teach kids about different countries and cultures around the world, without even having to leave your home country! We share 10 fun activities to learn about different cultures in the world that can get the whole family involved.
The Benefits Of Teaching Kids About Different Cultures, Religions & Traditions
Teaching your child about different cultures, religions and traditions is important to help them learn empathy and understanding for others. It also helps to teach children acceptance of races, ethnicities, traditions and religious beliefs that are different from their own culture.
It’s beneficial for kids to learn about other cultures to gain an understanding of different points of view, as these skills will nurture their personal growth and cultural sensitivity.
When kids have a better understanding and knowledge about traditional cultures, they are less likely to harbour prejudices or discriminatory thoughts as they get older.
It also encourages a passion for exploring and discovery, and potentially a future of exploring beyond their own country.
How To Teach Your Kids About Cultures And Traditions
When learning about interesting cultures with kids, it’s important for adults to be open-minded and willing to discuss a broad range of subjects, even if it is outside of your comfort zone.
You don’t want your children to think that learning different cultures around the world is off-limits or taboo because of different cultural beliefs.
Instead, it’s a great way to talk about different religions and beliefs in an open and respectful manner.
Children often ask questions (or make comments) about other races and ethnicities without being discriminatory so it’s important that parents don’t shy away from these types of conversations.
If you feel out of your depth, particularly around discussing religious traditions or cultural practices that vary greatly from your own cultural norms, it’s okay to let your kids know that you don’t have all the answers and learn together.
What Is Culture?
Culture is defined as the social behaviours and norms found in different human societies around the world, as well as knowledge, arts, laws, beliefs, customs and habits of individuals within these groups.
10 Fun Ways To Learn About Different Cultures Around The World
Here are some fun and easy ways to help your kids learn about different cultures around the world:
1. Cook Food From Different Countries
This is a fun way to learn about the cuisine of different cultures as well as their customs and traditions. Try recipes from different countries around the world and learn about different cooking methods used that may not be so commonly used locally.
You can have each person in your family pick different recipes to make so everyone in the family can be involved. Choose an entree, main, side dishes and desserts and put together an international feast to enjoy together.
Even in a single country, including your home country, you will often find traditional dishes that vary with different territories of the countries.
Food is a great way to give examples of different cultures around the world.
Here are some international recipes to get you inspired:
2. Watch Documentaries or Movies About Other Cultures
There are endless options for documentaries, vlogs and films that explore different cultures around the world.
There is something to suit every age group, depending on whether you want to teach your kids about the world and other cultures, or if you want something the whole family can learn from.
This is a great way for kids to see how people in other parts of the world live and what their traditions involve.
You can choose a fictional film or television program that inspires you to learn about a place or culture or go for something more educational such as a documentary, virtual tour or series instead.
Travel vlogs on YouTube can also be a great way to learn about other parts of the world. You can check out our YouTube channel.
3. KiwiCo Atlas Crate
Atlas Crate from KiwiCo is a monthly subscription box for kids that brings the experience of a different country and culture into your home each month.
The monthly box gives your child a new cultural adventure each time, with fun characters, Anya and Milo, taking you on a new journey across the globe.
Inside each Atlas Crate, you will find at least two projects for the kids to complete that relate to the monthly destination. These projects incorporate STEAM learning concepts and are a lot of fun to do.
There are also new pages each month to add to your child’s adventure book, which includes cool facts about geography, traditions, culture, food and language. We love reading these together and I always learn a heap of new things each month too.
The Altas cards also bring a new recipe from the featured country to try at home and these are always relatively easy to make and a fun way to extend the experience even once the projects are finished.
KiwiCo’s Atlas Crate is created for ages 6 to 11, yet these boxes have enough great features to make it a subscription box the whole family can enjoy together on their search for knowledge about the world!
KiwiCo also offers 8 other subscription crate lines for kids of all ages and interests, and all of them have hands-on projects for kids that are super fun and educational.
You are never too young or too old to start learning a new language!
Learning different languages is a great way to learn about different cultures and traditions as well since immersing yourself in the culture helps to learn the words.
If you have older kids in school they are likely learning at least one language there, but if not this doesn’t mean that you can’t teach them some basic words or phrases of different languages at home.
There are plenty of resources online for learning and it can be something you do together as a family.
Alternatively, you can attend local classes together as a fun family hobby.
Our eldest daughter attends Polish School each week where she learns the language, culture and traditions of Poland. This is a beautiful way for her to learn about her Polish heritage beyond what we may be able to teach her at home with only one Polish-speaking parent.
5. Read Books About Other Places And Customs
Books are your best friend when it comes to learning about different cultures around the world.
Not only do you get to immerse yourself in different words and descriptions, but also explore different places through beautiful illustrations and stories.
You can find books from all over the world or even ones that are set in different countries than where you live.
And best of all, there are books to suit every age group, whether you are focusing just on teaching your kids about the world, or if you want a book that you can explore together as a family.
From learning about the Australian bush to biographical tales from individuals sharing their unique cultural identity, books are a powerful learning tool, providing visual and written content to take you on a journey without leaving home.
Nonfiction books are a great starting place for discovering different cultural backgrounds and often have great visuals on where places appear in the world, including maps and diagrams.
6. Try Crafts Inspired By Other Cultures
Crafts are a fun way to learn about different cultures and can be a great way to get the kids involved in learning.
Finding crafts that are inspired by different cultures is not too difficult, with the internet being your best friend here.
You can find simple craft ideas that suit toddlers or preschool-aged kids, to more elaborate art projects that may involve recreating a traditional form of art from another country.
An excellent example of this might be making Vietnamese lanterns, Japanese origami or Spanish maracas.
You can also get really creative with this and come up with your own crafts based on different cultural elements that interest you and your kids.
7. Celebrate A Holiday From Another Culture
One of the best ways to learn about different cultures is to celebrate their holidays!
This can be a great way for the kids to understand why different cultures have different customs and what these celebrations mean.
Some popular cultural holidays that you could celebrate together as a family are Chinese New Year, Mexican Cinco de Mayo, Indian Diwali and American Thanksgiving.
There are plenty of recipes, activities and crafts that you can find online to help celebrate these different holidays in a fun and meaningful way for your family.
If you are keen to get out of the house and get more deeply involved in these special occasions, look for a public event being held in your local community on behalf of these important global holidays.
If you check your local events pages, you will likely find a calendar of events throughout the year that you can attend as a family to sample food, watch performances and observe the traditions that are involved in the celebration.
There are some really strange traditions in some parts of the world which are a lot of fun to learn about.
Sometimes we search YouTube for more unique cultural traditions and festivals that aren’t celebrated here in Australia, like La Tomatina – the largest tomato fight in the world, held annually in Spain or the annual cheese rolling event in Gloucestershire, England in the United Kingdom.
8. Visit A Place Where The Culture Is Different
Of course, the best way to learn about different cultures is to visit them! And since we are focused on learning about other cultures without jumping on a plane and visiting another country, this means getting a little more creative.
Many large cities have their own China Town, for example, where you can best experience Chinese culture, sample traditional food, purchase groceries and other items you would typically find in China and other important aspects of Asian culture.
Another way to embrace cultural traditions is to attend a restaurant or club, such as a German Club or Greek Club or festival that will have you feeling like you are visiting another part of the world, all within a short distance from your home.
9. Listen To Traditional Music
Music is a great way to explore different cultures and can be something that you listen to while you are doing other things, such as relaxing outdoors together or cooking.
There are many types of music that come from different parts of the world, so it should not be too difficult to find some traditional songs for different countries.
Head to Spotify or Apple Music for some international playlists or radio stations as a great place to start with your music experience.
10. Get A Pen Pal From Another Country
Having an international pen pal can be an exciting way for kids to learn about different cultures as they get older.
If your child is at a confident writing age and is interested in making a new friend from elsewhere in the world, look into setting them up with a pen pal from another country.
It could be through their school or you may need to seek out different avenues online. The other option is of course asking around your own friend network to see if anyone knows someone from overseas who might have a child who is interested in connecting.
This is where the world of social media can be very powerful since many of us have friends from other parts of the world we have connected with.
While you are likely limited to countries that also speak the English language or your own first language, there are substantially different traditions even within western culture.
You can encourage your children to share not just about themselves, but also about where they live, the things they like to do and anything that might be the same or different.
Not only are they learning in a unique way that doesn’t feel like learning, but they are also developing a friendship that may last a lifetime!
Bring It All Together & Plan An International Staycation
You could really go to town on this one and bring different cultures into your own home.
Have the kids research different countries and choose a destination for your themed staycation and start planning!
Your staycation may be a single day or over a weekend where you immerse yourselves into cultural practices to make it feel like you have travelled overseas, all from the safety of your home!
Bring world cultures and interesting traditions into your family home through food, music, books and videos all focused around your chosen destination.
Plan a menu for the duration of your staycation that incorporates cuisine, snacks and treats from this part of the world.
Choose a playlist of songs, movies and documentaries to learn during your time.
Organise activities that allow you to explore cultural differences and common customs such as art and craft projects or games that are often played in your chosen country.
Make sure you dress the part too! If you’re heading to the Middle East or African countries, find culturally appropriate ways to honour the traditional dress using items you may have in your wardrobe.
While you won’t have the looks, tastes and sounds perfect, this is a fun way for the kids to learn through an all-immersive experience that will feel like you are on vacation even if you are sipping a Mexican Licuado on your back patio!
There are many different ways for kids to learn about different cultures around the world. By trying different activities, they can explore different parts of the world without ever having to leave home! This is the ultimate way to share with your children the amazing people of the world and their diverse cultures.
What are your child’s favourite ways to learn about other cultures? Share in the comments below!
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