Activities for a Multicultural Theme
|Young children explore different
cultures, traditions and customs as they participate in these early
childhood education activities and lesson plans.
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Preschool Multicultural ActivitiesPassports
Promote multicultural awareness and self esteem with this early childhood education activity by Matina.
Materials: Paper and a camera.
Description: We made passports by stapling white paper to construction paper. Then from January until May we studied a different country. We studied Russia, Africa, Ireland, Israel, China, Antarctica, Australia, Mexico, Japan, France, Hawaii, and Saudi Arabia. Then for each country the youngsters wore a hat or a prop from that country (ex: France, beret). We took pictures of each child wearing his or her hat or prop. Then I glued the pictures into each child's individual passport and gave it to them along with a world traveler certificate at the end of the year. They had lots of fun "dressing up!"
Materials: Blank booklet and a stamp for each country.
Description: Teachers decide which countries you want your class to visit. We did Russia, China, Mexico, Egypt and United Kingdom. We took a sheet of paper for each country and researched facts through books, the internet and guest speakers. We wrote down important facts and when we were done, I had made "stamps" from each country (Ex: Egypt = Pyramid) and the children glued them at the bottom of their sheet.
Once the week was up we went through our
passport and planned a 'Round the world party where each child dressed
like the people from one of thecountries we visited and we made native
foods and played native games.
Board: Native American Symbols
Materials: Large piece of brown butcher paper, paint, paint rollers, precut symbols (canoe, teepee, turtle, deer etc.).
Description: The teacher will precut a bear or deer shape from the brown butcher paper. The children place precut symbols (cut from tag board) onto the brown butcher paper. The children will roll their rollers into the paint and then they will roll over the symbol. Next, they lift the symbol and look at the designs they have created.
The "Talking Stone"
Often during circle time many preschoolers want to talk at once. One way to help children learn how to take turns is to use a visual clue. Teachers might try using a "talking stick" or "talking stone". This is a tradition with some Native Americans. Hold your 'stick' or 'stone' while you speak and then pass it on when it's time for another person to talk.
You can use a colorful
rock or decorate your stick in a special way. This technique helps young
children learn to respect the speaker and to wait and listen. Continue
with this idea and soon the children will be reminding each other.
Materials: Dolls, pretend tea set and newspaper print paper (end of the paper rolls).
Description: We celebrated Hinamatursi Day "The day of the Dolls" which is celebrated in Japan to commemorate ancestors.
1. Told everyone
in advance to bring a doll for Hinamatsuri Day.
2. Later on we made
paper kimonos out of newspaper print paper
3. After lunch we had a tea party, Japanese style, with everyone seated on the floor. We read a short book about life in Japan so that children could see how Japanese people sit around their table on the floor.
Comments: Kids really enjoyed this day! Kids didn't want to take off their kimonos. Great way to learn about another culture without it being boring.
Take a look at
Preschool Picture Books Listed by Themes
for a suggested list
of multicultural books.
Multicultural PuppetI am different from my head to my toes
Theresa takes advantage of puppets to help preschool children develop language skills, self expression and cultural awareness (Hawaii).
Materials: Brown lunch bags, glue, markers, paper or silk flowers.
Variation: Paint or sponge paint the puppet, then cut the flap.
This activity is great for language recognition too!
You will need:
Comment: A few children might attempt to "taste" the pretend food so Susan advises telling them, in advance, NOT to put the cotton balls into their mouths.
For more multicultural books take a look
at Preschool Books Listed by Themes
Pollito, chicken; Gallina, hen.There are more Spanish rhymes, songs and finger plays in the Resource Room.
Materials: Cut up squares of tissue paper (all colors), glue watered down,small water bottles, beans, rice or anything to make noise.
Description: Take your small water bottles and paint them with watered down glue. Put colored tissue paper all over and even on the top. After the bottle is covered do it once more. Then, paint all over the two layers with watered glue again and let it dry. It will look very glossy and with the bean or rice inside it will make beautiful music.
The teacher will either need to put the beans in ahead of time or let the children, they love doing that. Once it is dry children can do a dance or musical dance with their new instrument.
Comments: Some kids don't like the wet texture, but after seeing the finished project they love it!
Rain Rhythm Sticks
Let the children partially fill the tube with beans or even dried cereal. Close the other end with a cap. Then let them shake, shake shake. It sounds just like raindrops!
African, Chilean and Indian cultures make traditional use of rainsticks.
Activity: "Egypt Crackled Egg Art"
* Which other springtime holidays use
eggs in the celebration?
* Find Egypt on a map or globe. what
continent is Egypt in?
early childhood education activities go to the
Do you have a multicultural activity or an idea you'd like share...