By MOHI on Dec 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM
Put down the textbook and use these fun activities to teach your kids about culture around the world!
Encouraging your kids to learn about other cultures makes a difference for a few reasons:
- It’s a great way to help your kids see God’s creativity and the ways he has made people different and yet still valuable.
- It helps your family to understand cultural differences and get a glimpse into life in another country.
- It teaches us to be grateful for what we have, while still recognizing the value and different perspectives of other cultures.
These activities can take your family around the world—without ever leaving your backyard!
Culture Activities for Kids1. Give them books to read and explore.
Go to the library and look up books from other countries. This could be children’s books that focus on diversity or books that show maps and pictures of life in other countries. As your children learn and grow, it’s a great opportunity to use books to teach them about other cultures and help them realize that other people live in different ways! This encourages them to get their imagination going and explore what life might be like in another place or culture.2. Learn a few words in a foreign language
3. Play a geography board game.
Learning different languages is another way to help your kids understand that other people communicate in different ways. Plus it can be a fun exercise to get their brains working. There are great apps to learn different languages, like Duolingo or Gus on the Go, that make it fun and interactive for kids.
4. Go visit a local ethnic market.
Add an element of competition and find a geography board game or map challenge for your family. This will help them learn facts about other countries but also serves as a launch pad for deeper conversations as a family about other cultures, their lives, and the unique lessons you can learn from them.
5. Cook traditional dishes.
Most cities have local ethnic markets that can give your family a taste of other cultures. Pick a week to do your grocery shopping at one of these markets and give your children a small glimpse into the food, sights, and smells of other countries. This is also a great opportunity to meet people from other countries and cultures and see life from a different perspective.
7. Find a pen pal from another country!
Don’t just visit a local market! Purchase food and create your own version of traditional dishes from another country (we’re talking more traditional than tacos or spaghetti!) Interested in Spain? Cook paella for your family! Learning more about Kenya? Experience the everyday culture and make ugali for your family. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can start at the dinner table. If your cooking skills aren’t up to the task, look for authentic ethnic restaurants in the area and use a night out as an excuse to learn more about other cultures.
8. Host a foreign exchange student.
Having a relationship with someone in another country is a great way to show your kids the rest of the world. Whether it’s through a child sponsorship or another organization, set up a pen pal for your kids in another country. They can ask questions about their family and life, what they do for fun, and what they’re learning in school! It’s a great opportunity to build that relationship and see what life is like for someone around the world.
9. Bringing it all together: Pick a country focus each month!
Take it a step further and host a foreign exchange student for a semester. There are reputable programs that allow a student to learn about life and education in your country—but the learning goes both ways! Your family can learn about their life, what they enjoy, what food they eat, and truly experience life with someone from another culture. It’s also a great way to show Christ-like hospitality by welcoming someone into your home and family for a season.
Want to do pieces of all of these activities? Why not pick a country for your family to focus on that month? Read books about their culture and lifestyle. Go to a local ethnic market. Make food local to the country. Even write a letter to someone from that country. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding of the country and culture, but also some fun memories along the way!
Psalm 96:3 says, “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” God’s heart is for all people and all nations. By making it a priority to teach your family about the diversity of God’s creation and the nations who will declare his glory, you get to see a glimpse of his heart.