One World activities
By Ashley Jones
These fun activities for children should encourage the development of key communication, reading and writing skills whilst learning about the world and other cultures.
Fun with flags and maps
Children are often fascinated by maps and flags. There are endless educational games and activities to be played around these interesting themes! Using a map, a globe, an atlas, or even online maps, you could ask children to pick a place that takes their fancy. Then, depending on how old or advanced they are, they could simply learn the name of the country or region they have picked, its flag, or more. Older children could be asked to write a small booklet on the place they’ve picked using books or even Wikipedia. Get them to write down some key facts about their chosen country; for example what the weather is like, key landmarks, the flag and a national dish. They could add pictures too. Even just talking about different places on the map and pointing them out can help prompt a child's interest in finding out more about other places. Flags are great fun too, and many children will find ‘identify the flag’ games fun. Lists of flags can be found in books, an atlas or online.
Imagining a ‘day in the life’
Another enjoyable activity that will get children communicating about other cultures is to encourage them to imagine a ‘day in the life’ of a child elsewhere. They could think about how children in other countries get to and from school, what their houses might be like, and what they do for fun. Young children can be read to or shown pictures, and older children can do their own research. They could even be encouraged to write stories from the point of view of children in other places.
Recipes from around the world
One fun and educational activity relating to other cultures could have tasty side effects. With your children’s help, get recipes from other cultures, and supervise them (or cook for them, depending on their age) in the preparation of exotic food! They can write down shopping lists of ingredients, think about where the dish itself hails from, and talk or write about how it tastes in comparison to foods they are more used to.
Greetings from around the world
Learning to say ‘Hello’ ‘goodbye’ and other greetings in other languages can be fun and beneficial for children. Younger children could repeat the greetings they are learning after you, and you could look up greetings with older children in dictionaries or on the internet.
What’s your story?
A final activity that can get children thinking about other cultures and the world is to talk about their own family heritage. You can talk with them about your own family roots and ancestry. More advanced children might even want to try to write a family history or construct a family tree.