I love to explore the world with my kids!
There's something very eye-opening about learning how other people live and seeing the beautiful places around the globe.
And even though we love to travel, most of our foreign explorations happen right in our own home.
There are many creative ways to introduce kids to the various countries and cultures around the world. We've read books, cooked meals, watched DVD's and completed crafts & activities.
Today, we'll be featuring some of the hands-on ideas for learning about maps & cultures that were shared during last week's Kids Explore the World linky.
Learn about World Cultures
It's really tons of fun to learn about others cultures. One summer, we researched each of the countries of our ancestors and then each week, we would 'visit' a different country. We ate meals from Italy, Germany and Poland. We played games from Lithuania and England, learned words from different languages and did a whole bunch of crafts. By the end of the summer, my kids had a better idea of their heritage and many countries from around the globe!
There are some wonderful websites I'd love to recommend if you're looking for ways to introduce different cultures to your children.
Mama Smiles has a great series about life in different countries. She also has a wonderful cornerstone post on 10 Tips for Raising Globally Aware Children. You can also find some great ideas in her Getting Started: Globally Aware Kids post!
Another excellent blog and community is the Multicultural Kids Blog. Here you'll find detailed ideas for celebrations, food, kids activities and books that will introduce you to a variety of cultures. Read this wonderful post on how one family chose to learn about different cultures with their kids.
Creative Family Fun also has a great list of 10 Ways to Explore the World without Leaving Home with some excellent resources!
Map Activities for Kids
One of the first things we always do when begining to learn about another country is to pull out our map and globe! I've written before on the importance of having a map in the home. It offers kids the opportunity to learn about geography and practice map reading skills.
Try some of these fun & educational map activities with the kids:
- Make a map of a city you visit! Sunny Day Today Mama shows us how they mapped their visit to London.
- Use a map when watching television -- What Do We Do All Day had a great mapping activity her family used during the Olympic Games.
- Learn about the Continents -- Living Montessori Now has some wonderful ideas for ways kids can explore the continents.
- Map the Books you Read -- last summer, we shared a fun way to connect maps with the books kids enjoy reading.
- Find a new country on the map each week -- Solagratiamom shows us how they use pin maps to find new places to explore.
- Help kids understand their place on the globe -- it's important that children understand their location in this big, blue world! Learn more about Me on the Map, Nesting Boxes and Map Towers at Living Montessori Now.
Don't have a map at home? Make this beautiful handmade felt map (super easy!) from Teach Beside Me!