Inspire an interest in culture & geography with this fun musical game for kids!
I’m always looking for fun ways to integrate a little geography into our lives — especially hands-on activities that allow us to use maps !
So when our friends from The Educator’s Spin on It sent over a copy their new book (an AWESOME collection of learning games), it didn’t take much time for us to decide which activity we wanted to showcase: Mapping Songs from Around the World!
Musical Games for Kids: Songs from Around the World
This summer, thanks to the 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids: Teach Reading, Writing, Math and More With Fun Activities, we’re mapping songs from around the world!
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the best ways to introduce kids to geography and maps is to tie them to one of your child’s current interests.
For example, my daughter is one of those music kids — she’s always loved music! She wasn’t able to learn her phone number until we put it to music. She’s a big fan of musicals and has quite a music collection so this was the perfect way to get her a little more map practice this summer.
She’s the one who told me a few months ago — “Mom, we don’t need map any more because we have Google maps now“.
Uh … nope!
As much as I love Google maps for helping me not to get lost ;), physical maps are still a HUGE learning tool and something that kids should have access to at a young age. Maps and globes allow kids to see “the big picture” so to say — how the countries are laid out around the world, their relative size, where oceans and other bodies of water are located and so much more!
For this musical game, you’ll need the following items. We’re also including recommendations for kid-friendly maps and multicultural music with affilaite links so you can learn more about each one:
• some tape
• a map or globe! see our recommendations below if you don’t have one at home
• some of your favorite multicultural kids’ music or soundtracks (more on these below)
If you don’t have a map or globe at home, here are a few kid-friendly versions we suggest:
We also have a Kids Desktop Globe which is great to use when you’re discussing time zones or lines of latitude and longitude.
Playing the Music Around the World Game
First, choose which songs you will play for your child and cut out one musical note for each song from this free printable Songs & Music from Around the World sheet.
Try to find music from different countries across the globe. If you don’t have a variety of music at home, here are a few of our favorite multi-cultural kids soundtracks:
World Playground – this is one of many multicultural collections from Putumayo World Music!
Dreamland: World Lullabies & Soothing Songs – wonderful to play for naptime or bedtime
Or if you below to a steaming music service, such as Amazon Prime or Sirius Radio, try their World, Folk or Indie stations. If you’re not a Prime member, you can Try Amazon Music Unlimited with a 30-Day Free Trial!
Play each song for your child, ask them to guess which country the music represents and tape the corresponding musical note on that country. We’ve numbered the musical notes so they can easily be matched up with your song choices.
Easy music game for kids ages 3 – 7 years: Tell your child the name of the song along with it’s country of origin before you play the music. Then play the song, help your child find the country on the map & tape a musical note to that country.
More challenging musical game for kids ages 8+: Write down the title of the song along with it’s country of origin but don’t show your kids! (shhh … it’s a secret 😉
We played 6 songs from various cultures and countries and my daughter thought she knew at least four of the countries — this is what our map looked like after she taped on the musical notes.
She identified songs 1, 3 and 5 correctly — music from Mexico, Brazil and Kenya! I was really impressed!
As I revealed the country of origin for the other three songs, my daughter was very surprised at the results. She thought one of the songs from China was actually from Italy.
And we quickly realized that the other two types of music were very new to her so we played more songs from those countries.
If you love learning games like we do, I highly recommend the book: 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids: Teach Reading, Writing, Math and More With Fun Activities.
It’s PACKED full of great activities you can do with your kids year-round! The authors, Kim & Amanda, are former teachers and have done an outstanding job of finding fun ways for kids to learn! The book includes wonderful ideas for geography, math, reading, writing and so much more! It’s an amazing resources if you have kids ages 3 – 10 years old!