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Exploring Different Cultures

In our increasingly interconnected world, teaching children about different cultures and how to respect them is more important than ever. Not only does it promote empathy and understanding, but it also helps children to appreciate diversity and broadens their worldview. Fortunately, there are many fun and engaging ways to explore different cultures with children, turning every learning opportunity into an exciting adventure and exploring different cultures…


A Good Place to Start:

The most effective way to help your children respect diversity and different cultures is through the example you set. Show kindness and acceptance to everyone and your children will do the same. Stand up to prejudice, point out offensive language or behaviour, and teach your children the importance of treating others equally. Emphasise that regardless of the language we speak, the way we look or the clothes we wear, we all share similar emotions and deserve respect.  


Cultural Cuisine:

A tasty way to explore different cultures with children is through food. Take your taste buds on a global journey by cooking traditional dishes from around the world together. Let your children pick a country they’re curious about, then research and prepare a meal using authentic recipes and ingredients. Encourage them to get involved in the cooking process, from chopping ingredients to mixing spices, and enjoy a delicious feast together as a family which introduces exploring different cultures at home.


Global Storytime:

Storytelling is a powerful tool for teaching children about different cultures and traditions. Explore folktales, myths, and legends from around the world by reading multicultural books together as part of your child’s routine. Encourage them to ask questions and discuss the themes and lessons found in each story which will help them get a better understanding, foster empathy and explore different cultures.


Arts & Crafts:

Encourage your children to get creative and explore different cultures through arts and crafts projects. Choose a country, cultural theme or celebration and create crafts inspired by its traditions and symbols. Try Japanese origami, Mexican papel picado, or Indian rangoli art to explore different cultures



Dance Parties:

Turn your living room into a dance floor, create a playlist featuring music from different countries and cultures (you’ll find lots on YouTube), and encourage your children to dance along to the different rhythms and melodies. Learn traditional dances together, such as the Punjabi bhangra, the Hawaiian hula, or the ceremonial Maori haka.


Cultural Festivals and Events:

Going to local festivals and events that celebrate different cultures will allow your children to experience many aspects of that culture. It will prompt conversations about the clothes people are wearing, the language they are speaking, the food, the music, and much more. A fun and immersive experience for the whole family, and a real feast for the senses and great for exploring different cultures in a fun way.


Learn the Lingo:

Learning a new language opens doors to new cultures and experiences. Language learning apps, songs and games all help children to pick up new words. If that seems a little ambitious, a good place to start is to learn how to say common phrases like hello and goodbye, please and thank you, or learn how to count from 1 to 10. Encourage your child to use their newfound language skills in everyday conversations and teach other members of the family to help explore different cultures starting in your household.


Pen Pals:

When a child has a pen pal, they get to hear about how different their daily life experiences are, but they will also discover that they have much in common, developing connections and friendships. And having to wait long periods of time for the arrival of letters teaches patience, which is an essential life skill that isn’t practised as often as it was. Websites like International Pen Friends and Global Penfriends can help put you in touch with people all over the world looking for a pen pal.



Inspire your family to explore cultural festivals like Hanukkah, Diwali and Chinese New Year. Choose a different festival to learn about each month and look into why it holds importance in its culture. Then plan a unique family celebration, including traditional dishes and treats, music and dancing, traditional decorations, crafts and games.  



Play The Game:

Children learn best when they’re playing and having fun, so what better way for them to step into the shoes of children from other cultures than to play some of their traditional games…


Corre, Corre la Guaraca

This game is played in Chile where Spanish is spoken. “Corre, Corre” translates as “Run, Run” but Guaraca is a made-up nonsense word.


What You’ll Need:

A handkerchief

How to Play:

Players sit in a circle while the ‘runner’ jogs around the outside holding a handkerchief. The seated players aren’t allowed to watch the runner. They sing “Corre, Corre la Guaraca, who looks back will be bopped on their head”. The runner then chooses a player and softly, trying not to be felt, drops the handkerchief on their back and runs. If they make it all the way around the circle without the seated player realising it’s on their back, the seated player is out. If the seated player realises, they must jump up and chase the runner. If the runner is caught before they’ve made it all the way around the circle, the runner is out. If they don’t manage to catch them, the game continues and it’s now player 2’s turn to be the runner.


This game originated in Greece, famous for its marble statues that date back to ancient times. Statues are about incorporating these well-known figures into a game. 

How to Play:

Make sure you have lots of space, playing this outside works best. One player is ‘It’ and should stand with their eyes covered and start to count (to at least 10) but they can go higher than that, there’s no set number to stop at, only ‘It’ knows when they’ll stop and open their eyes. While ‘It’ is counting, the other players jog around and get ready for ‘It’ to shout “Agalmata!” (statue in Greek). When this happens, the players must freeze and take on poses of famous statues. Nowadays, players could be Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, the Statue of Liberty or Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. If ‘It’ notices any statues are moving or laughing etc, they’re out. The last player remaining is the new ‘It’.


Best played outside, this game comes from rural Ghana in West Africa and translates as “time to search for”.

What You’ll Need:

Sticks and stones (or coins, buttons etc)

How to Play:

Decide on a ‘leader’ and mark a ‘finish line’ on the ground. While everyone covers their eyes, the leader hides sticks or stones or coins etc, then goes and stands by the finish line. When the leader shouts “Pilolo!”, the other players race to be the first to find one of the hidden objects and take it across the finish line. The leader awards a point to the winner and the game can start over for as many times as energy levels allow. The player with the most points at the end wins overall.