Little World Traveler: Part 1

Not only are diverse cultures a beautiful and fascinating thing, I think it’s very important to teach them to your little, and now is as good a time as any! After all, perceptions regarding cultural differences are typically solidified by age 12, and most of your child’s brain is fully developed after 3 years, so the earlier you introduce them, the better. Plus how fun is it to “travel the world” through different crafts and art projects?! I just know your little will have a blast! I know I’m super pumped! Also, just a heads up- we’ll be covering activities from countries in North America, South America and Europe this week and then Asia, Africa, Antarctica and Australia next week. If you’re interested in cooking meals from each continent, zoom on over to my Preschool post “Around the World in 8 Days: Part 1” for 3 recipe ideas from 3 different countries on each continent. Dinner done!

Introduction:

W is for world- I printed this letter W do a dot page and had my little practice making it with a do a dot marker.

North America:

Mexico- maraca craft: We mad these last year for Cinco de Mayo and they were a huge hit- in fact, we just took them apart and reassembled them because the tape was starting to wear off! LoL You just use washi tape to tape two spoons together- once you have the bottom of the spoons taped, pop in a plastic Easter egg filled with dried popcorn or macaroni noodles and continue taping around the spoons and egg. Then put on some mariachi music and shake shake shake those maracas! I got this idea from Pinterest.

Mexico- sun craft: Give your little a circle and some triangles. Have them glue the circle on a sheet of paper and use the triangles to make sun rays…you can show them how to glue the triangles in a circle around the edge of the sun. Then give them some eyes for their sun and a do-a-dot marker to add detail. Will this come out perfect- no. Does it build creativity and fine motor skills in a fun way- definitely!

Canada- maple syrup tasting: Read “Curious George Makes Maple Syrup” then have your little taste real maple syrup and fake.

South America:

Amazon Rainforest- “Verdi” story and green snake craft: In the Amazon rainforest-which spans several South American countries- live gorgeous emerald green snakes, so we read the story “Verdi”, a fictional tale about one of them then made snakes by taping strips of green paper in a chain and adding a face on the last one. I cut the strips out for my little and rolled the pieces of the chain for him and he taped them together. I got this idea from Play Ideas.

Brazil- Christ the Redeemer statue: We watched a short video on You Tube about the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Then I traced my toddler’s body with his arms outstretched like the statue (we used our white roll of easel paper and did his torso horizontally on the paper then his legs vertically and just taped them together). I added a robe like the statue’s then cut it all out and had my preschooler add details with a grey marker.

Peru- Alpaca/Llama popsicle stick craft: These came out SO CUTE! So you glue together 5 sticks for the face and 4 for the neck (this was the trickiest part…I tried decoupaging them together first by laying them close together on a piece of packing tape then coating them with a few layers of decoupage. It worked fairly well, I just didn’t do enough layers and didn’t let it dry completely. You can also hot glue them together by carefully running a line of glue along each seam and pressing it in place. Then I had my littles paint the alpacas. When they were dry, they added ears and pom poms for fluffy fur and I drew on faces. I got this idea from Teaching With Children’s Books.

Europe:

Italy: Sistine chapel ceiling painting- When I saw this activity on News with Naylors I knew it was something my littles would love! First I talked to my littles about the Sistine chapel- a “really big church” in Italy with a fancy painted ceiling done by a famous artist named Michelangelo (my oldest got a kick out of this since he’s a Ninja Turtles fan). I showed them pictures of the paintings and explained how Michelangelo used to lay down on top of really tall scaffolding in order to paint so high up. Then I taped some paper under their little table and had them lay under it on the floor and draw pictures on it with markers- Michelangelo style! I encouraged my preschooler to draw a scene from the Bible since that’s what Michelangelo did too- he drew Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with the snake.

Greece: Ship mosaic art- I printed an ancient Greek ship picture (like the kind they painted on pottery) and had my littles use do-a-dot markers to make a mosaic style background (water and sky). Then I cut out the ship and had my little glue it on the background he made (my preschooler did his own cutting!) This example picture is my preschooler’s- my toddler’s background was basically all yellow/orange and included scribbling with the dot marker because…toddlers. He still enjoyed making it though! I got this idea from Art With Katie.

France: Eiffel tower block building- I read the story “Madeline” to the boys then showed them the Eiffel tower in the book and on my phone. Then I gave them the challenge to build the Eiffel tower with blocks or Legos.

Supply/shopping list:

  • low table (like a coffee table or kids table if you have one)
  • roll of easel paper
  • popsicle sticks
  • packing tape
  • decoupage
  • tan, white and brown pom poms
  • pop corn (dried)
  • plastic Easter egg
  • 2 spoons
  • washi tape
  • do-a-dot marker
  • soccer ball
  • cups
  • real and fake maple syrup
  • book “Curious George Makes Maple Syrup”
  • book “Verdi”
  • book “Madeline:
  • blocks or Legos

2 thoughts on “Little World Traveler: Part 1

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