Little World Traveler: Part 2

Here’s the second set of my little world traveler plans- including activities from the continents of Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica! If you missed the first half, go back to my original post Little World Traveler: Part 1 for activities from North America, South America, and Europe. Happy “traveling”!

Asia:

Thailand: I read the book “Elephant in the Backyard” to my littles which is about elephants who are basically members of the family in a village in Thailand called Tha Klang. If you want to, you could also make cute elephant ear headbands by cutting the ears out of grey paper and stapling them to some strips taped in a circle to fit your little’s head! Then you could set up an “elephant school” like in the book with obstacles for your little to climb over and on. (My boys are not super pumped about wearing any homemade head decorations so we just read the story! LoL)

India: Pattern block mandala or mandala coloring- let your little play and explore with pattern blocks. Show them how they can put the blocks together to make a circular design from India called a mandala. If you don’t have any pattern blocks on hand, you can also print out a mandala online and just have them color it!

China: Paper lantern decorating- I had my littles decorate some red construction paper (my older one drew a dragon after looking at some pictures of Chinese dragons on google). Then I folded it in half lengthwise (so that it makes an even longer, thinner rectangle) and held the paper while my little snipped slits in it on the creased side- since my preschooler was cutting on his own I drew a “stop line” so he wouldn’t snip all the way through and just chop the paper into strips. To finish, I rolled it into a tall tube, stapled the top and bottom and added a handle to hang it by.

Africa:

Ghana: Sponge painting kente cloth- First we read the story “Seven Spools of Thread”. Then I cut some sponges into shapes- squares, thick and thin rectangles and triangles. I poured some red, orange, yellow, green, blue and black paint on plates and placed one sponge in each color- I used permanent acrylic craft paint so it wouldn’t come out when washed. Then I had my littles use the sponges to make rows of each shape (Walmart only gave us one shirt, so I just had them take turns and it was fine!) to make a kente cloth style shirt like in the story! TIP: This paint does NOT wash out of clothes. Before you begin, strip your little down to his or her diaper (or undies b/c who cares if they get paint on those!) so they don’t end up staining their clothes like mine did! Hastily trying to scrub paint out of fabric while two young kids are hanging out with the rest of said permanent paint is NOT fun! LOL (Hindsight 20/20 am I right?!)

Kenya: Bead necklace- give your little some pony beads and sturdy string and let them practice their fine motor skills by threading the beads onto the string. If you’re little still puts things in their mouth, you might want to skip this one!

Kenya: Masai plate necklace- First we read the story “Masai and I”, then made traditional style Masai necklaces by coloring the puffy side of paper plates. I snipped to the center then cut a hole in the plates afterwards so they could be worn like the Masai womens’ real ones. I got this idea from To the Lesson!

Australia:

Boomerang craft- We talked about how Aboriginal people- the first people to live in Australia- used boomerangs to hunt with. They would throw them at the animal they were hunting then it would return to the hunter if they missed so they saved time in having to go get their weapon for another throw. Ours didn’t return- but they flew great! To make them, I cut out a boomerang shape (a bit like a wide V with rounded edges) from cardstock and had my littles decorate them with do-a-dot markers. Then I taped them to a piece of thick cardboard in the same shape (you can trace your original then cut it out of the cardboard so they match up) using packing tape. We had a blast throwing them all over the house!

“Diary of a Wombat” story and craft- We read “Diary of a Wombat” then I had my little color wombats I had printed on cardstock. Then we talked about how wombats are mammals and mammals have hair. I painted them with a light layer of decoupage and had my littles glue 1 inch pieces of brown string to them to make them hairy. I got this idea from Danielle’s Place.

Antarctica:

Penguin footprint art- First I had my littles cut out ice bergs from white paper (I helped my toddler by holding the paper for him- he still cuts with scissors like they’re garden sheers with one hand on each handle, but is able to cut out rough shapes if I maneuver the paper for him!) Then we cut out waves and glued our ice bergs in the waves, then stuck them to light blue papers. I painted my little’s feet black with orange toes and made prints on the paper using their feet. When they were dry I added wings, eyes and beaks then my littles added snowflakes with their fingertips.

Save the penguins sensory play- I froze our set of penguin erasers in some ice then had my littles try to help them escape! If you don’t have penguin erasers on hand (I got mine at Target this winter), you can always use a set of plastic penguin figurines.

Supply/shopping list:

  • paper plate
  • brown yarn
  • penguin mini erasers or figurines
  • paper towel tube
  • white t-shirt
  • acrylic paint
  • sponges
  • book “Elephant in the Backyard”

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