Cultural Activities to do with Kids
Cultural activities to do with kids are easier than you might think. When my kids were little, we would do things like eat at culturally diverse restaurants. The rule was that you may try whatever you like, but you are not allowed to order any of the “American” items on the menu. It was so much fun to see their little taste buds broaden and explore new foods that I may not have known how to prepare at home daily. People were amazed when they saw my toddlers eating hot sauce!
Other things we would do would be to listen to music from other cultures, have a dance party in the living room, and learn about the different instruments. We would read stories about other cultures and discuss what the characters were doing and why. And we made a big deal out of holidays like Cinco de Mayo and Chinese New Year, decorating the house and making traditional foods.
My boys loved to draw and paint. I love music and writing. We have so many artistic and creative people in our family, so exposing them to different types of art was easy. As my oldest son got older and interested in politics (I was writing for the local newspaper then), I showed him how caricature artists express their art and voice through political satire within their caricatures. And even within the US, caricature artists’ work may differ from Detroit to Tampa based on their “cultural” development as children.
I also worked for a very culturally diverse boss who adopted his daughter from China. While there, he was able to capture the daily life of people in that region of China through his art of photography. Of course, he came back with many photographs, and I was able to share that experience with my children as well.
Doing cultural activities with kids doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Especially in Michigan, where we live! It can be as simple as trying new food, listening to a new type of music, to going to world-class art museums downtown or reading a book about another culture at home. Either way, by exposing kids to different cultures, we’re not only broadening their horizons, but we’re also teaching them to be more tolerant and understanding human beings. And that’s a lesson that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Below is a quick reference list of suggestions. We will go in more depth on some of the suggestions further on.
What are some cultural activities for kids?
- Listen to music from another culture
- Read a book about another culture
- Visit a place of worship for another religion
- Talk to people who have had the experience of being a refugee or an immigrant
- Read stories or watch movies about life in different parts of the world
- Log on to a live event that is happening in another part of the world
- Make food from another culture
- Dress up in traditional clothing from another culture
- Celebrate a holiday from another culture
- Visit a museum or exhibit about another culture
- Attend a cultural festival or event
- Take a dance class or learn a traditional dance from another culture
- Volunteer with an organization that works with people from other cultures
- Join a club or group that is focused on another culture
- Learn about the history and geography of another culture
- Listen to podcasts about different cultures
- Watch documentaries about other cultures
- Take an online course about another culture
- Visit a website about another culture
- Use social media to follow people and organizations from other cultures
What are examples of cultural activities?
As the kids grew older and were able to understand more profound cultural experiences cognitively, we explored things such as:
Racism and prejudice by having our family members of different races share their experiences with the kids and have open, honest conversations about it.
How to appropriately dress and behave when visiting a place of worship for another religion. We went to a specific place of worship with a format that is done the same, every time, all over the world, in one hour. Even when there are certain obligatory holiday services, if you are in the United States, the service that day will be the same in, let’s say, Mexico. It’s actually pretty cool because you know what to expect every time, no matter where you are on the Earth.
On the other hand, one of my dear family friends had invited our family to come to her baby’s special service day. Their format was more like “improv,” which was fun. However, during the service, my then five-year-old asked, “when is communion?”. I chuckled because “communion” signaled in our service that it would be over in about ten minutes. He learned that day that not all places of worship practice the same way but that they were all cool in their own ways.
We talked about what it might be like to be a refugee or an immigrant by talking to people who have had that experience, reading stories, or taking part in certain volunteer activities that allowed us to learn while we served.
We could also look at what life is like in different parts of the world by reading books, watching movies, and talking to people who may have lived there. For example, where we live in Michigan, many Hispanics work in the landscaping industry. My then-husband worked in landscaping as well. He was invited on a few occasions to attend their family fiestas. We ate very well and learned a lot! It was both a rewarding and an excellent experience for both of my boys.
What are cultural and social activities?
Activities that bring people together are termed social activities. Examples of social activities are events, parties, social gatherings, etc.
Cultural activities are the activities that revive the cultural aspects of society. Such as Holi is a cultural activity celebrated in India.
Recently, I did some contract work for a friend who owns a global company with headquarters in the US and India. During the time I was with them, Holi was happening. We had to arrange different times for our meetings because of Holi, even though it was virtual. However, a colleague happened to log on during the festivities of Holi and showed us what was happening and how it was going. Unfortunately, it was during the global covid 19 pandemic and after the Holi celebrations, there was an enormous influx of covid cases. However, it was cool to see “live” on screen and once again share that cultural experience with my children.
Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates spring, love, and new life. Some families hold religious ceremonies, but for many, Holi is more of a time for fun. It’s a colorful festival, with dancing, singing and throwing of powder paint and colored water. Holi is also known as the “festival of colors.”
Cultural activities to do with kids
In short, when thinking of cultural activities to do with kids, remember that it can be anything from watching documentaries and movies to visiting websites and following social media accounts from other cultures. It can also be things like volunteering or attending events that help you learn more about different cultures. Most importantly, it is an excellent way to bond with your kids and have some fun!