The activities marked with an asterisk * are Pre-K Printable Fun products that can be purchased below, or downloaded for free inside the Pre-K Printables Club Member Area. Not a member? Find out more here.
Around the World Activities from Pre-K Printable Fun
The Pre-K Printable Fun Around the World Preschool Activity Pack is full of Around the World learning activities for preschoolers!
Use as file folder games, tot trays, or create your own invitation to play using the printables and your own materials!
Scour your local thrift stores for music instruments from a variety of cultures, or even better make your own! Here are some suggestions:
Chinese Rattle Drums
Coffee Can Drums
Get dancing and creating music with your newfound or newly made instruments.
Invite preschoolers to make a class mural with their hand prints. Provide a variety of paint colors, including skin tone colors for students to use. **This activity would be great after reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Provide basic shapes cut out of construction paper along with glue and plain white paper. Invite preschoolers to create buildings from around the world. This activity can be led by the book Homes in Many Cultures by Heather Adamson.
Set up an invitation to create Japanese Fans
Create a Pasta Mandala Collage
Set up an invitation to create a Poncho using large paper sacks
Make Stone Soup for lunch or snack.
Explore food from different cultures! Invite preschoolers to help prepare snack, each day explore a food common in another part of the world.
Break out the clay and give little fingers a big workout making sculptures of buildings from around the world.
Make a dream catcher using a round paper plate, hole punch, string, feathers, and beads
Set up an invitation to make Peg Dolls.
Every lesson plan needs a good book or two! Here are some great books to go along with this theme!
Papel Picado Uppercase/Lowercase Letter Matching File Folder Activity
Create an international marching band with your newfound or newly made instruments.
Print pictures to represent different countries, play freeze dance or invite children to jump from country to country. Stop the music and ask children to identify the country they landed on (provide support and scaffolding), next ask them to identify something related to that country (describe the flag, an animal, instrument, or food) **Play this game late in the week after they have become familiar with characteristics of different cultures and countries.
Practice using chopsticks to pick up items.
Play Catch the Dragon's Tail.
Play Stuck in the Mud
Play musical chairs to tunes from different cultures.
Set up a weaving board using a dish drainer from the dollar store (many times you can find one with squares cut out all over) or make/buy one. Set out with ribbon or scraps of fabric.
Show photographs of people from some cultures carrying baskets or pots on their heads. Support a discussion as to why people practice head-carrying. Invite students to give it a try with folded blankets or soft baskets.
Kids Around the World Pre-Writing/Cutting Practice
Set up a sensory bin with dry material of your choice (rice, aquarium gravel, chickpeas, shredded paper, etc.), hide printed flags or pictures of food inside of the bin. Invite students to find the items and then place on the table. Sort the items by country.
Place Kinetic Sand in the sensory bin, hang posters of pyramids nearby for inspiration.
Keep a list of all the different areas of the world you explore during the theme. Keep track of the number of different countries you study or discuss.
Set up a map and put a sticker on each country you explore. Talk about the distance from where you live to each of those countries.
Chinese Lanterns Shape Clip Cards (also great for fine motor!)
Food Around the World Sorting Puzzles
Children Around the World Matching Game
Maraca Color Matching Mats
Multicultural Count and Clip Cards
Multicultural Number Puzzles
Meatball Counting Mats 1-10 with frames
Sombrero Counting Mats 1-10
Pepperoni Pizza Flip and Find 1-20
Sorting by Size Sorting
During small group or circle time, play Guess that Instrument. Ask children to close their eyes, then make a sound using one of the instruments you found or made this week. Invite children to guess which instrument you played, then challenge them to recall which culture the instrument is from.
During circle time support discussion in which children celebrate their similarities and differences. They may be interested in talking about how they have the same/different color hair as one another, some children may live in a different town or live on the same street, there are all kinds of comparisons that can be made.
Each day at circle time focus on a different country. Hang a photograph to represent that country and read a book about it. Follow the reading by a clapping game. For this game you will need a series of flash cards or photographs with different animals and/or plants from around the world. Hold up the photographs one at a time. Instruct children to clap when you hold up something from the country you are reading about that day. After each photograph have a discussion as needed. If the children disagree you can reference the book, offer prior knowledge or look up the information on the internet.
Transform your Dramatic Play Space into a different country this week. Include dress-up clothes, food, Dolls. and books from other countries in your space this week. For something on a smaller scale consider an ethnic Restaurant complete with Themed Menu's, Music and Multicultural Food. These fabulous Dramatic Play Spaces belong to Community member Amy M. of BuggaBee & Me Day Care and Preschool.
Add slings to the Housekeeping Area for preschoolers to carry their baby dolls in (hang photographs or read books about this).
Be sure to have all kinds of dress up clothes from different cultures. Play silks and large pieces of fabric are versatile and a great way for children to dress up in many different ways.
Encourage children to explore the world this week. Add Multicultural people, globes, Flags, Planes, Ships, animals and Buildings from around the World to your Construction Play Space this week.
Set up an invitation to build pyramids with Styrofoam cups or sand
Set up an invitation to build using thick paper plates (or perhaps paper plates in a variety of thickness and diameter for making comparisons and testing strength) and paper towels tubes (cut some in half). Place posters of buildings around the world nearby for inspiration
Inform parents that you will be studying cultures Around the World. Invite them to discuss where their family is from with their child. They may also want to discuss where their child's name came from with their child to prepare them for a class discussion.
Invite parents into the classroom to share about their culture.
Ask parents to send in items from their culture with their child for show-and-tell. Encourage parents to stay during this time to support their student in answering questions.
Materials to Enhance your Space
Resources and Activities from Around the Web
Here are more ideas from other websites
Check out this great post from Things to Share & Remember on setting up an around the world themed space.