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Multicultural Activities for Preschoolers & Toddlers

Written by: Kokotree

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multicultural activities for toddlers

Let’s explore fun and engaging multicultural activities and games that expose your toddler to different cultures, traditions, and languages. Promoting cultural awareness early in their lives will set the foundation for them to become open-minded, empathetic, and inclusive adults. So, let’s dive into some evidence-based advice for fostering cultural understanding and appreciation in your budding global citizen!

Table of contents show

Multicultural Activities For Toddlers. Multicultural Activities For Preschoolers. Cultural Activities For Kids.

Introducing toddlers and preschoolers to multicultural activities helps them develop a sense of appreciation and understanding for different cultures.

Some examples of multicultural activities include cooking ethnic dishes together, exploring traditional stories and folktales worldwide, listening to international music and learning about the instruments played, and creating traditional art and crafts inspired by other cultures.

Educational App for Preschool

20 Multicultural Activities For Preschoolers.

  1. World Map Exploration: Use a world map to teach children about different countries. You can highlight countries and discuss the languages spoken, traditional clothing, and famous landmarks.
  2. International Food Day: Organize a day where children can taste foods from different cultures. Parents can contribute dishes from their cultural backgrounds.
  3. Cultural Story Time: Read stories or folktales from various cultures. This can also include puppet shows or storytelling sessions.
  4. Traditional Music and Dance: Introduce children to music and dance from around the world. This could include live demonstrations, videos, or even dance lessons.
  5. Art and Craft: Engage children in creating art inspired by different cultures, such as Japanese origami, Indian rangoli, or Aboriginal dot paintings.
  6. Language Fun: Teach simple words or phrases from different languages, such as greetings, thank you, and counting.
  7. Cultural Dress-Up Day: Have a day where children can come dressed in traditional outfits from various cultures or have costumes available for them to try on.
  8. Festivals and Holidays: Celebrate and educate about various international festivals and holidays, explaining their significance and traditions.
  9. International Pen Pals: Connect with a preschool class in another country to exchange letters, artwork, or videos.
  10. Cultural Memory Games: Create memory cards with flags, traditional foods, or famous landmarks from different countries.
  11. World Music Instruments: Introduce musical instruments from various cultures and explore the sounds they make.
  12. Cultural Story Cubes: Make story cubes with pictures representing different aspects of various cultures for storytelling or role-play.
  13. Global Village: Create a classroom corner dedicated to a specific culture, rotating regularly to cover different parts of the world.
  14. Visit Local Cultural Museums: Explore museums dedicated to different cultures to learn about their history and contributions.
  15. Cook Together: Choose recipes from various cultures and cook a meal together, discussing the origins and traditions behind each dish.
  16. Watch Cultural Performances: Attend local cultural festivals or watch performances online, from traditional dances to musical concerts.
  17. Create a Family Tree: Research and create a visual family tree, discussing ancestors’ origins and traditions.
  18. Listen to Stories from Elders: Connect with elders or family members who can share stories and traditions from their culture.
  19. Explore Traditional Games: Play traditional games from different cultures, learning the rules and history behind each game.
  20. Craft a World Passport: Create a “passport” and add a stamp for each country’s culture you explore through activities, crafts, or stories.

Language games and exposure to foreign words can also enhance their cultural experience.

By participating in these activities, your child will develop an early appreciation for global diversity and embrace different cultures, traditions, and languages.

15 Multicultural Crafts For Preschoolers

  1. Chinese Paper Lanterns: Simple and colorful paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New Year.
  2. Aboriginal Dot Art: Use cotton buds or fingers to create traditional Australian Aboriginal dot paintings.
  3. Japanese Koi Fish Kites: Craft koi fish kites with paper and streamers for Children’s Day in Japan.
  4. African Maasai Necklaces: Make colorful necklaces inspired by Maasai beadwork using paper or pasta.
  5. Indian Rangoli Patterns: Use colored rice or sand to create beautiful Rangoli patterns.
  6. Mexican Paper Flowers: Create vibrant paper flowers for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
  7. Native American Dream Catchers: Weave dream catchers with hoops, string, and beads.
  8. Brazilian Carnival Masks: Decorate masks with feathers and sequins for a Carnival-themed party.
  9. Russian Matryoshka Dolls: Paint or color paper nesting dolls.
  10. Egyptian Sarcophagi: Decorate mini sarcophagi using cardboard boxes and craft supplies.
  11. Dutch Windmills: Build windmills from paper or cardstock to learn about the Netherlands.
  12. Italian Leaning Tower of Pisa: Construct the Leaning Tower from paper tubes and plates.
  13. Irish Celtic Knots: Create Celtic knot designs with paper or string.
  14. French Eiffel Tower Art: Use straws or sticks to build Eiffel Tower models.
  15. Scottish Tartan Plaid: Weave paper strips to make tartan patterns.

Multicultural Activities For Babies

Creating multicultural activities for babies focuses on sensory experiences and simple, engaging interactions that introduce them to the diversity of the world. Here are 15 ideas:

  1. Lullabies from Different Cultures: Play and sing lullabies from various countries.
  2. Fabric Touch: Let babies feel fabrics from different cultural traditional clothes.
  3. World Music: Play music from around the globe to stimulate auditory senses.
  4. Picture Books: Read board books featuring children and families from diverse backgrounds.
  5. Language Babble: Expose them to different languages through simple songs or nursery rhymes.
  6. Cultural Mobiles: Create mobiles with symbols or objects from different cultures.
  7. Sensory Bins: Include items from nature or everyday objects from different cultures in sensory bins.
  8. International Dolls: Show them dolls dressed in traditional outfits from around the world.
  9. Taste of Cultures: Introduce foods from different cultures when starting solids.
  10. Folk Art Pictures: Display folk art from various cultures around their play area.
  11. Multicultural Playdates: Organize playdates with families from different cultural backgrounds.
  12. Nature Sounds: Play recordings of nature sounds from different parts of the world.
  13. Cultural Puppets: Use puppets representing different cultures for storytelling.
  14. Photo Albums: Create a photo album with images of children and landscapes from around the world.
  15. Cultural Festivals: Attend cultural festivals that are baby-friendly to experience music, dance, and visuals.

Cooking Up Cultural Awareness For Culture Activities For Preschoolers.

Cooking is an excellent activity that brings people together, making it perfect for introducing your toddler to different cultures. Exploring ethnic dishes from different countries will broaden their culinary horizons while you have fun “traveling” the world together. Providing opportunities for your little one to learn about diverse food traditions helps lay the foundation for cultural understanding.

Easy International Recipes for Toddlers

Choose simple recipes that toddlers can help make, like mixing ingredients or using cookie cutters. Some examples include:

  • Australian Anzac Biscuits
  • Mexican Guacamole
  • Japanese Onigiri (rice balls)
  • Italian Caprese Salad
  • Indian Raita

Discuss the origin of each dish and share interesting facts about the countries and cultures they come from as you enjoy your tasty creations.

Exploring World Folktales and Stories

Stories are a powerful way for children to learn about the beliefs, values, and traditions of different cultures. By reading folktales and stories from around the world with your toddler, you’ll open their minds to new perspectives, nurture their creativity, and spark their interest in exploring the world.

Tips for Sharing Global Stories with Your Toddler

Make storytime more engaging and interactive by:

  • Using different voices for characters in the stories
  • Encouraging your child to join in on repetitive phrases or actions
  • Creating simple props or puppets that represent the story’s characters
  • Showing your toddler pictures of the story’s setting or relevant cultural symbols

Remember to choose age-appropriate books that feature diverse characters and settings to provide a well-rounded reading experience for your toddler.

Dancing and Singing to the Rhythms of the World

Introducing your child to international music is another dynamic way to develop their understanding of different cultures. Familiarize your toddler with various instruments, musical styles, and dances from across the globe. Listening and moving to the rhythms of the world will not only enrich their early childhood education but also enhance their gross motor skills and creativity.

Global Music Activities for Toddlers

Liven up your music time with these engaging international ideas:

  • Watch YouTube videos or use apps like Spotify to find world music playlists specifically for toddlers
  • Play traditional instruments like the Chinese Rattle Drum or African Djembe
  • Learn simple dances from around the world, like the Mexican Hat Dance or Israeli Hora
  • Discuss how various countries celebrate festivals through music and dance

Discovering the Beauty of Traditional Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts provide an excellent opportunity to introduce your toddler to different cultural traditions. Encourage your child to express their creativity, improve their fine motor skills, and learn about the diverse world of art through engaging craft activities.

International Arts and Crafts for Toddlers

Here are some cultural craft ideas for your little artist:

  • Russian Matryoshka (nesting doll) coloring pages or paper crafts
  • Decorating Diwali diyas (clay lamps) from India
  • Creating Mosaics inspired by Greek or Roman art
  • Painting a Japanese cherry blossom tree
  • Constructing a shadow puppet based on Indonesian wayang kulit

As you and your child work on these international crafts, share stories and facts about each culture’s artistic expression and techniques.

Building Language Skills with Multicultural Games

Language exposure is an essential part of understanding different cultures. Introducing your toddler to new languages not only broadens their communication skills but also prepares them for a more interconnected world. Use simple games and interactive activities to familiarize your child with foreign words and phrases.

Language Activities and Learning App for Toddlers

Try these engaging language activities with your toddler:

  • Teach your child to say “hello,” “goodbye,” and “thank you” in various languages
  • Use flashcards or matching games with images and words or phrases in a different language
  • Learn nursery rhymes or songs from different cultures and sing them together
  • Download a learning app for toddlers that focuses on teaching foreign languages in a fun and interactive way

By including language learning in your multicultural activities, your child will develop an early appreciation for the beauty and diversity of global communication.


Multicultural activities play a significant role in helping toddlers develop an appreciation and understanding of the rich tapestry that different cultures, traditions, and languages provide. By including these activities in your early childhood education routine, you’ll set the foundation for your child’s journey towards becoming a compassionate, open-minded, and inclusive adult. From cooking international dishes to exploring traditional art and storytelling, the possibilities for fun and engaging multicultural activities for toddlers are endless!

Celebrating Cultural Festivals and Holidays

One of the most engaging ways to teach your toddler about different cultures is to celebrate various festivals and holidays from around the world. By participating in these celebrations, your little one will gain a deeper understanding of cultural traditions, practices, and their significance, contributing to a well-rounded toddler education.

Introducing Your Toddler to International Holidays

Here are a few tips for helping your toddler become familiar with global celebrations:

  • Watch animated videos or read illustrated books about different cultural celebrations
  • Try simple recipes or festive treats from each culture’s holiday menu
  • Decorate your home with traditional holiday decorations from another country
  • Attend local cultural festivals or events to immerse your toddler in a true cultural experience

Visiting Cultural Centers and Museums

Taking your toddler to visit cultural centers and museums will provide an exciting, hands-on way for them to learn about other countries and cultures. Visiting these establishments can enhance their education while sparking their curiosity about the people, history, and customs of diverse communities.

Planning Fun and Educational Outings

Before visiting a cultural center or museum, follow these steps to make the most of your outing:

  • Research the exhibits and programs offered by each center to find age-appropriate activities for your toddler
  • Prepare a list of questions or activities for your child to engage with during the visit
  • Take photos at the exhibits and help your child create a scrapbook or collage of their multicultural adventures

Building a Multicultural Library at Home

A well-stocked home library can play a vital role in nurturing your toddler’s cultural awareness. A range of age-appropriate books representing diverse topics, people, and settings will offer an ongoing source of learning and inspiration for your child.

Choosing Multicultural Books for Your Home Library

When selecting books, consider the following:

  • Look for books that feature characters from different ethnic backgrounds, customs, and traditions
  • Choose stories that teach universal values and lessons, promoting empathy and understanding
  • Include non-fiction books suitable for toddlers that showcase real-life people, places, and events from around the world
  • Seek out age-appropriate bilingual or multilingual books to encourage language exposure

By incorporating these activities into your toddler’s daily routine, you’ll foster their appreciation and understanding of the diverse world around them, setting the foundation for a well-rounded global education.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re looking for more information about incorporating multicultural activities into your toddler’s routine, our FAQ section has got you covered! Here, we’ve compiled a list of common questions and comprehensive answers to help clarify any doubts and provide further information on promoting cultural awareness in young children.

1. What is the importance of teaching cultural awareness to toddlers?

Toddlers are at an age where they are curious about the world around them and rapidly absorbing new information. Introducing cultural awareness at this stage helps in fostering empathy, understanding, and appreciation for diverse cultures, leading to more inclusive and open-minded individuals as they grow up.

2. At what age should I start introducing multicultural activities for my child?

It’s never too early to incorporate multicultural activities into your child’s life, but the toddler stage (roughly ages 1-3) is an excellent time to start as they are more receptive to new experiences and information. By using age-appropriate activities, you can begin laying the foundation for global awareness and understanding.

3. Are there any multicultural activities suitable for infants?

Though infants may not be able to fully participate in hands-on activities, they can still benefit from listening to world lullabies, watching colorful images of different cultures, and being read stories featuring diverse characters and locations. This early exposure will help set the stage for more in-depth exploration as they become toddlers.

4. How can I modify the activities for toddlers with special needs?

Modify activities according to your child’s abilities and preferences. Provide sensory elements, simplified instructions, or visual aids to ensure that they can actively participate and enjoy the activities. Be mindful of their unique needs and interests to make the most of these learning experiences.

5. Can you recommend some multicultural books for toddlers?

Some popular multicultural books suitable for toddlers include:

  • “The Proudest Blue” by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali
  • “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña
  • “Dim Sum for Everyone!” by Grace Lin
  • “All Are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold
  • “My Granny Went to Market” by Stella Blackstone

6. How can I involve my toddler in preparing multicultural dishes?

Choose simple tasks that involve mixing ingredients, sprinkling seasoning, or using cookie cutters. Always supervise your toddler closely and consider using child-safe utensils. Make cooking a fun and interactive experience by talking about the dish’s origin and its ingredients.

7. How can I determine if a cultural activity is age-appropriate for my toddler?

When choosing activities, consider your toddler’s attention span, fine motor skills, and ability to understand and follow instructions. Opt for activities that match their developmental stage, abilities, and interests to ensure an engaging and positive experience.

8. How can I incorporate multicultural holidays into our family traditions?

Pick one or two international holidays each year to celebrate alongside your family’s usual traditions. Learn about their customs, try festive recipes, display decorations, or add relevant activities into your family routine to create a truly multicultural experience.

9. How do I select a learning app for toddlers that promotes cultural awareness?

Look for apps that explore different languages, world music, or global art and crafts. Choose apps with age-appropriate content, fun and interactive features, and positive reviews from experts and parents. Experiment with free trial versions before committing to a purchase.

10. How can I find local cultural events for my toddler and me to attend?

Search online or subscribe to local parenting newsletters for information about cultural events in your area. Community centers, libraries, and cultural organizations are excellent sources of family-friendly events that can provide hands-on experiences for your toddler.

11. How often should I incorporate multicultural activities into my toddler’s routine?

Aim for a balance that works for your family. You can try incorporating one or two activities per week, slowly increasing the frequency as your child becomes more interested and engaged in exploring different cultures.

12. Can teaching my toddler about other cultures help combat stereotypes and biases?

Yes, introducing your child to a diverse range of cultures and traditions at an early age can help challenge stereotypes, promote empathy, and encourage a more inclusive mindset towards others from different backgrounds.

13. Should I focus on teaching my child about their own cultural heritage first?

While it’s essential for children to understand and appreciate their cultural heritage, it’s also important to introduce them to the broader world of cultures, traditions, and languages. By embracing this dual approach, you’ll foster a strong sense of identity and global understanding in your child.

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