Mulitcultural Books and Activities (page 3)
Books are windows to the world and can play a significant and wonderful role in a child’s overall socialization. Books can explore relationships, feelings, and daily activities. They depict the community in which a child lives and communities they have never seen. Books with multicultural themes are a wonderful way to introduce children to different cultures and help them to develop an awareness of and sensitivity to others. It is also very important for children of all racial/ethnic backgrounds to see representations of themselves in books in order to build self-esteem and healthy cultural identities.
In addition to books, there are many toys, activities, songs, and games that parents and educators can share with young children to encourage appreciation for their own cultures and for our diverse communities, country, and world. Regardless of the “tools” used to stimulate conversation and awareness, learning that there are many different kinds of people and places in the world will foster cross-cultural learning and understanding for years to come.
Here are some fun and easy projects you can share with toddlers:
Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year on January 22nd by making New Year’s cards for friends and family.
- 2004 is the Year of the Monkey, so use monkeys as a theme. Draw them or cut out pictures from magazines.
- The Dragon Parade and Lion Dance are also traditional parts of the Chinese New Year’s celebration and can be incorporated in the artwork.
- You can use various art supplies including construction paper, brown paper bags, paint, crayons or magic markers.
- There are many books available for preschoolers that explain the Lunar New Year. We recommend This Next New Year (See details below)
Turn an average day into a fiesta or make a birthday or holiday even more special by making a piñata!
This is project may be done over two days and must be done by adults and children together. Be sure to engage your child throughout the process with active conversation and hands-on participation.
- You will need: a balloon, newspaper, glue, white paper, crayons and/or markers, a stick pin, candy, small treats, or healthy snacks.
- Blow the balloon up and tie it shut.
- Pour about a cup of white glue into a bowl and add enough water to make it the consistency of cream.
- Tear the newspaper into strips that are about 1 inch or less in width and about 6-8 inches long.
- Drag the strips through the glue and paste them to the balloon.
- Keep applying the strips until you have about five or six layers of paper. To make sure each layer is complete, you may want to alternate regular newsprint print layers with layers of color comics.
- When you have finished the layers, let the piñata dry (preferably over night).
- Take a pin and push it through the paper mache to pop the balloon.
- Carefully cut a small circle out of one end of the piñata. Be sure that small children are not able to access the pin or knife used in these steps.
- Pour in healthy treats like packets of raisins, nuts, dried fruits or crackers, little toys or candy.
- Apply another layer of glue and the final layer of white paper. Be sure to cover the hole, so the goodies do not fall out yet!
- Once the layer of white paper is dry, decorate the piñata with crayons and markers. Other options are to paint it or glue on paper shapes or tissue paper.
- Let your child decide what it should look like – a favorite animal, a truck, a fruit or vegetable.
- Hang the piñata with a piece f string from the ceiling or from a tree outside and CAREFULLY supervise children while they take turns hitting the piñata with a long stick until it breaks.
- Watch out, they will all run to grab the treats when the piñata breaks!
The Parent-Child Home Program Recommends:
This Next New Year (c) (2000) Written by Janet S. Wong, pictures by Yangsook Choi. Used with the permission of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
A Chinese-Korean boy relates how he and his multiethnic friend celebrate the "lunar new year, the day of the first new moon. Youngsters will enjoy the bright colors and the sense of motion and activity as the boy prepares for the holiday. Asian-American.
The Absent-Minded Toad Written by Javier Rondon and illustrated by Marcela Cabrera (Kane/Miller Book Publishing).
A delightful rhyming story about an absent-minded toad that goes to the market but forgets to buy anything. This colorful tale is set in Venezuela.
Whistle for Willie. Written by Ezra Jack Keats.
First published in 1964, this classic book tells of a young boy who longs to whistle for his dog. African-American.
Peekaboo Morning. Written by Rachel Isadora.
This pleasing picture book features a cheerful toddler playing peekaboo with parents, grandparents, amiable animals, a friend, and even readers. Each sentence begins with "Peekaboo! I see-," and will have young listeners chiming along in no time. African-American. (Putnam Pub Group Juv)
Hello World! Written by Manya Stojic.
Children from around the world say "hello" in forty-two languages, from Amharic to Zulu. Under each painting of a smiling face is a greeting in the child’s language, a phonetic pronunciation, and the name of the language. Multicultural. (Scholastic)
The World Turns Round and Round. Written by Nicki Weiss.
This charming book describes various items of clothing sent from relatives around the world to the children in one class. An aunt in Colorado sends cowboy boots, a babushka in Russia sends a little furry hat, a mjomba in Kenya sends a dashiki, and a chachi in India sends a sari. Multicultural. (Greenwillow).
Hooray, A Pinata. Written by Elisa Kelven.
After she chooses a cute dog pinanta for her birthday party, the adorable main character, Clara, pretends it is her pet and she doesn't want it to be broken. Latin American. (Dutton Books).
Please, baby, Please. Written by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee.
This sweet, rhythmic picture book, by filmmaker Spike Lee and his wife, producer Tonya Lewis Lee, humorously portrays the age-old struggle between parents and rambunctious toddlers. African-American. (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
Just the Two of Us. Written by Will Smith.
Grammy-winner and actor, Smith, presents the lyrics of his hit song that borrows the refrain, "Just the two of us/ Building castles in the sky/ Just the two of us/ you and I" in its celebration of a father's love for his son. African-American. (Scholastic)
The Empty Pot Written by Demi.
In this classic Chinese tale, a test to grow a plant is given by the Emperor to determine whom he will choose as the heir to the throne. A little boy named Ping is unable to make his seed grow and submits an empty pot but is rewarded for his honesty. Chinese-American. (Henry Holt & Company, Inc)
Black, White, Just Right! Written by Marguerite W. Davol
A mixed-race child celebrates the rich inclusiveness of her life in a joyful picture book. “Mama's face is chestnut brown/ Papa's face turns pink in the sun/ My face is a little dark, a little light….just right!" Multiracial.(Concept Books)
Red is a Dragon Written by Roseanne Thong.
In this lively concept book, a little girl discovers a rainbow of colors in the world around her. Many of the featured objects are Asian in origin, but all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this colorful book will brighten any child's day! Asian-American. (Chronicle Books)
Recommended books and toys are available on our website by clicking on the Amazon.com link: www.parent-child.org
© 2003 The Parent-Child Home Program, Inc.
The Parent-Child Home Program
1415 Kellum Place, Suite 101
Garden City, New York 11530
Reprinted with the permission of the Parent-Child Home Program, Inc.
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