Multicultural Activities

Looking through my notes from the CCFP Roundtable conference 2011 and feeling very lucky that I had the opportunity to attend.  One of my favorite workshops that I was able to attend was “A Taste of the World: Bringing Multicultural Foods and Activities to Your Children” given by 3 women from the Learning Care Group.  Donna Pomerson, Sherrie Gomez, and Staci Larsen provided great examples and materials to take home about bringing multicultural foods and activities into the child care environment.  They said I could share this with you and I am so excited to do so right now!

After providing so much background as to what we should think about when we bring food into the environment, its cultural tie-ins, and identifying those individual food cultures we got into some activity ideas!  Those are what I am going to share with you on behalf of the Learning Care Group.

Multicultural Food Activities

  • World Food Map –
    • Display a large map of the world
    • Cut out pictures of the staple carbohydrates and attach them to the map.
  • Passport – Stamp pages that you have tried different foods from
  • BOOKS!  Literature can help you achieve an exploration of the world.  Click here for a list to get you started!
  • Send spices around the classroom, smell the, and learn where they originate from.
  • Different eating utensils.  For example, everyone eats rice but the ways cultures eat rice are different across the world.  Chopsticks (China), Flat-bottomed spoons (Thailand), your hands (India)?!
  • Different breads for different countries!  For example: Tortilla = Mexico, Baguette=France, Damper=Australia.

Multicultural Activities in General

  • Don’t forget to think about going beyond food and bringing into play greetings in different languages, dress, cultural celebrations, and games. 
  • Do you have a “beach ball” of the globe?  Throw it around the classroom and when it is caught ask the child to name the country that his or her finger landed on.  Learn about that country!
  • Ramen Noodle Cup – make a ramen noodle cup and incorporate how Japanese Meals are served.  Read More>>
  • Buffalo Hides – Learn about how North American Indians made their homes with buffalo hides and imitate that with a brown paper bag. Read More >>
  • Chop Sticks – Make your own chop sticks and then try picking up small items with them!  Read More>>
  • Sharing Bag – a way for the child to bring home what they learned in school and explore further with the parent.  Read More >>
  • Passports – Keep track of your learning trip around the world with a Passport you can stamp with the children.   Read More >>
  • Sushi – Make food that looks like sushi with the children.  Read More >>
  • What Would I Use For This Meal  - Make a matching game for the children to tell you what food and what utensil goes with it when cooking or eating these foods.  Read More >>
  • Celebration Chain – Use pre-cut construction paper in a variety of colors, tell the children how different cultures use colorful celebration chains and invite the children to create their own.  Read More>>
  • Family Customs – Invite the children’s family members to provide an item related to their culture.  Talk about the different cultures of each child and write it on a big piece of paper.  Read More>>

Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building