Learning about other holidays can be fun and it will teach your kids the importance of celebrating and embracing differences. But really, it’s not just about the different holidays, but how different countries and regions have their own special ways of celebrating. The same holiday can look very different in two separate households, whether they’re across the globe or even across the street from one another. Here are different ways to educate kids and an example for each.
Cook a traditional dish.
Food is often an integral part of any holiday and cooking a traditional dish is a good opportunity to learn about other celebrations. But instead of just cooking the dish, have kids explore why that dish is important.
- Feast of the Seven Fishes: An Italian Christmas Eve feast that consists of seven different seafood dishes. Typically many foods are fried in oil as butter could not be consumed on Christmas Eve. (What kid doesn’t love fish sticks?)
Host a party.
Every family has their own way of celebrating the holidays. Host a party and ask each guest to bring something that represents their holiday traditions. It could be an activity, a dessert, or a decoration.
- Hannukah’s Dreidl: A game of dreidl is not only a fun party activity, but a way for all of the guests to learn about the tradition’s of Hannukah.
Create a wreath.
Want another fun way to educate kids? Buy an undecorated wreath from a Christmas tree lot or at a craft store. Have kids research different holidays around the world and then create ornaments that represent the different traditions and symbols of each.
- Kwanzaa Chain: Kids can make linked paper garland in the colors of Kwanzaa (red, black and green) to symbolize unity, one of the 7 principles of Kwanzaa.
Get creative with traditions by incorporating a mix of multicultural decoration. You can designate an area of your house to represent the holidays around the world or mix it up with your traditional decorations.
- Las Posadas: Hang the traditional Christmas star piñata, which is often part of Mexico’s Las Posadas celebration. Plus, now you have a piñata you can crack open at your next party.
Explore your heritage.
Kids can learn about their ancestors by exploring traditions from their heritage. Christmas, for example, is celebrated very differently from country to country. For example, in some places, children leave their shoes at the door instead of stockings by the fireplace.
- Lucky Spiderwebs: Ukranians decorate their tree with artificial spider webs. It is though to bring good fortune to the household for the coming year. Why not give it a try this year, we could all use some extra luck!
Attend cultural events. Check for local events that celebrate diversity. Your library is a good place to start. They might offer things like a Hannukah story time or craft workshops celebrating other cultures. This is a fun and easy way to educate kids about various holidays this season.