Exploring world culture with arts and crafts is an experience, an adventure, and tactile learning! These activities are hands-on for children and adults. Some crafts we do today have been practiced for hundreds of years. Others are more recent.
Culture in Arts and Crafts
Papers, fabrics, wood, nuts, shells, glass, clay and many other materials are used in creating crafts. When you visit a main national museum of a country you see handicrafts from centuries ago. These art pieces represent culture, history, people, and stories.
Exploring World Culture
I participated in an Art Appreciation program for 3rd-grade students at my daughter’s school a few years ago. The art theme was cave painting. First, kids and I explored the time for the earliest cave art dated more than 35,000 years ago. Then we went through the slideshow and checked out the locations of the caves on the map. While we were looking at the cave arts children started to imagine how the cave paintings were done in the dark. At the same time, they also tried to interpret the meaning of a few paintings.
Finally, I turned off the lights and the kids taped the black drawing papers under their desks. They went under the desks (pretend cave) and started drawing with chalks… Students were engaged and they realized how difficult it was to draw like cavemen. The learning continued after the class. What a fun art and history activity to try with kids!
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
World culture with arts and crafts adventure: Here are 6 craft projects to try with children. I have included key exploring points for each one. Now, have your map and globe ready. Here we go!
- The symbolic meaning of dragon in Chinese culture.
- The differences of the dragon in the western culture and eastern culture.
- What is the Dragon Boat Festival? Who celebrates it?
- Download Dragon Boat Festival eBook with this coloring page below and create your dragon.
- Where does paper-cutting originate?
- Comparing the patterns of paper-cutting from Asia to Latin America.
- Does the color of the papers people use for paper-cutting matter? Why?
- Download this Chinese 3D word paper-cutting template and create one for display.
- What is Origami?
- Is there certain kind of paper people use for Origami?
- What country is Origami originated?
- Watch this video and make an origami dog bookmark!
- Name three countries that give children calligraphy homework.
- What is the difference between calligraphy art and watercolor art?
- What kind of paper do calligraphy artists use for their art creation?
- Watch this video and use a paintbrush to create your calligraphy art.
- What country is Tegua from?
- What do people do with Tagua nuts?
- Can you think of any nuts that you can use and create a souvenir?
- Watch this video and see how Tegua nuts transform to jewelry.
Sesame Seeds in Art
- Can you think of any dish you like that uses sesame seeds or sesame oil?
- Do you know sesame is originally from Africa and India?
- When you go to a grocery store next time, see if you can find black sesame seeds and white sesame seeds. Do you think they taste the same?
- Follow this ladybug pattern and use sesame seeds to create your sesame art.
I hope you have a lot of fun exploring world culture with these craft projects! Do you have a favorite craft idea represents your culture or heritage culture? I am excited to see what you are going to share with us!
“When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it.”