Global Kids Activities Spring Time | Whole Wide World Toys

5 Global Kids Activities to Try This Spring

Raising Global Kids in Springtime

With Spring Break around the corner, and summer vacation on the horizon, you’re on the lookout for innovate new ways to play with your kids. Lucky for you, spring is the perfect time to add global kids activities into your typical mix of indoor and outdoor play. We’ve got five fun ways to play after the thaw. Check them out!

Plant a Global Garden

Springtime is all about planting; just ask the rabbits who are stalking your garden. When seeds and sprouts are calling, invite your kids to plant a global garden that celebrates foods, herbs and flowers from around the world with this easy activity.

  1. Start with an interactive world map; its layout will be the blueprint for your garden. For example, the top left corner of your garden plot will represent North America, and as you move toward the bottom left corner, you’ll include crops from Central America & Mexico, the Andes, Tropical South America and finally Temperate South America. Keep moving right until you reach Northeast Europe, Pacific Region and Australia. Easy peasy!
Interactive World map

  1. Then it’s time to plan your plantings.To do that, click on a region and see what fruits, veggies and herbs pop up as native to the region. Depending on your garden size, pick at least one itemto plant from each of the map’s regions, and make sure it’ll do well in your planting zone.
  2. Get planting!Take time during a sunny day to plant seeds or starts in each of your zones. Make cute garden signs so you know what’s where, and give everything a good watering before letting Mother Nature (and regular watering) take over.
  3. Finally, harvest your crops.Spend the spring and summer eating delicious fresh produce with international origins from your own back yard! If you’re feeling super creative, use the food you’ve grown to try out flavorful international dishes like these, curated by Epicurious.

We love the way this global kids activity keeps giving all season long! If you don’t have a big yard to plant in, try planting starts in pots on a sunny deck or balcony. You can also stick to herbs only in a windowsill garden if you need to. There are so many ways to bring tastes from around the world into your home!

Experiment with Weather

weather experiments

With April’s abundant showers, spring is a great time to pull out some weather experiments so kids can see the ways in water connects people around the globe. Kick start the learning with an actual globe to point out the way the world’s oceans, canals and seas all connect. Then head over to the U.S. Geological Survey to figure out the way all this water works its way around the earth. This cute map explains the patterns of heat, evaporation, condensation, wind currents and precipitation that help move water from one part of the world into another. Then it’s time to make this science come to life with some simple experiments. Here are two you can try on a sunny day!

  • Even little kids can get in on the action when you set up a simple evaporation experiment. Start with a clear plastic cup, filled with water. Then, mark the water’s starting point with a black Sharpie. Draw a few other lines below that mark so kids can see how the amount of water in the cup decreases with time. All you need to do is place this experiment in front of a sunny window and check back every couple of hours to see how much water has evaporated. It takes some patience, but it’s too easy not to pass up.
  • You can also create a mini environment using a mug, bowl, plastic wrap and water so kids can see the whole thing in action. To make it all work, place an empty mug in the middle of a medium-sized bowl filled about 2/3 of the way up with water. The water filled bowl acts as a large body of water, like an ocean or lake. And the mug in the center will collect the water that forms once you add in the next step. Place and secure plastic wrap over the top of the bowl. Then set everything out in the sun for a few hours. When the kids return, there should be plenty of tiny droplets that have formed on the plastic wrap. And what’s inside the mug? Water that’s fallen from the plastic wrap as the droplets get heavier and heavier.

Go Birding

All those birds that left the northern hemisphere for the South’s warmer weather in winter return for spring, thanks to all the bugs and plants popping up this time of year. Catching sight of these aerial globetrotters is another way to bring the world to your door. To get to know the birds in your backyard, all you need is a notebook, bird identification book (it helps if its region specific) and binoculars. Then it’s time to find out who’s who in this spring migration bonanza.

Make birding a whole day activity by hitting a nature preserve, state or national park, where you’re sure to find birds-a-plenty singing in the trees. Or keep it simple with a trip to the backyard, blanket in hand so you can comfortably sit, watch and wait for visiting birds to land on your trees and bushes. Once you spot spring’s sweet songbirds, identify them with the book, and record your findings in your journal. Then, it’s time to dig into their migration pattern and see where they’ve recently traveled. National Geographic has an excellent interactive map that tracks migratory patterns, or check out the migration forecasting tool at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology before recording your findings. We recommend doing this activity at least a few times in spring to see the big picture of these fantastic birding patterns.

Go Birding

Check out Changing Seasons

It may be spring in the U.S., but what’s it doing in other parts of the world? Starting with this simple question, kids can embark on a learning adventure that helps them make global connections at the same time. We suggest starting with a quick and easy explanation of why seasons aren’t the same all around the globe (hint: it has to do with the Earth’s tilt and rotation around the sun). This interactive map from PBS Learning Media is a good place to find a kid-friendly explanation of the seasons. You can also check out what the weather’s like in a few different time zones around the world, depending on the time of year here. And that’s the inspiration for this next global kids activities spring time.

Check out Changing Seasons

Now it’s time for your kids to make their own seasons map. Have them pick four different countries to examine (hint: it works best if they’re in different latitudes and hemispheres). Then have them check the weather forecast in each country for the week and add the predictions to a map, like a real weather forecaster. They can keep this going all season long, adding average temps and conditions, checking in on their chosen countries once a week. Or they can try it out for a short period of time. Either way, they’ll get the big picture by the time the seasons change!

Play Outside

Once the weather warms up, your kids can’t wait to get outside. This year, add an international flair to time spent in the sun with a few fun games that are played in other countries. Here’s the fun part—we bet your kids have already tried some of the global games without realizing it.

Just think—soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Have your kids strapped on cleats and shin guards to kick a ball around? If they’ve flown a kite, they’ve definitely gotten in on a favorite Afghani passtime, but probably haven’t been as cutthroat as overseas players. Does Ga ga Ball sound familiar? Turns out this camp favorite originated in Israel. See how easy it is? Here are a few other international outdoor play options to import into your springtime routine.

Play Outside
  • Egg Jousting(Armenia).Play this game before lunch and we bet you’ll be able to make a mean egg salad afterward. To play, give each kid a hard boiled egg, and have them tap the small ends of the egg together until they crack. Then it’s time to joust! Face the large end of the eggs toward each other and have the kids try to score points (cracks) on each other as they knock their eggs together. Once an egg totally cracks, game’s over. Last egg standing is the winner!
  • Kongki Noli (Korea)All you need are a few good pebbles and a few good friends to play this games that’s similar to jacks. Start by having kids find at least 5 small stones that they scatter on the ground before they start playing. In turn, each player picks up a stone and throws it in the air, picking up one additional stone each time a stone in thrown, until there aren’t any more left. In the second round, players try to collect two stones for each one thrown into the air… the third round objective is three stones per throw and so on. After the first player has gone through all five stages, it’s time to throw them all up into the air at once and see how many you can catch on the way down. Stones in hand equals your score before you pass the torch to the next player.
  • Ounch Neech (Pakistan)This obstacle course meets tag game is a fun one for kids of all ages to play. One player is “it” and he chooses whether the game is played “ounch” (up) or “neech” (down). Whatever one he chooses becomes the unsafe zone. Then it’s time to play a basic game of tag, where runners can be tagged out if they aren’t in a safe zone (either “ounch” or “neech”). First one tagged is the new “it” kid for the next round.
global kids activities

If springtime showers are in the forecast, you can easily set up your World Village Playset China Adventure Kit indoors instead. Follow Joe and Emma around a beautifully illustrated Chinese village that’s been printed on the fabric playmat. Then use the Travel Journal, story cards and wooden puzzle pieces for creative, storytelling play.

What global kids activities have you tried? Do you cook or go to restaurants of international cuisines, research the history of inventions, study geography, or learn a language?

–Allison Sutcliffe

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global kids activities

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