When talking about race with kids, in particular pre-schoolers, there are a variety of different resources available. Reading books about diversity, or multicultural books is a common way to get the conversation started, but there are also many multicultural activities for kids to help discuss race and diversity and help them understand such a sensitive topic.
Multicultural Activities for Pre-schoolers and Young Kids
Below you can find some multicultural activities and crafts for pre-schoolers and kids that can be used at home or in the classroom.
1. M&M Experiment
One of the best multicultural activities for pre-schoolers and younger kids is the M&M Experiment. This chocolate sweet is a great way to talk to your kids about how everyone is the same on the inside, although we may look different on the outside. Show the kids the different coloured M&M’s, and then break them all in half so they can see.
2. Handprint Wreath
Using construction paper of different shades, you can make a handprint wreath to show the different shades of hands. This is a fun multicultural kids activity to do in a group because the kids can use their own hands as examples to see the different shades.
3. Multicultural Wooden Peg Dolls
While you can buy these widely online, (here you can find an example), but making your own multicultural peg dolls is a fantastic diversity activity for kids. Paint all of the heads different shades, and clothe with either paper or fabric. Draw on the face.
4. Playdough People
A fun diversity activity for pre-schoolers especially is to make playdough people. Make playdough using different shades of brown, along with some coloured dough for clothing. The kids can then flatten the playdough and make faces and dress the kids up.
5. Experiment with International Restaurants
A great way to talk about race and diversity with kids is to eat out at international restaurants. Try and find restaurants which have a real cultural experience, even better if you can find one with employees who speak the native language. Perhaps you could go to an Indian restaurant and try some curry. Or you could go to a Chinese restaurant and the kids can learn to use chopsticks.
You could also try cooking international food at home too for something different.
6. Read books about diversity and Racism
Reading diversity books and multicultural books is another great way to talk to kids about these topics. Story books make it easier as they use examples that kids may face in real life. You can find some book ideas in our booklists
Talking to Kids about Race & Diversity
Talking about race and racism can be a sensitive topic to get into, no matter who you talk with. Having the conversation about racism with young children can be quite daunting. Hopefully these multicultural activities have given you some ideas and inspiration on how to navigate this topic with your kids. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our post on HOW TO TALK TO KIDS ABOUT RACE AND RACISM.