For Parents & Teachers

For fantastic picture books set in countries around the world, see the Read Around the World booklists page or begin with the Read Around the World: Highlights post.

On this page, you will find a roundup of additional resources for teaching kids about countries around the world. There are lots of neat things here including a printable passport, free videos from around the world, international recipes…and much more. Take a look!

1.  National Geographic Kids Website  – A fantastic, kid-friendly website with facts, photos, videos, maps, e-cards and printable cards about 40+ countries from around the world.

2.  Flags of the World Website – The most comprehensive source of printable flags available on the internet.

3.  Pretend Passport Template — Angela at Satori Smiles shares instructions and a template for creating pretend passports for kids.

4.  Smithsonian Folkways’ YouTube Channel – An amazing collection of videos of musicians from around the world. To appeal to young children, parents and teachers will likely have to spend a little time selecting and introducing these videos.

5.  The Kids’ Multicultural Cookbook by Deanna Cook — A cookbook with facts about various countries, international games, and suggestions for throwing international parties, as well as recipes from around the world. The Kids Multicultural Cookbook is sufficiently entertaining that my six-year-old reads it for fun when we have no plans to cook. The recipes are easy-to-make and generally appealing to young children.

6.  Illustrated Children’s Map of the World – A large, laminated world map with engaging illustrations of animals and landmarks from around the world.

7.  GeoPuzzles – I covet GeoToys puzzles. They look like an excellent, fun way for kids to learn where countries are located.

8.  World Map Shower Curtain – Educational and attractive!

A Reading Challenge

2012 Reading the World Challenge — PaperTigers

PaperTigers is hosting a reading challenge — 2012 Reading the World Challenge. To participate, choose six books about or from countries around the world and one book about or from the place where you live. PaperTigers’ website has more information about the challenge as well as links to numerous multicultural reading lists.


While Reading Around the World, my kids and I enjoyed trying new foods and listening to new music. Here is an inspiring collection of creative activities parents and teachers have come up with that are both fun and teach kids about other countries.

1.  Joie de Vivre (Design Mom) — Design Mom, her husband, and six kids have moved to France for the year. Inspired by Design Mom’s move, Ashley of Squirrels in Wren’s Nest wrote a guest post about her family’s French day, which included eating crepes (recipe included), dressing the part, and introducing her child to a French artist. 

2.  Crafts Around the World: Japan! (The Crafty Crow) — The Crafty Crow has a series of Crafts Around the World posts. Each post is written by a blogger from a different continent. In this post, Jo of A bit of this and a bit of that… shares instructions for making a Japanese kurakura habondanma or bubble spinner.

3.  The Sprouts Still Hungry for Bee-bim Bop! (Sprouting the Beans) — Renee, of Sprouting the Beans, and her kids have been visiting and learning about various countries. While visiting Korea, they read Bee-Bim Bop! by Ho Baek Lee. Renee also perfected the recipe for bee-bim bop and shares her recipe here.

4.  Fried Plantains (Satori Smiles) — Something as simple as trying plantains for the first time can be an adventure, which is why I like this post from Angela at Satori Smiles. Angela and her daughter Satori have also been learning about maps and doing some amazing mapping projects including drawing freehand maps and making magnetic map puzzles.

5. Our Continent Bags: Africa (Counting Coconuts) — Mari-Ann has put together continent bags for her son to explore and play with. Each bag contains a remarkable assortment of things from a given continent, including books, maps, CDs, toy animals, money, stamps, and souvenirs. Continent boxes are a Montessori teaching tool. Here Mari-Ann shares the contents of her Africa continent bag.

6.  Learning Map Reading Skills with a Snack Map (Quirky Mom) — Rachel of Quirky Mom thought up this fun and simple activity to teach her kids map reading skills. My kids would love this!

Have you read a picture book set in Mexico, cooked a Vietnamese noodle salad, made Ukranian eggs, or tried another fun activity that exposed your children to life in another country? Share your picture book reviews, recipes, crafts, and stories here! I plan to share the most creative, inspiring posts with others this summer via Facebook, Twitter, and an end-of-the-summer post.

Click this link to view or add to the collection:

2 Responses to For Parents & Teachers

  1. Zoe says:

    What a brilliant round up of resources! Thanks so much for doing this. Off to share it now :-)

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