Toddlers' Multicultural Art Activities

Written by sarah lipoff
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Toddlers' Multicultural Art Activities
Create engaging multicultural art with toddlers. (Crying Toddler image by Mary Beth Granger from

Educate toddlers about culture and art from around the world through engaging art activities. With basic art materials, create finished artworks that will be enjoyed and appreciated. Multicultural art introduces concepts of awareness and acceptance to young children and educates them about foreign lands.

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Japanese Fans

Children will learn about Japan and the art of fan making by creating their own fan. Share with children images of Japanese fans and bring in example fans for preschool children to play with. Create Japanese-inspired fans with toddlers by watercolour painting on white paper and then teaching children how to fan fold--forward and backward from one end of the paper to the other. Finish the Japanese fan by stapling at one end.

Australian Handprints

Australian Aboriginals created cave paintings thousands of years ago to document the world around them. Often, they would sign their artwork with a sprayed handprint. Look at images of Aboriginal art with toddlers and discuss the vibrant colours and lines used. Toddlers can create their own Aboriginal handprint by placing their hands on a sheet of construction paper and having an adult spray over it with watered-down tempera paint. After the sprayed handprints have dried, the children can paint around the hand with paintbrushes and tempera paints.

Hawaiian Leis

Hawaiians welcome friends and family with a flower lei. Young children can create flower leis by stringing precut paper flowers onto lengths of string. Lacing encourages toddler's fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Help children by precutting flower shapes out of various colours of construction paper and punching a hole through the centre. Children can decorate the paper flowers with markers before stringing them onto a length of string.

African Masks

In Africa, masks are worn for celebrations and often use animals as the basis for their design. Create African-inspired animal masks using paper plates, tempera paints, string and beads. Look at examples of African masks with toddlers and help them select animals to use for their masks. Children can cut out the eyes and mouths for the masks as well as around the paper plate to create the shape of an animal's head. The masks can be painted with tempera paints and adorned with string and beads. Help children wear the finished African masks and have a celebration.

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