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New Year’s: 6 Ways Kids Can Learn About Cultural Diversity and Traditions

Disclaimer: The U.S. Department of Education does not mandate or prescribe particular curricula or lesson plans. This information is provided for the visitor's convenience and is included here as an example of the many resources that parents and educators may find helpful and use at their option. See the full FREE disclaimer.

 

The New Year can be a time of reflecting on what we’ve accomplished in the past year, as well as what potential opportunities the New Year can afford. This time of the year also can provide an opportunity for kids to enhance their appreciation of diversity as you explore various cultures and traditions.

 

  1. Learn about calendars:  Calendars are based on the movement of celestial bodies, for example, the solar and lunar calendars being based on the sun and phases of the moon, respectively. See if your kids can figure out which calendar the United States follows.

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  3. Make family resolutions: Let your kids know that New Year’s in the United States begins on January 1, the first day of the first month for the calendar year, and people have been celebrating the start of a new year for a very long time. Consider talking to your kids about what they would like to accomplish in the coming year, and try making some family resolutions that everyone can share.

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    Fireworks

     

  5. Take a trip down memory lane: New Year’s Day can be as much about remembering the last year as it is about planning for the new one. This holiday could be an opportunity to get together with your kids and remember fun times throughout the year. Make a book by having your kids write down certain moments they liked the most, and why. Draw pictures to go along with the discussion. 

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  7. Find out more about the Chinese New Year: With your kids, learn about festivities that are part of the Chinese New Year. The Lunar New Year is an occasion for celebration throughout China, and it comes with lots of costumes, dances, and music. Try some interactive activities to learn more about the Chinese New Year.

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    Dragon

     

  9. Discover more about the Jewish New Year: Ask your kids if they can explain the concept of a tradition. Let them know that one of the traditions of those celebrating the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is eating apples and honey. See if they can do some research to find out the significance of this tradition.

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    Other Cultures

     

  11. See what other cultural New Year’s exist: Other cultures that recognize a New Year other than January 1 include those who celebrate the Islamic New Year. The Islamic calendar lunar-based, and the New Year can vary by month each year.


 


These are a few ideas for activities you can enjoy with your kids that could spark their interest and desire to learn, while instilling a greater appreciation for cultural diversity.

 

This feature originally was posted on free.ed.gov, a site that is now retired. Please visit ed.gov/FREE for more information.  

 


Last Modified: 12/01/2015