Did you know that Kamala Harris is not only the first woman to be vice president but also the first Asian American? Or that a Chinese American architect, I.M. Pei, designed the glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum? Asians and Pacific Islanders in America have made, and continue to make, significant contributions in the U.S. and globally. Despite this, their stories are often untold.
This AAPI Heritage Month, teach students the importance of recognizing and celebrating cultural diversity. Here are five of our favorite AAPI Heritage Month activities for kids of all ages:
Inspire kids with influential AAPI leaders
Since “AAPI” is an umbrella term that bundles so many diverse cultures together, it’s difficult to showcase all the significant contributions that Asians and Pacific Islanders have made. However, this AAPI leaders poster is a great starting point for introducing learners to important figures they usually don’t see in their textbooks! Featuring authors, actors, athletes, and more, it highlights 25 inspiring AAPI trailblazers who have paved the way for others. Challenge students to learn about all 25 changemakers or research more of their own.
Read and write about Asian mythology
If there’s one thing all cultures worldwide have in common, it’s folk tales. Our Asian mythology workbook has 30 pages full of fun worksheets to help students learn about fables and fairytales from all over Asia!
Younger learners can also take a peek into the magical world of Asian mythology through these coloring pages. From fire-breathing protectors to sly mischief-makers, these mythical creatures all possess incredible powers!
Make henna tattoos
Henna, the art of drawing on the skin with ink made from henna plants, is a century-old tradition in Asia. Traditionally used for ceremonial events such as holidays, festivals, and weddings, these temporary tattoos can also be used for cosmetic purposes today. In this arts and crafts activity, children will learn how to make homemade henna ink and create beautiful designs for body art!
Try new food together
Need an excuse to eat out and take a break from washing dishes? Give your local AAPI-owned restaurant some love, or take the opportunity to find your new favorite! This is a great way to show your support for their presence in your community.
If there are no Asian restaurants within reach or you prefer to stay home, try one of Education.com’s kid-friendly recipes! Whether it’s a spicy Korean salad or a sweet Indian coconut burfi, you’ll get to explore tasty Asian cuisine while bonding with your family.
Host a movie night to honor AAPI heritage
When children see themselves reflected in popular media, it encourages them to imagine more possibilities for who and what they can be. Representation matters, and it’s necessary to highlight movies that accurately portray and celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander cultures. Here are a few of our favorite family-friendly films:
- Raya and the Last Dragon: With a screenplay by Asian American writers and an A-list Asian cast, this animated movie stars a fierce female protagonist in a fantasy world inspired by Southeast Asia.
- Turning Red: Directed by Domee Shi of Bao, this quirky and heartwarming coming-of-age story focuses on the Asian immigrant experience.
- Moana: Disney’s powerful Polynesian princess made massive waves at the box office in 2016 and continues to make an enormous cultural splash today.
Looking for more ways to celebrate AAPI heritage during May and beyond? Explore Education.com’s Learning Library!