Diversity games teach young children to respect and celebrate the differences in all humans. Learning aspects of different cultures adds a diverse experience to each child. Teaching kids about diversity also helps them realize that we're all humans, despite outward differences in appearance, dress or actions. Games offer an entertaining format for kids and work well to introduce the concept of diversity.
Have You Ever?
This game is an icebreaker or warm-up activity for a group of young children. There are different variations of the game, depending on how you want to play. The goal is to get the players to realize that everyone has different and similar experiences. The kids might discover they have something in common with a fellow group member that they might not have otherwise known. To play the game, all of the kids stand in a circle. A question is posed by the group leader. For example, you might ask the kids, "Have you ever traveled outside the country?" or "Have you ever lived in another state?" Those who can answer "yes" run to the middle of the circle. You can simply have them give each other a high five or add more of a challenge to the game.
For more of a challenge, place one person in the middle of the circle. The kids for whom the statement is true must switch places with someone else how also answered "yes." The person in the middle tries to take one of the spots in the circle leaving someone else in the middle without a spot. This version works best with chairs to sit on so the available spots are easily defined.
This homemade Bingo game introduces little kids to things common to different cultures. In each square of the Bingo board, place an image of something related to a specific culture. Some picture examples include chopsticks, a Celtic cross, a sombrero and an Indian sari. You'll also need a large set of picture cards that you can hold up for the kids to see. As you hold up a picture, tell the kids what is in the picture and what culture it comes from.
Name the Leader
Students are divided into small groups. Each group picks a leader without letting the other teams know. On a large piece of paper, the groups write or draw things about the leader without giving it away. It might include a physical description, likes, dislikes, things she has done or places she has visited. Each group presents the information and the rest of the groups try to guess how is the leader. This game helps kids realize that there is more to a person than her looks. It also helps the kids learn more about the other kids, which helps them appreciate one another more.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.