Holidays Around the World, With a Twist!

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I am SUPER excited for today’s post because it’s about some of my most favorite things in kindergarten–dramatic play centers and holidays around the world! 

Holidays around the world has always, always been one of my favorite units to teach, and dramatic play is SO important to me in my classroom. We play every single morning because it gets our day off to such a good start and I find it is such a good motivator for students when arriving to school.

Celebrating Diversity

For most of my teaching career, I’ve been at the same school and it is SO diverse. Each December, we spend the entire month learning about holidays around the world. At the beginning of the unit, I send home a letter explaining the holidays I plan to cover and then request that parents return the bottom portion of the form sharing what holidays they celebrate at home if theirs is not listed.

I’ve had some amazingly diverse responses over the years–but one of the most memorable was the year I had a little boy who had just returned from China while visiting family and brought us fortune cookies for the entire class to celebrate Chinese New Year. It was so amazing for my students to learn something about their classmate that they otherwise never would’ve known.

Aside from trying to make my students feel included, I always feel so drawn to making this unit as inclusive as possible because of my husband. His family is from Lebanon, and he has many memories of school activities and special events while he was growing up here in the US not incorporating anything about his own culture. Since having our own children, my eyes have been further opened and it is such a passion of mine to make sure they feel included and seen in their own learning.

For years, I’ve pieced together my own holidays unit because I never could find one that incorporated the holidays I wanted, or wasn’t in the style I preferred. On top of that, I have a small obsession with dramatic play sets. Ok, well, a huge obsession.

Resources for Holidays Around the World

The problem I always ran into was that I could only ever really find dramatic sets relating to Christmas, gingerbread men, hot chocolate, etc., but never could find anything holiday related and inclusive enough that I felt comfortable giving my students. So I decided to make my own!

Click on the picture above to see the bundle!

Each set includes signs, posters, word lists, holiday activities, word cards, labels, a pennant banner, and response pages. 

holidays around the world centers

holidays around the world themeTo be fully transparent, these sets are different in the way the content is presented when compared to my other dramatic play sets if you are familiar with those. Each holiday set has almost all the same response pages–1) write about what you’ve learned about holidays around the world and 2) write about a family tradition/holiday you celebrate. I did this for 2 reasons–I know that this can be a sensitive unit for some families and I wanted to strictly keep it informational.

holidays around the world dramatic play literacy center

Additionally, I wanted the focus to be age-appropriate and provide exposure, while also still focusing on students’ own traditions and beliefs. 

Holidays Included:

  • Ramadan
  • Las Posadas
  • Hanukkah
  • St. Lucia Day
  • Kwanzaa
  • Chinese New Year
  • Diwali

If you love this set, you might also love my Holidays Around the World Bulletin Board Kit! It comes with a banner for each holiday listed above and the letters. Each year, we have a door decorating contest and after not seeing much diversity in holidays presented year after year and realizing there wasn’t much available, I made this as an extension of my dramatic play sets. 

 
 
 
holidays around the word bulletin board kit

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