New year's around the world

Teaching Kids about New Year’s Around the World

Celebrating New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with my family is such a joyous time. Since this year we were learning about how families all over the world celebrate Christmas in their own way, we thought it would also be meaningful to learn about the diversity in how other cultures celebrate New Year’s around the world.

New Year’s Around the World

We first read New Year’s Around the World by Ann Malaspina, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri.

It is a wonderful children’s book detailing the traditions and celebrations of several countries including the United States, Greece, Iran, China, Thailand, Mexico, Haiti, and India. After reading the book together, we decided to make a booklet of the different traditions we learned from some of these countries.

We made multiple copies of the pages for my children depending on the number of countries they selected to research and write about. Then they drew pictures and/or printed pictures online to paste into the frames on the pages. Then they wrote a few facts about the country’s traditions on the lines.

Download printable New Year’s Around the World booklet here

Activity extensions

To go more in-depth with the celebrations around the world, it would be meaningful and a good learning experience to look up and cook traditional recipes from the countries the selected countries. Making crafts and playing music are also great activity extensions to the New Year’s Around the World unit.

Here are some activities that would pair well with New Year’s Around the World:


Make your own pinata & use it to celebrate a Mexican New Year (via DLTK’s Crafts for Kids)


Here are 60 of the best Chinese New Year craft activities from The Artsy Craftsy Mom

United States:

Make a New York ball drop craft (from Teachers Pay Teachers)


Bake the Greek New Year bread, vasilopita (recipe from Genius Kitchen)


Check out this Diwali printable unit filled with crafts to teach your little ones about the Indian Festival of lights (via Teachers Pay Teachers)


Have your own Water Festival outside and bring out water guns and lots of water to splash your family and friends.


Here are 10 Jewish New Year craft ideas from The Classroom Creative

Bake challah bread and dip the bread and apples in honey to represent a sweet new year. Here is a recipe for challah, the braided egg bread (via Kitchn).


Plant sabzeh, sprouts, to bring in the Spring and New Year. (via Persian Mama

Doing these activities definitely teach more global awareness and an appreciation for multicultural traditions.