9 Arts & Crafts Ideas for Teaching Diversity to Kids

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Using arts and crafts is a great way to teach kids about diversity. This will help get them hands-on and really understand the importance of our differences.

A diversity art picture.

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Diversity Arts and Crafts Ideas

1. Friendship Bulletin Board

This makes for a great friendship activity for kids.

Materials:

  • Paint
  • Paper

Instructions

  1. Give children in your program peach, white, brown, black, and orange paint (add soap to make it stain proof).
  2. Have them mix what they perceive their skin color is.
  3. Then have them paint a friend’s hand and then put a print on a heart-shaped piece of paper.
  4. You can put these on a bulletin board with the heading, “Friendship Comes in Many Colors!”

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2. Visual Art

The Islamic religion forbids the use of images of living creatures in art. That’s why much of Muslim graphic art consists of floral themes, geometric figures, and Arabic script.

See if your group can draw a picture using geometric figures and the shapes of letters in artistic ways.

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3. Water Bottle Painting

Instructions

  1. Put some watercolor paints on a sheet of paper.
  2. Have children use water bottles to spray the sheet.
  3. Let them watch as all of the colors run and blend together to make something beautiful.

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4. Paint on Wet Paper 

  1. Get a big sheet of paper completely wet.
  2. Dip it right into the water in the sink.
  3. Smooth the paper out on a cookie sheet or plastic tabletop.
  4. Brush thick, wet watercolors on top.
  5. They blur and fuzz out on the wet paper, blending together and making wonderful shapes.

After using either method… talk to the children about how everyone is different but they all blend together in work and play to make the world wonderful.

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5. Dove of Unity Handprint Wreath

This wreath symbolizes cultural unity. You can adjust the handprint colors for different occasions (for example, you may wish to use handprints in different shades of brown for Black History Month)

Materials:

  • Paint in various skin-tone colors

Children enjoy experimenting with mixing colors. Try these combinations:

  • A small amount of red + small amount of yellow + white…
  • Brown + white…
  • Yellow + small amount of brown…
  • Paper, Scissors, Glue

Instructions

  1. Make between 9 and 12 in various skin tone colors by dipping hand in paint and stamping it on the paper. Let it dry.
  2. To make the DOVE: Trace hands with the thumb extended and 4 fingers close together onto the center of a piece of white paper.
  3. Glue on a beak from orange construction paper or draw one on with an orange marker.
  4. Draw on a wing and an eye with a black pencil crayon or marker.
  5. Cut out the skin tone hands and glue them together in a circle to form a wreath.
  6. Glue the dove onto the back of the wreath (so the wreath acts like a picture frame).
  7. Trim the edges of the paper the dove is on. Source: dltk-kids.com

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6. Black and White Collage

Materials:

  • (1) sheet of black construction paper
  • (1) sheet of white construction paper
  • (1) brightly colored sheet of construction paper
  • glue

Instructions

  1. Tear black and white sheets into small pieces (less than 1/2″ square).
  2. Paste the black and white pieces on the brightly colored sheet to create a unique collage.
  3. Some people may choose to create identifiable objects. Others may create geometric designs or a patterned “quilt.”

After all the pieces are completed, have children to show their pictures and briefly describe them. Note that NEITHER THE BLACK NOR THE WHITE ALONE WOULD HAVE CREATED AN INTERESTING PICTURE, yet the two could be combined into many interesting patterns. In short, they were more productive in working as a team.

Discuss the need for teamwork, whether it is in the home, the classroom, the workplace or the community at large. What are some tasks that require group effort?

You might also PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PIECES… Point out that just as no two pieces are art are alike, no two people are alike. Each person has a unique purpose in life, and the home, church, community, and society as a whole are benefited when each person finds and fulfills his purpose in life instead of seeking to be “just like” another individual.

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A picture of a fingerprint, signifying each individuals uniqueness.

7. Help Children Understand Uniqueness

Instructions

  1. Use an ink pad to have each member make a thumbprint in the center of a piece of construction paper.
  2. Then, use a magnifying glass to examine the thumbprints. How are they alike? How are they different?
  3. Next, have everyone use markers to add to and draw around the thumbprints to create unique thumbprint animals.
  4. Discuss: Even though we’re all people, (or part of the same family) our fingerprints are different. And, each of us probably thought of and drew a different thumbprint imaginary animal. We don’t look alike or think alike.
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8. Happy Handshake

Materials:

  • Two shades of skin-toned construction paper
  • Brass fastener
  • Other colors of construction paper

Instructions

  1. Trace and cut out one handprint on the skin toned construction paper.
  2. Cut out rectangles long enough to make “cuffs” for the wrists of the hands – glue on.
  3. Place the two hands together in a “shake” fashion with one thumb behind the other.
  4. Attach a brass fastener to the center!

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9. Hands of Friendship

Instructions

  1. Have children trace their hands on construction paper using black, white, red, yellow and brown paper to represent various skin tones found across our nation.
  2. Cut them out. Attach all the hands together using a method that depends on where you are going to put them.
  3. Example:
  4. You can glue or staple hands together in a long chain or swag.
  5. As you are working on the project, you can talk about each hand representing the diversity in our country/world–or if it is for MLK Day–how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. joined hands with people of all colors when he marched for freedom.

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Menu for Diversity and Multi-Cultural Category

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A collection of arts and crafts ideas that can help teach kids about diversity.
Your kids will find these arts and crafts not only fun but insightful. These ideas are a great way to help teach kids about the importance of diversity.

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