Next up on our “Virtual” World Travel Tour, after our Africa for Kids “virtual camp” yesterday, is Asia! We are using these passport books to keep track of which places our kids explore, and to record our favorite things that we learn about each place that we “visit”.
In today’s Asia for Kids lesson plan, we will learn about the continent in general, but then we will focus on India, China and Japan. We will take virtual tours of all three countries, play Chinese Chess, make DIY henna tattoos (using just two ingredients!), cook easy sushi (that doesn’t involve rolling!), and even learn how to say some phrases in Hindi, Chinese and Japanese.
How many countries are in Asia?
Asia is made up of 49 countries, five of which are considered transcontinental countries (meaning that some of their land is also in Europe).
What are the 6 regions of Asia?
Asia is generally considered to be made up of the following six regions. You can view a colored map of the regions here.
1. North Asia (Siberia)
The country of Russia falls within North Asia.
2. East Asia (Far East)
China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan are in the East Asia region.
3. Western Asia (The Middle East or Near East)
Israel, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Saudi Arabia are all examples of places in the Western Asia region.
4. Central Asia (The ‘stans)
The reason that the Central Asia region is nicknamed “The ‘Stans” is because their countries end in those five letters – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
5. Southeast Asia (Indochina and East Indies)
Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and others make-up Southeast Asia.
6. South Asia (Indian Subcontinent)
India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives and others make up South Asia.
Asia for kids
While we are mainly going to explore India, Japan and China, let’s start with a few fun facts about Asia for Kids!
1. Highly populated, for it’s size
A whopping 60% of the world’s population live in Asia. However, Asia does not contain 60% of the world’s land area! It is only made up of 30% of the land in the world. China contains the most people of any country in the world, with over 1.3 billion people living there. India is a close second, with a population of 1.2 billion. For comparison purposes, the United States is number three and only has 300 million people.
2. Both the highest and lowest points on earth
Mt. Everest is the highest point on the earth and it is found in Asia. Ironically, the home for the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea, is also Asia.
3. Two of the largest economies in the world
China is the second largest economy in the world, followed by Japan as the third largest. Both India and Russia are also in the top ten largest economies. All of these countries are part of Asia.
Here is a National Geographic Kids video about Asia, before we deep dive into fun activities to specifically explore India, Japan and China.
India for kids
There is so much to explore in India for kids! We will take virtual tours of historic sites including the Taj Mahal and the Palace of the Winds, taste delicious Indian food and learn some phrases in Hindi.
1. Virtual tour of India
First, let’s visit some of the most historical places in India!
Taj Mahal Virtual Tour
The Taj Mahal is a mosque-mausoleum in Agra, a city in India. Even though it’s origin is Muslim, it is often considered the symbol of India. It is an exquisite white marble necropolis that you absolutely must explore! You can go on a 360-degree virtual tour of the Taj Mahal here.
Palace of Winds (Jaipur Hawa Mahal) Virtual Tour
In Jaipur, India is a palace facade made up of 953 windows. It was originally designed this way so that the ladies who lived in the palace could watch the drama outside of the palace. I guess drama queens and gossip has always been a common pastime! You can take a virtual tour of the Palace of Winds (or Jaipur Hawa Mahal) here.
Agra Fort (Red Fort) Virtual Tour
This red sandstone fortress is located in Agra, a city in north-central India. You can take a 360-degree virtual tour of Agra Fort here.
2. Books about India for kids
These books about India for kids are a great way to learn more about India, while practicing reading! Some are even available for free with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, which you can try for free (and you do not even need a kindle).
Same, Same But Different
Two pen pals, Ellliot (from America) and Kailash (from India), learn about how similar (yet different!) they are in Same, Same But Different.
Finders Keepers?: A Bus Trip in India
The award winning book, Finders Keepers?: A Bus Trip in India, is a great way to learn about India as you follow a bus through the country.
Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World
For our older kids, Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World, is a book about India’s millenials. Over half of the population in India is under the age of twenty-five, and the author, Snigdha Poonam, went on a tour all over India to give us a look into the mind of these dreamers.
3. Learn common phrases in Hindi
A trip to India would not be complete without learning some common phrases in Hindi. Here are some basic Hindi phrases to learn, along with a recording to make sure you get the pronunciation right!
4. Indian recipes for kids
While some kids may love spicy foods, I have purposefully selected some Indian recipes that are more mild and enjoyed by my own kids!
Butter chicken recipe
Another name for butter chicken is Chicken Makhani (or Murgh Makhani). It’s creamy, orange-red sauce is delicious and will make your kids an Indian food lover for life! Here is a recipe to try.
Naan bread recipe
Gulab Jamun dessert recipe
These sweet balls, also known as Gulab Jamun, are done in 10 minutes and can be served alone or in a parfait. Here is a Gulab Jamun recipe to try.
5. DIY henna tattoo using 2 ingredients
Facts About India for Kids
Want to learn more facts about India for kids? Checkout the video below. Some of these facts might even surprise you!
Japan for Kids
1. Virtual tour of Japan
First, let’s visit some of the most historical places in Japan!
Japan 360-degree virtual tour
The Discovery Channel has put together a fantastic tour of Japan’s ancient history, along with it’s modern marvels here.
Virtual tour of museums in Japan
Want to explore some museums, temples and gardens in Japan? There are tons of virtual tours to explore here.
2. Books about Japan for kids
As with the books about India, some of these books about Japan are available for free with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, which you can try for free (and you do not even need a kindle).
Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories
There are twenty classic Japanese stories for kids in Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories.
Kids’ Travel Guide – Japan
Kids’ Travel Guide – Japan, is available on Kindle Unlimited and is a fun way for a child to plan out a virtual trip to Japan!
My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Diary about the Best 4 Months Ever!
For our slightly older kids, My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Diary about the Best 4 Months Ever!, is a diary of a fifth grade boy who travels to Japan for four months as a foreign exchange student. It is a great way to get a glimpse into life in Japan.
3. Japanese Lessons for Kids
Want to learn how to speak Japanese? You can take some free Japanese lessons here.
4. Sushi for kids
How can we talk about Japan without making some sushi?! While not all kids are excited about eating raw fish, here are some fun sushi recipes that do not contain raw proteins!
Sushi salad recipe
Want to make the easiest possible sushi recipe? You do not have to even roll anything with this California roll sushi salad.
Cucumber sushi recipe (without rice!)
Instead of using rice and seaweed, these sushi “rolls” are made by stuffing cucumber rounds.
Fruit sushi dessert recipe
If you want to try rolling sushi, but your kids are not interested in seaweed, try these fruit “sushi” rolls!
5. DIY Japanese carp windsock (koinobori)
Do you have an empty toilet paper roll sitting around somewhere? If so, you can use some colored paper and the roll to make this DIY Japanese carp windsock (or koinobori).
Facts About Japan for Kids
Want to learn more facts about Japan for kids? Checkout the video below.
China for Kids
1. Virtual tour of China
First, let’s visit some amazing places in China, virtually!
Chinese palace virtual tour
Your kids will love this virtual tour of the Chinese palace.
Shanghai, China 360-degree virtual tour
This virtual tour of Shanghai, China shows the most populous city in the world during both the nighttime and the daytime.
2. Books about China for kids
Just like our book list for Japan and India, some of these books about China are available for free with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, which you can try for free (and you do not even need a kindle).
You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Great Wall of China!
Learn about how the Great Wall of China was built and the history behind it in You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Great Wall of China!
China: Travel for kids
Available on Kindle Unlimited, China: Travel for kids, is a fun way for a child to plan out a virtual trip to China!
Not For Parents China: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (Lonely Planet Kids)
In Not For Parents China: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (Lonely Planet Kids), you will learn tons of fascinating things from the history of dragons in China all the way to super unusual snacks and fighting crickets.
3. Mandarin Lessons for kids
Want to learn how to speak Mandarin? Sesame Street has a set of Mandarin language videos here that are perfect for kids.
4. Chinese recipes for kids
Here is a great list of Chinese recipes that your kids will love!
Bubble tea (boba tea) recipe
Chinese chicken and broccoli recipe
My kids LOVE chicken and broccoli stir fry, which I make like this recipe.
Chinese orange chicken recipe
Do your kids prefer sweet over savory? Then, Chinese orange chicken will be a winner! Try this recipe for orange chicken.
5. Printable Chinese chess board
Have you ever played Chinese chess before (not to be confused with Chinese checkers, which does NOT have any roots to China)? If not, don’t worry! You can print your own Chinese Chess board here and learn how to play.
Facts About China for Kids
Want to learn more facts about China for kids? Checkout the video below.
And the most fun part… share a photo or video of your virtual camp activities on Facebook! Make sure to include a link to this website or to our Facebook Group and Facebook Page, so that we can see it too! It gives our kids a great sense of community to see that we are all doing the same activities together!