Welcome to T is for Thailand for the Global Children’s Book Club! Today we’ll be going on a virtual tour of Thailand for kids. Get ready for a fun and inspiring Thailand virtual field trip – perfect for global education at home or for a Thailand homeschooling unit.
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Here’s the 2020 Global Children’s Book Club discussion schedule!
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T is for Thailand: Thailand Virtual Tour for Kids
Featured Thailand Book
Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho (Author), Holly Meade (Author)
Author Read Aloud
Hush! A Thai Lullaby Picture Book Discussion Questions
Other Thailand Books for Kids
Thailand Basic Facts
- The capital of Thailand is Bangkok.
- The official name is the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam. In Thai, it is Prathet Thai, which means, “Land of the Free.”
- Maha Vajiralongkorn is the current King of Thailand.
- Thailand is located in southeast Asia
- Thailand borders 4 countries: Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar.
- Thai is the official language of Thailand.
- The currency in Thailand is the baht. $1 USD ~ 31 baht.
- Thailand has three official seasons – hot, cool, and wet. The hot season runs from March through to June. April and May are the hottest months of the year.
- 95% of the Thailand is Buddhist, about 4.6% is Muslim and 0.7% are Catholic Christians. The remaining ~1% are Jewish, Hindu and Sikh.
- Major Industries include: tourism, textiles and clothes, and light manufacturing.
Thailand Interesting Facts
- Thailand is the only southeast Asian country that has never been colonized by Europeans.
- There is a monkey festival every November.
- It is against the law to criticize a member of the monarchy.
- All young men used to become Buddhist monks for at least a short time.
- Bangkok’s ceremonial name is one of the longest in the world: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. The name means, “City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra‘s behest.”
- King Bhumibol Adulyade, who ruled from 1946 to 2017, was the longest-reigning head of state in the world. He also composed Thailand’s national anthem.
- Bangkok was named the world’s hottest city.
Color in Thailand on this map of Asia!
Thailand for Kids: Flag Activity
Flag from HERE
HERE is a fun printable Thailand flag coloring sheet!
Thailand Virtual Tour to a Featured Landmark
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple along the river in Bangkok. In the morning, the temple showcases beautiful reflections of the sun. It also has stunning colored tile!
Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It is one of the most important temples in Thailand. It became the main temple of King Rama I, and some of his ashes are placed there. The temple is considered the earliest place of public education in all of Thailand, and is also one of Bangkok’s oldest temples. The reclining Buddha is over 150 feet long!
Krabi is an area in Southern Thailand filled with stunning beaches. Many love its beautiful longboats there! There is excellent snorkeling and wildlife, and many nature-oriented activities.
Featured Thai Artist: Chalermchai Kositpipat
Chalermchai Kositpipat is mostly a painter, and he is known for using many Buddhist images in his work. He started out by painting movie advertisements for billboards, but moved into more traditional art. He pushed boundaries in mixing more contemporary styles with traditional themes, and mixed temple art with modern images.
Featured Important Thai Person: Therdchai Jivacate
Therdchai Jivacate is an orthopedic surgeon who is also an active humanitarian. He has provided free prosthetic limbs to many who could not otherwise afford them. He has also developed techniques to make prosthetic limbs from local materials, including using plastic yogurt bottles. By doing this, he was instrumental in developing limbs that were much less expensive but still high quality. He also has made prosthetics for elephants who were injured in landmines!
Featured Thai Food: Thai Recipes for Kids
- Som Tam – spicy green papaya salad is very popular in Thailand.
- Thailand features a number of curries. Red curry is especially popular, but there is also panang curry, green curry, and several others. They are often served with rice, a staple in Thai cuisine and its most exported crop.
- Noodles are also very popular, both thin and thick. Here’s a recipe to try pad kee mao!
- Mango sticky rice is a common and delicious dessert!
Thai Craft & Culture Activity for Kids:
Gold Leaf Model Reclining Buddha
- Watch the very brief video on Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha from above to get an idea of how the Reclining Buddha looks. Then begin creating your own Reclining Buddha out of clay. Let sit until dry.
- While your clay is drying, consider learning about Buddhism and the significance of statues in this book for kids.
- When your clay has hardened, take your brush and gently brush the metal leaf adhesive in short upward strokes in small sections. Place bits of gold leaf on the glue and gently brush away the excess. Continue on to the rest of the figure.
Aluminum Foil Asian Elephant Craft
- Piece of cardboard
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- Paint + brushes or Sharpies
Thai Art Books
Other Thai Kids Activities
- Try this Thai Pongal craft, a Hindu harvest festival.
- Songkran is the Thai New Year. Here are several Songkran activities for kids, including a beautiful paper flower bud.
- Here’s a Thai umbrella art lesson.
- Thailand features beautiful long-tail boats to transport people around. You can create your own model long-tail boat by carving it out of soap or modeling it out of clay!
Animals in Thailand
About 1/10th of all animal species and also 1/10th of all bird species live in Thailand. Thailand has more birds than Europe and America combined!
Elephants are very common in Thailand, but they have a history of being abused and treated very poorly. Some sanctuaries are beginning to take much better care of them, so it’s important to support those that care for the elephants appropriately. While there are over 5,000 elephants in Thailand today, there used to be over 100,000.
Thai Movement Activities
Thai Folk Dance
Kid Movies About Thailand
Directors have filmed a number of films in Thailand, but I haven’t found any that are great for kids. Please let me know if you do!
Plan a Trip to Thailand with Kids!
After having all this fun, consider planning a virtual or real trip. What sites or cities would you visit? What food would you eat? Here’s a one day Bangkok itinerary with kids.
Thailand Conversations with a Local: Culture, History, & Food Discussion Video
Thailand for Kids Discussion Questions
- If you put all the things you cared about in your name, what would it be? How long would it be?
- Thailand became a place of refuge for people from other lands, especially Cambodians escaping the Khmer Rouge. What would it be like being so close to other countries with people seeking refuge?
- Having never been colonized by Europeans, Thailand has been able to especially maintain some strong aspects of its culture. What are some of those cultural strengths?
- What are some common ingredients in Thai meals?
- Elephants were historically abused by humans in power. Why do you think this is? What were the advantages, and what are some things you and tourists can do to help prevent continuing abuse?
Thanks for Taking a Virtual Visit to Thailand With Us!
We’ve loved putting together this resource to virtually visit Thailand. We’d love to hear if you do any of these activities for a homeschooling Thailand unit, or if you visit in person!
We hope to inspire curiosity and connection through exploring and learning, and we hope this guide helps you and your families. Please share any activities you do with us over on our Instagram. And we’d be delighted if you passed this Thailand for kids virtual tour and homeschooling resource along to others, as well!
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