People live in all kinds of houses around the world; big houses, small houses, ones that float or pack up and go!  Geography, weather, culture, available materials and much, much more influence the house we live in.

We stepped inside walk-in versions of a Mongolian herder’s ger, a stilt house from a Malaysian fishing village and an m’bure from the tropics of Fiji in this bilingual exhibit  In each house, we explored furniture, cooking utensils, games and musical instruments to learn about the  lifestyle and culture of the people who live in these houses.

Children using wooden fishpoles to catch fish in our river.

Children enjoy fishing outside Malaysian stilt house.

After exploring these three unique homes, we designed our own “dream houses” on a drafting table and with a computer program.  Then, we moved to the “Build Your Own” area and design your own log house.  World maps, globes and photographs are found throughout the exhibit to serve as reference points.

A girl playing with native foods and dishware from around the world.

Fun activities inside each house setting give children opportunities to explore cultural traditions.

What We Learned:

  • Houses are very different around the world
  • Climate and geography influence building design
  • Cultural understanding 

Continue the Fun at Home

Read “The Three LIttle Pigs” together; then talk about how the materials of each house were different and how changing the materials can make a house stronger.

Look around your house for objects that came from places around the world; these might be an item handed down from a relative or an item you purchased on a family trip.  What does the item tell you about the culture of the place it came from?


This exhibit was on view October 8, 2016 - January 8, 2017.