Welcome to Oceania
Click a country to explore.
There are so many ways for kids to learn about Oceania. Here are a few fun facts about Oceania and a breakdown of Oceania’s regions to get you started. Then, you can start to explore the tasty food of the islands of Oceania!
A few facts about Oceania
Oceania lies in the South Pacific Ocean.
This continent consists of 14 countries. However, it is unique in that most of the countries are collections of many tiny islands.
Nearly three-quarters of Oceania’s population lives on the two largest islands: Australia and New Zealand. (Often geographers will refer to Australia as its own continent. But for our purposes, we are taking it as a part of the ‘continental group’ of Oceania.)
Among the animals native to Oceania are the wombat, koala, and red kangaroo.
Regions in Oceania
As we mentioned, geographers often call Oceania a ‘continental group’. And because of this they more often refer to Oceania by its regions, rather than ‘Oceania’ as a whole.
(When kids learn about Oceania for a classroom or homeschool geography unit study, it may be helpful to break the Oceania unit study into these sections.)
This region is a collection of small islands situated to the east of the Philippines, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Pau, and Nauru.
Here you find staple foods like taro root, yam, bread-fruit, banana, and coconut. Also, seafood like shellfish and reef fish.
In this region you find around 2,000 islands stretching east and west from Indonesia to Fiji, including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
Roots like taro, yams, and sweet potato are important foods on these islands.
The easternmost region of Oceania. This region is home to over 1,000 islands, including the countries of Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
The rest of the world often knows Polynesia for its coconut exports and Tonga for its vanilla.
(Geographers often consider New Zealand part of Polynesia. Also often included in this region are Hawaii to the north and Easter Island to the east.)
Australia and New Zealand
These two countries are the largest countries in Oceania and geographers often considered each its own “region”. (With Australia often classified as a continent.)
The food of these countries brings together indigenous ingredients with flavors from colonizers. Because of this, there are many foods unique to the region, but you also find many favorites from abroad.
Facts about the food of Oceania
The cuisine of the regions of Oceania is full of unique-to-the-region produce, meat, and seafood. These ingredients mingle with the many indigenous and outside ethnic influences in the region.
There really are so many fun flavors to explore that may be new to many palates.
If you’re leaning about Oceania, trying new ingredients (like tropical fruits) or making a recipe for a popular island dish are two great ways to learn about the people and their culture.
Here are a few easy dishes to get you started.