When you teach your children to appreciate the diversity of our world you’re encouraging them to respect others and make them feel welcome and valued. Educating them about other cultures helps to fight forms of bias, including racism. The earlier children are exposed to diversity the better.
Learning about other cultures can be fun for children, and here are some ways you can introduce your kids to cultures from around the world.
- Prepare different foods to try: Food is closely linked to culture and there will be special flavors and dishes that are unique. Use your children’s taste buds to help them explore another culture. If you’ve got friends or neighbors of a different cultural background, why not prepare traditional dishes and enjoy a meal together?
- Help them learn a different language: Languages can be fascinating and thanks to the internet, you’ve got a wealth of resources at your fingertips. A good starting point is with a culture’s customary greetings. Other words that are helpful to know include “please” and “thank you.”
- Discover a new holiday celebration: Kids love to learn about different holidays and you can help them discover which are important or unique to a particular culture. Is there special music, food, or decorations?
- Explore a custom: Customs also make cultures unique. In the US, walking on the right side, shaking hands, and high-fiving are automatic behaviors learned from an early age. Are there patterns of behavior practiced by other cultures?
- Listen to traditional music: Not only is music a great way to learn, but it’s also a lot of fun. Dance, clap, and sing along to songs from other cultures. There may be a cultural music event taking place in your area that you can take them to.
- Learn about a country’s history: You can learn about history by visiting a museum or watching documentaries. There are also cultural events taking place around the world, such as Hispanic Heritage Month.
Make a photo collage: Children need to see real photos of people from another culture. Images in the media are often incorrect or stereotyped. Help your child collect photos of people from other cultures living their life.