Teaching kids about culture and diversity - tips and activities
Not sure where to start when teaching kids about culture and diversity? Check out our activities and tips on how to introduce your child to diversity!
So, how do you teach children about diversity and different cultures? There are plenty of ways to introduce kids to themes of diversity. Today, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite tips and ideas, including:
- Using movies and books
- Visiting different places
- Understanding and explaining history
- Discussing privilege
Using movies and books to teach children diversity
Film and books can be a great, fun way to expose children to new cultures that may be much different to the ones in their immediate surroundings. Using movies and books, kids can learn about how other people may live, either down the street or across the world, without having to leave the comfort of their home.
Media like this can help children develop a perspective of how other people may live differently than they do. Because movies and books are generally enjoyable experiences for kids, it can be a wonderful way to share a love of diversity and culture as well as educating, while having fun.
Next to better understanding and perspective of how a culture differs itself, it can also be a great way to introduce children to other languages. Even more, other forms of media, such as music, can share more of this language and culture as well!
So, movies, books and media can be a great tool to aid teaching children about culture and diversity. However, if you can, getting your feet on the ground can be a beneficial teaching experience as well!
Visiting other places
Another great way to share different cultures and diversity with kids is to go out and experience them. Travelling can be a way for them to see different types of people and cultures and widen their perspectives. This doesn’t mean you have to travel all the way across the world!
Even just visiting a new city or neighborhood can be a valuable experience for children to learn about how people live in different places. Or, trying new foods for example can be a way to experience a different culture, without having to travel too far.
During your visit (whether physically or with your taste buds), be sure to share some background and history of the place or culture. It’s often really helpful to get local tips and interact with people who live in that place or are more familiar with the culture.
Children are generally huge fans of stories. But, did you ever think about telling them some fascinating stories that actually happen to be true?! There are a lot of pieces of history that are really interesting! Next to this, explaining history to kids can be a great way to expose them to new cultures. You can do this while watching a movie, reading a book, visiting a new place, or just whenever you please!
You can tell stories about how different countries were discovered or founded, how people used to live or what they used to eat, the origin of languages and more! Even more story-like things, such as mythology, can provide an interesting and educational window into different cultures and help kids be aware of more diversity.
Finally, while explaining diversity and differences in cultures it’s also important to discuss privilege. Helping children understand what privilege means can also give them more perspective to understand different people.
Specifically, this can be explaining that some people may have more opportunities or less opportunities than others (or ourselves). It may be very hard for people in some situations to access the same support, care, or resources that we can. Or, it may be much easier for people in other situations to access way more resources than we can.
This doesn’t mean that any one person is “better” or “worse” because of differences in resources or privilege. It’s important to teach though and encourage children to be kind to others and grateful for what they have!
Hopefully these tips help you introduce the children in your life to diversity and different cultures! Looking for more tips? Check out our community resources!