It is very important to teach your child to appreciate the differences of others. It is also important to encourage cultural awareness and sensitivity. This helps them to become more knowledgeable about the world they live in and the people they encounter on a daily basis. Because there’s so much to learn, it’s a wise idea to start the learning process while they’re still little ones wearing diapers. The sooner they learn, the deeper it will sink it and resonate better. However, remember that you’re working with little ones so it is important to make the experience enjoyable. Consider these four fun activities to help your child explore the world!
Start with a simple coloring project. There are plenty of coloring worksheets online with drawings of the globe. First, start with a picture of the globe and the difference between the water and the land. Then, break the pictures down by continents and oceans. Find a picture of Africa for your child to color. After coloring Africa, explain a bit about the continent to give the child some context. Do this for each continent and present stand-out qualities or traits of each continent, so that a child can actually understand and remember. As children grow, you can build on the concepts a little more.
If you have an outdoor pool, a nice idea involves getting into the pool and pretending it’s the ocean. Play a fun game where the child has to visit and name all four major oceans. On the outside of the pool, place different colored cones to represent a specific ocean. Call out an ocean and tell the child to swim to that particular ocean. This is a great way to teach the names of the oceans and give a little more context to your child’s exploration of the world. Since your child may love this part of the learning process a little more than others, be sure to use cloth diapers or swim trunks. Some companies, like BabySteals, also offer wet bags to use when going to the pool. Cloth diapers are extremely helpful because of their durability and their reusability.
For each night of the week, create traditional foods from each continent. Even though there are hundreds of popular foods from each area, choose some of the most popular dishes. For each dish, make sure to include your child in the preparation of the meal. For example, on the South American night, allow your child to smash the avocados for guacamole. Make tomato salsa and allow the child to push the buttons to start the blender. In every step of the process, it’s nice to allow children to take part so they can feel like they’re actively learning.
Highlight the music from around the world in a fun dance party to work off that festive dinner meal. Choose popular songs in genres native that specific land. After pressing play, have a ball and dance to the music and learn the songs. If the songs are in another language, try to catch on to whatever the language may be. Check out YouTube and see if there are any dances to go with the specific genres. Try to learn those dances as well. This allows a child to immerse their minds into a culture and learn the beauty of it.
These four activities can go on for weeks on end. There’s so much culture and so many beautiful differences to recognize across the globe. It’s also a nice idea to take note of what a child seems to really enjoy the most. If it’s the swimming, use swimming to teach more lessons. If food is the way to your child’s heart, incorporate more cooking lessons. It’s all about opening up a child’s mind and giving them opportunities to grow!