I was raised in five different countries on three continents, and that growing up experience transformed my life. Mike’s job keeps us mostly in the United States, and so I am always looking for ways to raise globally conscious children without being able to travel the world Luckily, the internet, books, and an increasingly diverse American population make this easy!
10 Easy Ways to Raise Globally Conscious Children
Travel is an incredible way to raise children who have global awareness, but since teleportation has not yet been invented most of us have to settle with armchair travel. Here are ten easy ways to learn about the world without leaving the comfort of your home! Since a lot of the resources I list here are online, I highly recommend checking them out first on your own so that you can be certain that the content is kid-approved. I have focused this list on resources for upper elementary and older children; if your kids are younger I recommend starting with my Raising Globally Aware Kids: Getting Started post.
Curiosity is the first step for any form of learning! When you hear about a culture or country that you don’t know very much about, get curious! Wikipedia is a great place to start, and I recommend visiting at least a few of the sources that are listed at the end of the article!
As you read about a culture or country that is different from your own, ask questions! Why are things different? Can you see aspects of that country or culture’s history that might explain why things are the way they are? How about the geographic location? Weather patterns? Local plants and animals?
Look at labels
I love finding out where the things we see in grocery stores come from – and then learning about those countries with my kids! As a bonus, this can often lead to becoming a more socially conscious consumer.
Listen to music
Youtube has music from all over the world! Listen to a country’s folk music, and then look for a recent music video. Listen to how Beethoven is played by orchestras from different countries.
Look for details
As you learn about a new culture or country, pay attention to details! What are the little things that make this community stand out? What can you learn from them? How can they enrich your life?
Find first person accounts
The internet provides us with access to incredibly intelligent people from all over the world! Use it to find first person accounts of recent history as well as current events. Find first person accounts of local traditions and festivals.
Historical accounts explain a lot about why and how things are the way they are today. Just remember that history is call His Story for a reason. Good historians do their best to present events accurately, but they can’t help being influenced by the lens of their own backgrounds and understandings. As readers, we also interpret these events based on our own life experience and personal family history.
Look at art
You can learn a lot about a culture through its art! What type of art is commonly found? What and how do artists share stories? What details can you find in a country or culture’s art that teachers you more about that country or culture?
Look for differences
As you learn about a new culture or country, look for differences. What makes the new culture or country different from your own? Why is it different? How do those differences make life more fun, more enriched, and more difficult?
Look for similarities
No matter how different a culture or country may be from your own, I can promise you that over time you will be able to find things that are similar. How do people express affection? How do they travel? What does their day look like?
I hope these ten ideas get you started on a rich exploration of the cultures and countries that make up our beautiful world! You can find more ideas with these resources from my blog:
- World Culture for Kids series
- Raising Globally Aware Kids: Getting Started
- Encouraging Global Thinking: Kids and Maps
- Felt Map of the World
This post represents letter “W” for the A to Z of Raising Global Citizens series organized by my friend Varya. 24 bloggers from the Multicultural Kid Blogs Community got together for this series in order to share ideas and tips on Raising Global Citizens. Follow the entire series, with one post for each letter of the alphabet, at Varya’s Raising Global Citizen Series page!
Do you have a favorite tip for raising globally conscious children?