It’s easy to start a conversation with kids about world cultures when their parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles have all lived overseas. But you don’t need these connections to raise globally aware kids! Here are three easy ways to create ties to foreign countries that don’t require personal connections:
Learn country names, or continent names. Teach them where your home is on a world map. Look at different world maps – flat ones, globes, pictures of the earth from outer space. Make your own felt map of the world! I also love the LeapFrog Tag World Map for learning names of countries with simple facts – and so do my kids! Find a nice children’s atlas – readers, do you have one that you especially love?
Follow a Theme
My kids love looking at the weather from around the world. It’s an easy way for them to understand how similar and different life is at any given moment, all around the world. We have also used food to teach our kids about world cultures. Stories are another fun theme, and Kid World Citizen recently ran a very fun series looking at Cinderella stories from around the world! Other themes I want to try with my kids include looking at traditional dress, national anthems, and national plants and animals.
Take a Virtual Trip Around the World
Pick a starting point, and try to travel through as many countries as possible before returning home. Or visit by continents. Spin the globe with your eyes closed, and virtually visit the place your finger lands on when it stops spinning (a favorite from my own childhood). The internet makes it very easy to see clips from all around the world! I do recommend parents viewing clips beforehand so that you know what your kids are going to see – descriptions are not always accurate! The Little Passports subscription service is a great way to add some structure to these explorations.
What are your favorite ways to learn about the world alongside your kids?