If your kids are addicted to cartoons and mac’n’cheese, it might be time to expose them to other countries besides America. The good news is that this is quite easy to do! You don’t even have to travel. Here are just a few ways to broaden your children’s horizons and turn them into tasteful, cultured citizens.
1. Teach Them Another Language
You’ve probably heard that it’s easier for children to learn foreign languages than adults. It’s true: Their brains are more receptive and less set in their ways. If your child has expressed an interest in learning a new tongue, do your best to encourage it. Let them learn Japanese because of anime or Spanish because of hip-hop. They’ll outgrow their other interests, but their language skills will remain.
2. Introduce Them to Children from Other Countries
Let your little one become friends with someone from another culture. The easiest way to do this is with something like an international summer camp where kids of all nationalities come together to play, but if you don’t have any of these in your area, there are other ways to experience diversity. Go to Chinatown together. Enroll them in an immersive language course. Sign them up for cultural exchanges. The sky is the limit!
3. Make Cultural Lessons Fun
No child wants to read a boring encyclopedia entry about the imports and exports of another country. If you feed them an exotic dish, however, they might be interested in where it came from. If you show them the traditional clothing of another country, they might be inspired to create a fashion show. These are fun, interactive ways to show your child what it’s like to live in another country, and they can really pay off.
These are just a few ways to give your children a taste of other cultures. If you want them to be smart and concerned citizens when they grow up, it’s important for them to understand that the world is a vast, ever-changing place. Use these ideas to help them understand just how diverse it really is.