Once you bring your first child home, it’s easy to see that being a mother or father is one of the hardest (yet most rewarding) jobs on the planet, with lessons being taught to children on a daily basis and never really finishing, no matter how old they get.
For many parents, one of the most important things to teach children as they grow up is about other cultures and how the world works. With countries all across the globe now more interconnected than ever before, it pays to provide kids with information on a wide variety of international cultures, cuisines, and conditions, and facts about the weather, geography and more. This helps them to learn compassion, empathy, tolerance, problem solving, the effects of choices, and much more.
Sometimes, though, it can be a little daunting knowing where to start. With different children having alternative ways of learning, and different types of interests, it helps to have a toolbox of techniques that you can use. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can teach your kids about the world they live in. If you’re keen to introduce your children to the diversity around them, read on for some top tips you can try out today.
View Educational Content
As a parent, you likely don’t want to see your children sitting in front of a screen all day long, but keep in mind that in small doses the right content can be invaluable. These days, there are many ways in which technological developments can come in handy when it comes to teaching kids about the world. If you’re looking for an affordable way to get access to the latest educational television shows, movies and documentaries from around the world, consider using a streaming service.
A platform like Getflix, for example, provides parents with an easy and affordable way to access global streaming services on devices such as tablets, computers, smart phones, and televisions, with just a quick set up. You can utilize this service and others like it to gain access to content that usually isn’t accessible due to geo-location blocking. For a small monthly fee you can now download a variety of shows from channels such as Netflix, Disney, BBC, The History Channel and National Geographic Channel which teach children about nature, geography, the environment, other cultures, and different languages.
For little ones, consider shows such as “Dora the Explorer”. This popular animated program not only teaches pre-schoolers maths and problem-solving skills, but also introduces them to the Spanish language and Latin culture. As children get older, you can also start introducing them to documentaries. There is a wide variety of content suitable for youngsters these days, with docos on subjects such as the history of dinosaurs, cultures around the world, the way nature works, the affects of weather and much more.
Cook International Cuisine
Another great way to help teach children about the world at large is through introducing international cuisine to their palate. Consider setting up one night per week or month that is dedicated to learning about, and cooking the food from another country. For instance, you could have your child research common dishes eaten in Italy, and then get them to help you plan a menu composed of Italian-themed dishes.
Apart from getting them to assist in the kitchen, you can also have them draw or print out the country’s flag; learn some key words or phrases from the country’s language; find the country on a map and learn some of its major cities; and dress in a traditional outfit from the culture. It’s also fun to investigate some of the food-related cultural etiquette from the country being studied. For example, it’s considered unclean to use the left hand in India, the Middle East, and part of Africa; while in Thailand, it’s not polite to put food into your mouth with a fork.
There are thousands and thousands of apps on the market today, and many of these are very useful when it comes to helping kids to learn about the world. There are specially-designed apps that teach children about the weather, the solar system, the environment, sustainability, food production, other languages, other cultures, how energy works, and more.
Download a few educational apps to a smart phone, tablet, or laptop and kids can learn about the world while traveling to a vacation destination; waiting for a meal at a restaurant; in line at an attraction; or stuck indoors on a rainy day.
For inspiration, check out apps such as “One Globe Kids”, where children can read stories about the everyday life of youngsters around the world; or “Kid Weather”, an app packed with fun facts about weather, real-time conditions, upcoming forecasts, and the science behind meteorology. When it comes to geography, the “Barefoot World Atlas” app is a good choice. It features an interactive 3D globe and information about animals, flags, landmarks, oceans, and more right across the globe.