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- “A kids gotta eat!” Teach your children about foods by simply introducing them to different cultures cuisines. Read what children eat in different countries and test it out. What does a different country eat on Birthdays or at special events? What is typically found on a dinner table in different parts of the world? Filipinos eat pancit on birthdays to celebrate. Hummus and cucumbers are commonly found on tables across the Middle East. Pizza or Crepes are easily found on the street across many countries in Europe. Children might be slow to start on new foods. Don’t panic. Slowly try incorporating new items and you might just find a winner.
- Set up a Map in your home. In general kids love maps and will inevitably ask questions about the map if it is somewhere they see it frequently. I have learned a lot just by the questions my children ask about the explorer world map we have. You can order one easily at www.askexplorer.com We place a red sticker where our family and friends live and a green sticker for places we travel. You could also put a sticker where you want to go one day. We also play games with our map. One game is find the flag. We name a country and our children look up the flag. Maps are seriously so cool and offer so many ways to learn.
- READ! One of the best ways a family can learn about new places is by reading. One of our new favorite books is Maps of the World by Enrico Lavagno. Children (and adults) can learn so much about our amazing world just by opening the pages of a book. The app Epic www.getepic.com is one of our most favorite apps and has tons of books and videos to offer children from all over the world. “So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea.” -Roald Dahl
- All the Festivals. We moved overseas from an amazing little beach town. Do you know that precious town holds an awesome Greek Festival and a super fun Indian festival? Check out the festivals around your town and if they do not have one start one. Our school does a super cool International Day where they celebrate countries from all over the world. I encourage you to start one of these at your school. You will be amazed how much fun it is and how much you learn.
- Learn a foreign language! My friend from Switzerland is fluent in 4 different languages. My friends mother who lives in Mississippi, but is from Lebanon is fluent in 7! Children are a sponge when it comes to languages. I highly recommend the program Muzzy. It’s fabulous and my girls dig it.Start them young and they will excel in them and if you are older and have yet to learn one, I challenge you to begin. (You can join me on my adventure as I begin learning Arabic this year!) Have your children watch shows in a different language. Often my rule is if you want TV you have to watch in a different language. They learn new words-it never fails!
These are just a few ways we incorporate learning about other cultures. Do you have a way you can recommend? We would love to hear from you.