What we need more than anything in today’s and tomorrow’s world is respect, understanding, appreciation of diversity and a global mindset. What we can do as parents to fill this need, is to ensure that our children grow up to become respectful global citizens. Knowing another language increases our reach and understanding, but it is not a must for becoming a globally-minded person.
You are reading the December edition of the Multicultural Kid Blogs blogging carnival and this time we are looking for media resources which will help us in raising the next generation to become a strong voice for global peace, understanding and cooperation for a common good.
Before we jump into the different types of media, let me reflect on the question:
What does raising global citizens mean … and what does it not?
(this list has been adapted for families based on Oxfam’s recommendations for how to incorporate global citizenship in the school curriculum)
It is teaching our children to ask questions and think critically
– it is not telling our children what to think and do
It is exploring connections between what happens elsewhere and what is going in our own community; it is taking a close view at our own views, values and assumptions as parents
– it is not only about learning about faraway places and peoples
It is learning about the complexity of global issues and engaging with different points of view and diversity
– it is not about offering simple solutions to complex issues
It is finding out about issues of social justice both in the our communities and in the rest of the world
– it is not only focused on charitable actions
It is for all ages
– it is not too difficult for young children to understand.
Diversity and culture
Knowledge increases understanding and acceptance. The more our children know about not only their own but other cultures and people the easier it is for them to develop an open mind towards differences.
Being kind to others is a good start for a budding global citizen – Maria has put together a lovely free kit for helping kids manage their friendly habits.
It is not always easy to find cartoons which reflect the diversity of our world, so I am glad that Stephanie from has put together this list of cartoons where the main character is not your standard white person.
On Leanna’s site you can find a plethora of resources for teaching about diversity, and Kim and Amanda help you build a diverse bookshelf for your little global citizen.
You can better understand others if you know your own background. Eva has an excellent post about exploring the ancestral heritage with links to different materials to help you with the quest.
Reading children’s books from other countries is a great way of introducing a child to a different way of living and thinking. Children’s Books Online and the International Children’s Digital Library both contain a wide variety of books, many of them also translated to English, so even if you do not know the language they are originally written in, you can read the translated version with your little one.
Introducing children to maps early on is a great way to give them a concept of the world, how big it is and how many other countries there are. MaryAnne gives great tips on how to have fun with maps with your kiddos.
Travelling widens the horizons and teaches you about the world better than anything else – however, you do not necessarily have to leave your home to do it. Check out Orana’s innovative ways of journeying across our planet – very inspiring!
Becky has put together a excellent list of movies you can watch together to learn about nature, people, customs and countries from across the world. Or why not pick a specific country to learn about: Brittany introduces you to India in her free workbook, Stef has found books about England, France and Italy and Amanda has an extensive list of books on Russia.
Language skills are very useful when it comes to learning to understand other cultures, so a list of resources to help with the learning is a given. I do recommend you to give some of these a go even if you do not know the language – it might spark an interest!
In a previous edition of this blogging carnival Olga collected several fantastic resources for teaching children other languages. Galina has done an excellent job at collating kids’ radio stations from across the world in several different langauges. She also has another really helpful list of free children’s audio books in English.
In her post Esther writes about the media she used when preparing for the birth of the multilingual baby – a very useful list if there are many languages and cultures in a family to be! You might also want to check out these recommendations from 14 other bloggers!
Eolia writes about five children’s TV programs available in French and English, Becky tells us about her favourite French cartoons and Sarah introduces you to a Spanish cartoons to add to your watch list. If you want Russian cartoons you can find links at the end of Galina‘s post.
There are plenty of online resources to help kids learn a language. Maria likes the GeoCom website
and has found a great app for her kids to use. Music is a great way to introduce children to a language – why not start your day with a Chinese song like Eva does! She also recommends using movies, especially for elder children.
Annabelle comes to the rescue if you are wondering where to buy all these bilingual and foreign children’s books – or why not start with a multilingual alphabet. She also has a list of her favourite language apps for toddlers.
Thank you to my wonderful blogger friends for participating, and thank you for reading. Together we can make this world of ours a better place to live for generations to come!