"Ideas on how to Boost a Child's Cultural understanding in your school or centre"
Review the classroom environment and resources (e.g. posters, pictures, books, music, toys, games) regularly to ensure they reflect cultural diversity. It teaches students about the world beyond the classroom and helps all students feel included.
Use a cultural event advertised in the local community, such as Maori New Year or NAIDOC Week, to encourage students to talk about the way they celebrate important dates in their culture or tradition (e.g. special food, masks, dance, fireworks).
Ask younger students to compare the different names they call their grandparents and parents with each other and discuss what the history is to their family behind those names.
If a child begins to talk about the new family car, this is an opportunity to openly ask them how they think a child in Africa or Vietnam may travel to school...this simply question could potentially lead to a whole conversation on how other children in the world live.
Try this same exercise when celebrations come around i.e if a child talks about her birthday party, ask how a child in Africa may celebrate their birthday i.e by giving gifts and blowing out candles or by wearing certain costumes and partaking in different customs of initiation etc
Respect your childs views, then they will respect yours - discuss other nationalities and countries and how they do things differently to the way you do - books are a great tool for this!
Always be free to give lots of kisses and cuddles to your children and friends children too, try a Maori "Hongi" Kiss or greeting by rubbing noses with eachother, it always makes kids laugh and is a great way to educate on another culture!!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hongi
Try teaching your kids how to count 1 to 10 in another language - try google language tools to help you or check out our Little Kiddy Samoa, Maori, Tonga or Niue range of books
Ask your kids how many countries they can think of with "Land" in the name.......ie, Iceland, New Zealand, Scotland etc - How many can you think of? You can even use a globe or map of the world to help you along..
Do things with your kids, play together, cook together and do homework together, teach them how to grow vegetables from different countries and learn different tastes, teach kids games from another culture, go to China Town and experience another genre of food in an authentic way
Take time to listen to your kids, ask them if they have any kids in their class from another culture or country and if so ask them to find out where and then get a map of the world and find out where those countries are, you can then use this to talk about your own family tree.
For example I am living in Australia, born in New Zealand to a Lithuanian Mother, Canadian Father and with grandparents from Czech Republic!! There is a whole weeks lesson right there and that's before we start on my husbands side...!!
Do activities at school with your kids, if your from another country or culture take the time to talk to your children's teachers and offer that you are happy to come in and be a part of a lesson, you might be able to teach the kids a song or dance in another language or tell some folk stories or even help out with an art project that reflects your own culture
Multicultural Festivals you have probably never heard of as per Yahoo 7's travel report - This makes a fun research project with your class to find out all about these festivals
- Semana Santa, Easter in Guatemala
- Ozxaca Day of the Dead, Mexico
- Naadam Festival - Mongolia
- Losar Tibetan New Year - Tibet
- The Grape Harvest (Festival Nacional de la Vendimia) Argentina
- Kumbh Mela Festival - India
- Spring Festivals - Japan
- Calgary Stampede - Canada
- Pushkar Camel Festival- India
- Inti Ramyi - Peru
- Click here to find out more http://au.travel.yahoo.com/tenbest/quirky-festivals/index.html