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GLOBALLY-
MINDED
CHILDREN
AT HOME
WAYS TO RAISE9
As infants, our world is our house.
Image © Images Money | flickr
As children, our world grows to include
our neighborhood and our school.
Image © Images Money | flickr
But as adults, what are the
limits of our world?
Image © William Warby | flickr
For many of us, stories and events from far off places
don’t seem to have much to do with us, as if they are
taking place in another world entirely.
Image © NS Newsflash | flickr
But as our world becomes
increasingly connected
economically, environmentally,
technologically, and politically,
faraway events are starting to hit
closer to home.
Image © geographyalltheway.com | flickr
We need to become more than a
member of our community or a resident
of our country. There is an increasing
need for global citizens.
But here’s the thing:
global citizenship
starts at home.
Image © Images Money | flickr
Fostering global-mindedness in our children
will allow them to collaborate, compete, and
contribute to our collective future.
Image © sw77 | flickr
But how do we instill this mystical force
in our children from the confines our
homes and communities?
#1
Teach them about their own heritage.
A curiosity about other cultures is best
rooted in a strong knowledge of one’s
own cultural background.
Image © J. Nathan Matias | flickr
Using pictures, stories, and souvenirs,
introduce your children to the country
and the culture that you (or their
grandparents, or some other distant
ancestor) grew up in.
Image © Micah Baldwin | Flickr
Pass down family traditions,
such as recipes and holiday rituals.
Image © Carrie Stephens | flickr
Expose your children to another culture and
share its significance through your own
family’s experiences. This is the first step to
cultural curiosity and sensitivity.
Image © Wagner T. Cassamiro | flickr
#2
Read books from around the world.
Introduce your children to other
cultures by choosing books that
feature diverse and
unfamiliar settings
and characters.
Image © Neeta Lind | Flickr
Travel the continents from the
comfort of your own couch with
stories from around the world.
Discover what it
means to grow up in
a small Kenyan
village, where you
wake to roosters, not
alarm clocks.
Explore the Andes
from Cusco to Lake
Titicaca, meeting
numerous Peruvian
children along
the way.
Multi-cultural books are available in
abundance. Look on Amazon, or check
out this recommended reading list!
Select a new country or continent and
supplement the reading with contextual
materials, including maps, flags, and postcards.
Image © malouette | flickr
#3
Eat foreign foods.
Engage your children’s senses with
a weekly foreign food night.
Dine out at local restaurants that
serve diverse cuisine.
Image © Alpha | flickr
Or, stay in and cook your own multi-
cultural meal! Make it fun by eating
it traditionally, whether that be
with chopsticks or bare hands!
Image © Xiaojun Deng | flickr
Got picky eaters? Get creative! On your Japanese
food night, let your kids make candy sushi with
gummy candies rather than raw fish.
Image © Jim Reynolds | flickr
Prepare some fun facts about
the country of origin to share and
discuss during the meal to leave
a lasting impression.
#4
Have a foreign film night.
Get the popcorn
ready, but instead of
turning on Frozen for
the umpteenth time,
seek out child-
friendly films with
global themes.
Image © Jessica Diamond | flickr
Try Ponyo, an all-
ages, Japanese
take on The Little
Mermaid. It’s got
all of the magic
and wonder, but
without all of the
romantic fixation.
Follow the
journey of a
young boy in
India whose
parents send him
off to boarding
school in Like
Stars on Earth.
The internet is a treasure trove of
recommendations for foreign films,
many of which, not surprisingly, have
English-dubbed versions or subtitles.
#5
Foster multi-cultural friendships.
One of the best ways for your child to
understand the value of ethnic and
cultural diversity is to make friends
with children from other backgrounds.
This is likely to happen naturally depending on
where you live, but it’s worth monitoring.
Seek out other activities like
community-sponsored
cultural events and clubs
where your kids can meet
children with a similar global
curiosity.
Image © San Jose Library | flickr
Encourage your children to be out-
going, curious, and inclusive when it
comes to make new friends.
#6
Find an international pen pal.
If your community is fairly
homogenous, or you want to
give your children an
additional connection to
another world, seek out an
international pen pal.
Image © Sarah Klockars-Clauser | flickr
Services like International Pen Friends will match children as
young as 8 with their peers from around the world to
exchange good old-fashioned letters.
Image © Dvortygirl | flickr
This exchange will give your children a chance to
share their own culture and learn first-hand about
daily life in different parts of the world. Not to
mention how much kids love receiving mail,
right?
Image © slgkgc | flickr
#7
Celebrate foreign holidays.
Teach your children about new cultures,
religions, and customs by celebrating
major holidays from around the world!
Image © iqremix | flickr
Decorate for
Chinese New
Year, watch
videos of the
parades and
celebrations from
around China, and
give them their
weekly allowance
in the traditional
red envelopes!
Pretend you’re in India during Diwali
by making your own Rangoli designs. Instead of
using the traditional colored rice or flour, grab some colored
sand, glue, and construction paper from the craft store so you
can hang the finished designs year-round!
Image © Subharnab Majumdar | flickr
Give your usual holidays a global
twist. Hang ornaments from
around the world on your
Christmas tree, and incorporate
traditions from other cultures into
your celebration.
Image © Alan Cleaver | flickr
Your children will be having so much fun
celebrating holidays from around the world
they won’t even realize they’re learning to
be more worldly and tolerant.
#8
Host an exchange student.
This is a big commitment, but there’s no better way to
give your children an opportunity to learn about and
connect with another culture from their own home.
Image © AFS-USA Intercultural Program | flickr
Hosting an exchange student gives your kids
a chance to practice interacting with and
understanding someone from another
culture, including their unique values,
behaviors, and attitudes.
Image © AFS-USA Intercultural Program | flickr
This experience will help your children develop confidence
when it comes to socializing and working with diverse friends
and colleagues in the future.
Image ©DFID | flickr
Global understanding is strongest when its
personal. Hosting an exchange student will give
your children a lifelong link to another culture,
and potentially a new best friend.
#9
Teach them a new language.
“The more languages they can speak,
the more windows to the world we
are giving to our children.”
-Stephanie Meade, InCultureParent
Learning a new language will open a
number of doors to your children,
including countless cognitive and
career benefits. Not to mention the
ability to communicate with an
entire new population of people.
Image © Pratham Books | flickr
Learning a language is a lifelong process, so starting
as early as possible is ideal. Don’t wait until high
school to expose your children to a new language.
Make sure your
children engage
with the language
daily, even if it’s
through small
efforts like labeling
objects around
your home.
Image © jampaper.com
If you and your spouse don’t speak a second language to
pass on to your kids, seek out resources at your local
library, find a tutor, or invest in language-learning software.
Raising your children to be globally-minded is realistic for any
family, in any city, on any budget. No matter which steps you
take to raise your children as global citizens, make it fun,
frequent, and family-oriented.
Read to invest in your children’s foreign language
education? Get them started with KidSpeak™!

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Raising Globally-Minded Children at Home

  • 2. As infants, our world is our house. Image © Images Money | flickr
  • 3. As children, our world grows to include our neighborhood and our school. Image © Images Money | flickr
  • 4. But as adults, what are the limits of our world? Image © William Warby | flickr
  • 5. For many of us, stories and events from far off places don’t seem to have much to do with us, as if they are taking place in another world entirely. Image © NS Newsflash | flickr
  • 6. But as our world becomes increasingly connected economically, environmentally, technologically, and politically, faraway events are starting to hit closer to home. Image © geographyalltheway.com | flickr
  • 7. We need to become more than a member of our community or a resident of our country. There is an increasing need for global citizens.
  • 8. But here’s the thing: global citizenship starts at home. Image © Images Money | flickr
  • 9. Fostering global-mindedness in our children will allow them to collaborate, compete, and contribute to our collective future.
  • 10. Image © sw77 | flickr But how do we instill this mystical force in our children from the confines our homes and communities?
  • 11. #1 Teach them about their own heritage.
  • 12. A curiosity about other cultures is best rooted in a strong knowledge of one’s own cultural background. Image © J. Nathan Matias | flickr
  • 13. Using pictures, stories, and souvenirs, introduce your children to the country and the culture that you (or their grandparents, or some other distant ancestor) grew up in. Image © Micah Baldwin | Flickr
  • 14. Pass down family traditions, such as recipes and holiday rituals. Image © Carrie Stephens | flickr
  • 15. Expose your children to another culture and share its significance through your own family’s experiences. This is the first step to cultural curiosity and sensitivity. Image © Wagner T. Cassamiro | flickr
  • 16. #2 Read books from around the world.
  • 17. Introduce your children to other cultures by choosing books that feature diverse and unfamiliar settings and characters. Image © Neeta Lind | Flickr
  • 18. Travel the continents from the comfort of your own couch with stories from around the world.
  • 19. Discover what it means to grow up in a small Kenyan village, where you wake to roosters, not alarm clocks.
  • 20. Explore the Andes from Cusco to Lake Titicaca, meeting numerous Peruvian children along the way.
  • 21. Multi-cultural books are available in abundance. Look on Amazon, or check out this recommended reading list!
  • 22. Select a new country or continent and supplement the reading with contextual materials, including maps, flags, and postcards. Image © malouette | flickr
  • 24. Engage your children’s senses with a weekly foreign food night.
  • 25. Dine out at local restaurants that serve diverse cuisine. Image © Alpha | flickr
  • 26. Or, stay in and cook your own multi- cultural meal! Make it fun by eating it traditionally, whether that be with chopsticks or bare hands! Image © Xiaojun Deng | flickr
  • 27. Got picky eaters? Get creative! On your Japanese food night, let your kids make candy sushi with gummy candies rather than raw fish. Image © Jim Reynolds | flickr
  • 28. Prepare some fun facts about the country of origin to share and discuss during the meal to leave a lasting impression.
  • 29. #4 Have a foreign film night.
  • 30. Get the popcorn ready, but instead of turning on Frozen for the umpteenth time, seek out child- friendly films with global themes. Image © Jessica Diamond | flickr
  • 31. Try Ponyo, an all- ages, Japanese take on The Little Mermaid. It’s got all of the magic and wonder, but without all of the romantic fixation.
  • 32. Follow the journey of a young boy in India whose parents send him off to boarding school in Like Stars on Earth.
  • 33. The internet is a treasure trove of recommendations for foreign films, many of which, not surprisingly, have English-dubbed versions or subtitles.
  • 35. One of the best ways for your child to understand the value of ethnic and cultural diversity is to make friends with children from other backgrounds.
  • 36. This is likely to happen naturally depending on where you live, but it’s worth monitoring.
  • 37. Seek out other activities like community-sponsored cultural events and clubs where your kids can meet children with a similar global curiosity. Image © San Jose Library | flickr
  • 38. Encourage your children to be out- going, curious, and inclusive when it comes to make new friends.
  • 40. If your community is fairly homogenous, or you want to give your children an additional connection to another world, seek out an international pen pal. Image © Sarah Klockars-Clauser | flickr
  • 41. Services like International Pen Friends will match children as young as 8 with their peers from around the world to exchange good old-fashioned letters. Image © Dvortygirl | flickr
  • 42. This exchange will give your children a chance to share their own culture and learn first-hand about daily life in different parts of the world. Not to mention how much kids love receiving mail, right? Image © slgkgc | flickr
  • 44. Teach your children about new cultures, religions, and customs by celebrating major holidays from around the world!
  • 45. Image © iqremix | flickr Decorate for Chinese New Year, watch videos of the parades and celebrations from around China, and give them their weekly allowance in the traditional red envelopes!
  • 46. Pretend you’re in India during Diwali by making your own Rangoli designs. Instead of using the traditional colored rice or flour, grab some colored sand, glue, and construction paper from the craft store so you can hang the finished designs year-round! Image © Subharnab Majumdar | flickr
  • 47. Give your usual holidays a global twist. Hang ornaments from around the world on your Christmas tree, and incorporate traditions from other cultures into your celebration. Image © Alan Cleaver | flickr
  • 48. Your children will be having so much fun celebrating holidays from around the world they won’t even realize they’re learning to be more worldly and tolerant.
  • 50. This is a big commitment, but there’s no better way to give your children an opportunity to learn about and connect with another culture from their own home. Image © AFS-USA Intercultural Program | flickr
  • 51. Hosting an exchange student gives your kids a chance to practice interacting with and understanding someone from another culture, including their unique values, behaviors, and attitudes. Image © AFS-USA Intercultural Program | flickr
  • 52. This experience will help your children develop confidence when it comes to socializing and working with diverse friends and colleagues in the future. Image ©DFID | flickr
  • 53. Global understanding is strongest when its personal. Hosting an exchange student will give your children a lifelong link to another culture, and potentially a new best friend.
  • 54. #9 Teach them a new language.
  • 55. “The more languages they can speak, the more windows to the world we are giving to our children.” -Stephanie Meade, InCultureParent
  • 56. Learning a new language will open a number of doors to your children, including countless cognitive and career benefits. Not to mention the ability to communicate with an entire new population of people. Image © Pratham Books | flickr
  • 57. Learning a language is a lifelong process, so starting as early as possible is ideal. Don’t wait until high school to expose your children to a new language.
  • 58. Make sure your children engage with the language daily, even if it’s through small efforts like labeling objects around your home. Image © jampaper.com
  • 59. If you and your spouse don’t speak a second language to pass on to your kids, seek out resources at your local library, find a tutor, or invest in language-learning software.
  • 60. Raising your children to be globally-minded is realistic for any family, in any city, on any budget. No matter which steps you take to raise your children as global citizens, make it fun, frequent, and family-oriented.
  • 61. Read to invest in your children’s foreign language education? Get them started with KidSpeak™!