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Raising Globally Aware Children

The world is a big place. It’s an even bigger place for a child. One of the best ways to teach your child about a new country is to visit it, and although international travel is a great family experience, it can also be costly and time consuming. There are some simple and affordable ways to teach your children about the world without purchasing plane tickets. Below are our top three ways to teach your kids the world without opening your front door.

 

1) Talk about the world.
“Growing up, we didn’t have money for international travel so we had to imagine our foreign trips using an old globe in our living room. My father would spin it and wherever our fingers would stop was where we’d take our “vacation.” We’d then imagine life in these faraway lands- what would we pack for our Middle Eastern trip? Is it cold in Beijing in the winter? What’s the food like in Morocco? To this day, I still can’t help spinning a globe whenever I walk by one to see where I should “vacation” that day.”

 

2) Cook globally.
“I was a very picky eater growing up. I knew that when I had kids I wanted them to open themselves up to trying new foods and experiences. So we made preparing dinners a family experience. If we have Mexican food, my kids will prepare the salsa. If I make curry, they’ll help me make pita chips. I have to admit, some nights aren’t a hit and I do have to end up preparing macaroni and cheese. But, it’s worth trying especially for the nights when dinner goes as planned—like when my four-year-old actually rolled and ate her own avocado and cream cheese sushi roll!”

 

3) Incorporate a new language into everyday life
“I wanted my two boys to learn French but I didn’t know where to start. So, we started with what would be easy: food. We labeled all of the food in the house with their French translation. After weeks of referring to apples as les pommes and milk as lait I was ready to give up and then my 3 year-old asked for fromage with their crackers. Small changes really do make the difference.”

 

How do you teach your kids to be globally inspired? Share your tips with us.

 

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Comments (2)

I play a game in the car with my daughter with a world map that we occasionally receive free in the mail from Doctors Without Borders. I ask her to first find 2-3 countries on the map (of my choosing) and then she also has to find the capital city. Good way to learn some world geography and makes being stuck in the car a little more interesting.
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