Multicultural Play: Helping Kids Find Their True Selves

Helping Kids Find Their True Selves Through Creative Multicultural Play

Do your kids know enough about other cultures to make cultural differences part of their creative play? You can make it easier for them with ideas large and small.

ATeacherMom blogger makes the point that if your child isn’t tall enough to see how you cook, he or she isn’t really able to “play” kitchen because he or she lacks the experience to start the story in their mind. If they don’t know something about the subject, they won’t be able to devise a scenario of their own.

So, it makes sense that kids will need some information about different cultures so that they can include play ideas from other types of people into their stories.

Here are a few bright ideas to get out there in the world and explore!

1. Watch an Indian Bollywood movie or music video – or any other international family film. Check out the International Family Film Festival for some ideas.
2. Visit a cultural festival. See if a local cultural center (Chinese or any other) has a festival coming up and put it on your calendar.
3. Visit a neighborhood with a clear ethnic heritage and seek out the shops, art, churches and people who tell the story of their geneology.
4. Take your kids with you on errands to places where all cultures mix, like the driver’s license station.
5. Let them go to language immersion summer camp. Concordia Language Villages has a choice of 15 languages plus culture and is fantastic.
6. If you can, travel is ideal. When you travel, everything you see and do is an opportunity to see the world as filled with wonderful differences.

Creative play is how kids learn to process information and try it on to see how they can use it. Kids talk and think through different roles, including things they’ve learned about other cultures, which helps them define who they are in relation to the world around them, and identify his or her true self. That’s the true self they will build on for the rest of their lives.

Enjoy your summer!

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