How many of you like to create things with you kids? Art projects? Lego masterpieces? Gifts for grandparents? This week's post is all about generating something unique and fun with your kids. It's all about creativity. Together you will generate a project centered around your own culture. Here at CCK, we believe that you need to understand yourself and your own culture in order to truly get others' cultures. This is a concrete and fun way to start to do this with your child.
In this case, culture is defined very broadly. You - or better yet your child - can decide how culture should be defined. Stumped? Here are a few ideas for how to get started:
There are a few different ways to complete this project. Below are a few suggestions, but don't let those limit you! Flex those creativity muscles and if you think of a cool and different way to engage in this topic, please leave a comment so we can all learn from each other. I'm sure many of you have some very cool ideas...
When you are done, display it somewhere in your home - the living room, your child's room, your room. This will help remind your child (and you!) of who they are and all of the things that make them and their family unique. It can also reinforce to your child that everyone is unique and while people share traits that bring them together (race, language, ethnicity, geographic location) you have to be careful to make assumptions based on one or two traits.
Bonus: Encourage your child to ask their friends to generate their thoughts about their own personal culture. Learn more about each other!
Don't forget to check back next week for letter H! You can also sign up for the newsletter and get it delivered right to you! Enjoy posts like these as well as Just For Fun Fridays and tips and strategies. Enjoy!
I LOVE food!
No seriously. I understand that it's necessary for sustaining life and all that jazz, but for me it's not about that. Some people eat to live, some people live to eat. I'm the latter.
I feel that food is about so much more than what you eat. It's about coming together and sharing experiences with people. Think about the top 3 traditions with your friends and family. How many of those involve food and sharing it with others? How many are centered around a big meal? Is there a certain dish that just has to be present or else the day isn't quite the same? Even if one of your favorite traditions is Friday night movie and pizza that still involves food.
There are so many ways to incorporate food into learning about other people. The thing I love about it is that your kids can be a big part of the process. All kids have opinions about food (sometimes very strong opinions) and involving them may increase their willingness to try new foods. Even if you don't cook, there are still a great number of ways to use food to learn about other people. Here are a few options:
To get started, here are some of my favorite sites related to food. You can find tips for how to involve kids in the kitchen, look up new recipes, and learn fascinating food trivia:
Getting Kids Involved in the Kitchen
Sweet Peas & ABCs
Recipes Around the World
Fun Food Facts
Common Food Myths
What will you try first? What is most interesting to you? Do you like eating new foods with your kids? Leave a comment below.
And don't forget to check back next week for the next letter - G. You can also sign up for our newsletter and get all the great information delivered right to your inbox. Enjoy & share!
I admit it. This one is pretty broad. And that is intentional on my part. There are so many different types of events that can increase a child's cultural competence and diversity awareness. Many different geographic areas host cultural events that you can attend and oftentimes, there are parts of the event geared towards children. In big cities, there tends to be a ton of options. As I've mentioned previously, I live in Washington DC where there are multiple cultural events every week. For example, here's a sampling of cultural events from the last month: Fiesta Asia Silver Spring, DC Dragon Boat Festival, and Passport DC. Some of these events are HUGE and some are much smaller, more specific, and obscure, but no less interesting.
So I am really lucky living in an area with so many events that are open to the public (and often FREE!). It is the nation's capital after all and you can't throw a ball without hitting an embassy (well, not really, but you get the idea). The cultural events in my town are abundant with so much diversity in one space. The same is true of many big cities throughout the U.S. and world. But I also want to point out that even though some diversity is not as visible, it does not mean that it is any less important. So while large cities tend to have a ton of diversity that you can see, many smaller cities and towns also possess incredible diversity and hold fantastic events to showcase them.
Below are some summer festivals that are happening throughout the United States and the world. If you are close to one of these cities or towns consider checking one of them out. If all of these are too far or don't coordinate well with your summer schedule, research the offerings in your area. I'm sure that there is something going on close to home - you may just have to do a little digging:
Check back next week for the letter F. This one is universal - you are bound to find something that you can incorporate over the summer and into the school year. Better yet, sign up for the newsletter so you don't have to remember to check! You'll get tips and strategies every week in addition to the blog. I hope you enjoy - share with your friends!
Dr. Sweeney is a licensed school psychologist and cultural competence expert. Here are her musings on life in a multicultural world.
Interested in writing a guest blog post? Contact me for more information!