Many children start to show an interest in different cultures at a young age, whether through ethnic food, new friends or history lessons at school. Hosting an au pair fosters this curiosity and introduces young ones to new languages, bedtime stories, playtime games and more. Here are 9 activities that parents, host children and au pairs can do together to learn about new cultures:
- Read bedtime stories that take place in another country and include some foreign words, so you can practice pronunciation.
- Try a cultural dance or martial arts class, such as Bollywood, Flamenco or Capoeira.
- Enroll your child in foreign language classes for kids.
- Choose art activities based on different cultures such as Japanese calligraphy, Chinese paper cut outs and Puerto Rican Ponce Carnival Masks.
- Prepare food from a different country for dinner once a week.
- Plan a heritage party for your children and their friends, and encourage each child to bring food and games from their family's heritage.
- Watch family-friendly movies that take place in another country.
- Listen to popular music from different cultures while in the car, or teach your kids a simple song in a foreign language.
- Attend local festivals and parades that celebrate different cultures such as Cinco de Mayo, Carnival, Chinese New Year, and Bastille Day.
Children are little sponges, taking in the world around them with wide eyes and curious minds. This curiosity is a great thing and should be cultivated through as many avenues as possible, in an effort to raise a globally and culturally aware next generation.