Teach your child about diversity and inclusion with these multicultural children’s picture books, perfect for toddlers, preschool, and elementary students!
I’m fortunate my kids attend a school that prides itself on its diversity and celebrates the different cultures that make up its population. Our city demographic is just as diverse, from the people you see in the neighborhood and even to the delicious smell of their home-cooked food.
You see, I didn’t start out exposed to the different cultures of the world. I grew up in the Philippines with only one predominant ethnicity. Even after moving to the US, most of my elementary and high school years didn’t really have a whole lot of diversity—one or two races made up most of the student body.
Thankfully my kids are surrounded by different cultures right from the get-go.
Diversity teaches them to include—not fear—others, even if they look or act different. That despite their differences, kids are still often the same in many ways. Plus, it’s fun to celebrate the many traditions and customs we don’t always participate in.
How to expose your child to different cultures
Whether you live in a multicultural community or not, there are plenty of ways to teach your kids about the different cultures of the world (including yours!), such as:
- Eating at ethnic restaurants or cooking ethnic meals at home
- Celebrating or learning about holidays, from the Chinese New Year to Cinco de Mayo
- Watching educational shows about how other people in the world live
- Diving deep into a culture’s history during commemorative months, such as Hispanic Heritage Month (mid-September to mid-October) or Black History Month (February)
- Attending festivals (Bastille Day, Lotus Festival)
Multicultural children’s picture books
But one of my favorite ways to expose my kids to different cultures of the world is through children’s books.
Kids can “travel” to just about any place in the world and learn about how others live. They can see that beyond our differences are the similarities that bind us nonetheless. And that all people deserve respect and compassion, just as we would of others.
Take a look at my favorite multicultural children’s picture books below and select a few to read with your child:
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Get more tips:
- No Excuses: Why We Need to Read with Our Kids Every Day
- Why We Need to Stop Telling Boys to “Man Up”
- 9 Children’s Books about Geography
- How to Teach Gratitude to Children
- 15 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten
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