Teach your child about diversity and inclusion with these multicultural children’s picture books, perfect for toddlers, preschool, and elementary students!
The first school my kids attended prided itself on its diversity and celebrated the different cultures that made up its population. They held concerts for Black History Month, featured dances for Indigenous People’s Day, and sponsored international events on campus.
The city’s demographic was just as diverse, from the people you see in the neighborhood and even to the delicious smell of their home-cooked food.
Now that we’ve moved, that diversity isn’t as apparent. Yes, we still live in Los Angeles, but the demographics isn’t as widely varied as it once was in our former city.
Even my own upbringing wasn’t as diverse. 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.
That’s why I’m adamant that my kids are exposed to different cultures.
Diversity teaches them to include—not fear—others, even if they look or act different. That despite their differences, people are still often the same in many ways. Plus, it’s fun to celebrate the many traditions and customs that aren’t our own.
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!), like:
- Eating from ethnic restaurants or cooking cultural meals at home (like cooking latkes or fry bread)
- Celebrating or learning about holidays, from the Lunar 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
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. And that all people deserve respect and compassion, just as we would of others.
Now more than ever do we need to feature the true makeup of our world. One where we can see a diverse representation and learn—not fear—one another’s differences. Take a look at my favorite multicultural children’s picture books below and select a few to read with your child:
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission—at no extra cost to you—if you make a purchase.
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
Free download: Want even more book ideas? Join my newsletter and grab your copy of the Read Aloud Book List! You’ll get hundreds of favorite selections to read aloud with your kids. Get it below—at no cost to you: