Our world is an incredibly diverse planet, but not everyone is exposed to new cultures growing up. Books are one of the best ways we can help our kids learn about new places, people, and experiences.
Bilingual kids have a major advantage when it comes to being global citizens. They learn how to see things through a new language, which opens their minds and increases empathy and understanding.
Fostering inclusivity and acceptance from an early age can be done through toys, shows, and books. To help you raise global citizens of your own, here are some tips for making the most out of your story times.
Kids’ books that celebrate diversity are great, but you don’t have to be limited to that theme. Instead of only talking about diversity in their native language, kids can discover new cultures firsthand by reading in another language.
Spanish children’s books are accessible, colorful, and vibrant. They introduce readers of all ages to stories in a new language using fun, engaging stories.
You can find books in different languages about all your child’s favorite things. Whether they’re an animal lover, truck aficionado, or can’t get enough superheroes, there are plenty of stories available.
Whether it’s allegorical or literal, a mixed cast is great for helping children become better global citizens. It’s also a great way to foster empathy and showcase the unique challenges and experiences other people have.
For example, Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry promotes love for natural Afro-textured hair. White or Asian children may not know how different Black kids feel due to their hair. This story teaches them the importance of accepting, embracing, and appreciating everyone’s natural beauty.
Pink is For Boys by Robb Pearlman and Eda Kaban is great for avoiding harmful stigma and stereotypes that stop kids from being themselves. The colorful cast of the story encourage children of all genders to do whatever they love, whether it’s dressing up and playing make-believe or racing cars and playing sports.
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina is a story that explores the feelings author Monica Brown experienced growing up as a Peruvian American with Amerindian, European, and Jewish roots.
Black, Asian, and LatinX authors write stories from different perspectives that promote deeper understanding of one another’s experiences.
When reading to global citizens, diversity in authorship matters just as much. Be sure to explore different authors and introduce their voices and perspectives to your child.
Some families have one parent, some have a grandma and grandpa, others have two parents of the same sex. Raising global citizens means recognizing that families look different everywhere, but the love is the same.
Books like Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman highlights the love and fun of a same-sex couple with their baby.
It’s important to avoid a “them vs. me” mentality when teaching kids diversity. Even reading diverse books can fall short on educating children if the approach is self-centered. The goal is to help kids bridge connections between themselves and other people.
You can find ways to highlight shared qualities between your child and characters in stories. For example, reading a story in Spanish about milestones your child is going through can help them bridge a deeper connection to the characters.
Personal connections are one part of the process; the other is building comfort acknowledging differences. Just because people live differently or think differently doesn’t make them “bad” or wrong.
Diversity reading helps kids appreciate others’ worldviews and opinions more. Rather than grow into adults who feel defensive, they become open-minded and interested in others.
Not all classrooms have the tools they need to effectively promote diversity. It’s important for little global citizens to live out inclusion, not just hear about it. Diversity isn’t merely a lesson plan — it’s a core value to instill and embrace.
Consider donating some Spanish children’s books your family loves to the classroom for other kids to enjoy.
You may be making a huge difference in the lives of students who aren’t exposed to different languages or cultures regularly.
Kids know from a very early age that they have differences from others. Babies and toddlers first notice physical differences, like skin color and sex. As they get older, kids may start to feel different from their peers for a variety of reasons, like intelligence, background, and race.
Bilingual kids have a greater worldview that makes them more accepting toward others. The ability to communicate with people in another language opens new doors to friendship and understanding.
New languages open a child’s eyes to the world. Here are some tips for making their experiences more beneficial:
Raising global citizens is a long-term effort, and diversity itself is something always evolving. The ultimate goal is to teach early readers and older children alike that differences are a wonderful part of life.
Through kid’s lit, you can help your little ones discover a brighter world that embraces everyone’s identity.
Get started with Spanish children’s books delivered right to your doorstep with Sol Book Box!