Cultural differences, colour, abilities and language may be barriers to creating relationships for some people. However, children don’t seem phased by differences. By teaching acceptance as a way of life to children at an early age, there is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on them and the rest of the world.
One practical diversity activity is to use two eggs. One white and one brown. Ask the child what they see on the outside of the eggs. What are the differences? What do they think is inside the white egg? What is inside the brown? After discussing a little, crack the two eggs on a plate. Are the insides different? No, they are the same. This activity can be explored in more depth depending on the child’s age and understanding. Examples of skin type, hair and eye colour, language and body type, anything which makes us different can be used. But what unites us as people is we are all humans with feelings and emotions.
There are dozens of ways we can teach children diversity including:
· eating in restaurants from a different culture;
· attending a cultural event;
· reading books or watching movies set in different cultures;
· traveling to a different country with a different culture on vacation; and
· discussing differences with children when we see someone with a disability, wearing different dress, or speaking a different language.
Showing children diversity is teaching them an appreciation of the importance of what is on the inside, not what they see on the outside.
For more information on teaching diversity, click here.