When you are a small child, the world can seem like both a huge, unimaginable space and a small, restricted one. The world beyond your front door is a cacophony of noise, interesting sights, and smells, yet it can feel so far away behind the protective hands of our parents. The world can be scary, yet luckily is outweighed by so much wonder, community, and exploration and it provides untold adventures and cultures to introduce to your child as they grow and develop themselves. Whether you are teaching about the dry Savannah with its menagerie of interesting species such as the mighty lion or the flighty zebra or opening their eyes to the hardships of the world, including the many orphans in need in struggling countries that could use their charity in the future.
There are many ways to teach your children to think beyond themselves but here we’ve explored a few you can enjoy together, why not try some of these activities yourself over the summer break?
Holidaying in Another Country
First-hand experience is always the best way to learn about a new culture or place that is different from home and the surrounding communities. A family holiday spent in another country offers a fantastic chance to get involved in local happenings and learn through doing. For example, heading over to Spain provides you a look at Spanish cultures including fabulous fandango dancing, a variety of classic and modern music and incredible dishes including some of the freshest seafood you will ever sink your teeth into. Popping over to France, on the other hand, will provide you a world of different breads and pastries, twisting streets and Parisian boutique delights.
Visiting a Zoo/Safari
In the UK, we have a selection of incredible zoos providing a close-up look to some of the world’s most amazing and in some cases, endangered animals. Not only does it offer you the chance to get up close to some beasts of the four, two and no-legged variety but every exhibit will have information on where these animals live, what is affecting their home and if there are ways you can help to ensure their continued survival. From the smallest bug to the largest mammal, zoos are a great opportunity to teach your children about the natural world and how we should treasure it for their future generations to enjoy.
Hold a Culture Day
If holidaying in another country and experiencing a new culture first-hand isn’t feasible, consider holding your own culture day at home. Complete with hand-made clothes in the style of the country you are ‘visiting’ for the day, dishes made using local delicacies and favourite sweet treats, these are things you can prepare together to get ready for your day and will provide a lovely bonding experience for parent and child, also a good chance to get them brushed up on their crafting and cooking skills!
Ask Them to Teach You About Somewhere New
Kids love to share when they’ve learned something new that they themselves find fascinating! Give them an opportunity to show off their new-found knowledge by asking them to create a fact file about the new country or culture they have been learning about. You could ask them to create it in the view of a child that might live there or as information necessary for someone looking to go on holiday to this location, make sure to provide some direction (there is a lot to learn about other countries and cultures!) such as recording the national dish, the flag or coat of arms or if there is a plant or animal that represents the country, just to name a few and don’t forget to ask for pictures!
These are some interesting ways to encourage a love for learning and respect towards people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. We are one earth and one huge human family and it’s important we learn to look out for each other and care for the world around us to ensure a brighter, greener future for all.