Children learn best when they feel a sense of belonging. That’s why it’s important for our educators to intentionally create a warm, welcoming environment and engage in meaningful interactions.
These two factors are essential to providing a nurturing space where children can grow and learn. Being recognized as a unique individual allows children to be themselves, feel comfortable, and make authentic connections. Representation matters too and is an important part of our commitment to model diversity and inclusion for all families.
Consider these ways to enhance your child’s experiences at home:
- Include books with diverse people and a diverse range of abilities
- Include manipulatives that represent multiple types of people
- Provide opportunities for children to see and/or interact with different types of homes, families, foods, communities, and celebrations.
Try simple things and make it fun, such as:
- Trying a new restaurant with interesting flavors or cuisine
- Listening to different genres of music
- Reading books where different family structures are represented
- Attending a community event to learn about new traditions
- Researching or finding images of diverse cultures and their celebrations
As children engage in these different opportunities, they may ask you questions. That’s a good thing! It’s important to address their curiosity and use this opportunity to have a conversation that is informational and honest, while keeping in mind their age level. Remind them everyone is unique – including them!
Rising Stride Child Care Centers integrates Diversity in all our classrooms, which helps teachers create an inclusive, welcoming classroom community. By encouraging children to share their family culture and traditions with each other.
It’s important to encourage children to appreciate differences early on to provide opportunities for them to ask questions, be curious, and value the beautiful diversity among us.