I recently had the pleasure of meeting Irene Lane the founder of Greenloons, a site geared to educate and navigate you and your family through the confusing and often, misleading world of eco-tourism.
While we feel that our children are still a bit young to travel about the world, while yielding all the gains that it has to offer, we do feel there are many ways in which we can prepare our children for their future excursions abroad.
This list is by no way exhausted, but it is a list including the five ways we are implementing in our house to make our kids more culturally aware and ready for global travel.
- Read– we read a variety of children’s books to our two children. We expose them to literature from all over the world, focusing on those that discuss cultural differences or depict people from all over the world. Showing the children that people dress, look, and act differently then they are accustomed, is the first step to broadening their horizons. We love Whoever You Are by Mem Fox.
- Cook– we try different recipes. In our house we eat authentic dishes from around the world. From couscous, to Spanakopita, to hummus and pita, to edamame, from goulash to rice and beans. Their exposure to different textures, flavors and spices will only serve to be beneficial while away from their home land.
- Visit– a museum the perfect way to introduce your children to different cultures. The opportunities to speak about dress, customs, lifestyles, languages, and geography are boundless when using art as a medium.
- Listen- simply listen to music performed by a variety of artists, in various languages even. Hearing traditional music from other cultures enliven their senses, sparks conversation, and makes them more culturally accepting.
- Attend- go to festivals, parades, dances or cultural events. Our children have learned so much by participating in cultural celebrations, plus it gives us the chance to engage in conversations and continue our education as well.
We feel that exposure, dialog, and education are the three keys elements in preparing your child for traveling abroad.