Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

March 18, 2024

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Let’s start a conversation: Teaching children about diversity, equity, and inclusion

By: Caroline Ward, OTR/L

Our world is full of diverse people and cultures that should be understood, welcomed, and celebrated. As the adults in our society are working to stand up to injustices and create change, it is important to help children understand diversity and acceptance. Children learn best through play and hands-on activities, and learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion is no different. Below are some fun ideas to help you get these conversations started in your home!

  1. Learn about, cook, and try a variety of different cultural foods with your child. Spend some time talking with your child or watching videos about the culture while cooking at home or trying a new restaurant.

Here are some kid-friendly recipes to get you started:

  1. Provide children with toys to model and teach about the diversity of people’s different appearances, abilities, and cultures. Dolls, puzzles, toy food sets, and even art supplies can be intentionally chosen to help foster acceptance and celebration of people and traditions that are different in any way from the people your child sees in your home every day.

Here is an article with some ideas for inspiration:

  1. Read books with diverse themes with your child. Reading helps broaden a child’s view of the world, transporting them to other countries, cultures, planets, or time periods. Intentionally selecting books with diverse themes, characters, and pictures for your child can help teach them about people they will come across in the world and reinforce the idea that different is beautiful, not scary.

Here is a PBS Kids article with some suggestions:

  1. Sensory play! Some ideas from our last blog post on diversity explore the idea that “people can look different on the outside, but be the same on the inside”. Some ways to do this are experimenting with observing and cracking open different colored eggs or cutting into different colored apples to compare the similarities and differences of the insides and outsides. You can even have your kids decorate the outsides first to make them even more “different” and fun! You could also make a batch of homemade play dough and dye small portions different colors, highlighting that the play dough is the same except for its color/appearance (plus it’s all tons of fun, and a great way to develop fine motor skills).

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