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How to Introduce Cultures to Preschoolers

Welcome to another #TipTuesday! Today's tip focuses on using things your child is already interested in as segways into exploring world cultures!

If you’ve never explored world cultures with your children, it may seem a bit daunting. Especially if you plan units for a longer period of time - but there is a very easy solution! Use “companion units.” Companion units allow you to combine cultural exploration with an area of study that you and your child are already somewhat familiar with. That way, it’s easier for you to plan, and your child has a

reference point to explore that culture from.

For example, in the Little Explorers Big World Mexico Unit, we learn a bit about butterflies. If you have a little one who’s interested in butterflies, you can discuss how monarch butterflies fly all the way to Mexico. This gives you an open door for facilitating more exploration through play.

Ex. “The monarch butterflies fly all the way to Mexico! Do you know where Mexico is? Let’s find it on our map! What do you think the butterflies see when they get there? What is Mexico is like? Let’s pretend that we are monarch butterflies and we are just arriving in Mexico!”

Together, you can look at photos of Mexico, listen to Mexican music, read books about Mexico, and even have a Mexican meal!

If you’re exploring France, you could bring in elements from a cooking unit! Instead of pretending to run a cafe in your dramatic play, you can run a French cafe! Listen to French accordion music while you sample French cheeses or bake buttery croissants. (These activities are included in the France Unit.)

You can even use one of your child’s favorite movies to jump into a culture. Our segway into French culture at home was actually a result of J’s obsession with the film “Ratatouille,” and he affectionately refers to Norway as “where Olaf lives.”

What interests do your Little Explorers have that lend themselves to cultural exploration? Does your child have an interest that you’d like to use as a bridge to cultural study but you're not sure how? Let me know in the comments!

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