As parents, you’ll know that one of the top reasons to travel with your kids is to introduce them to all the different cultures that the world has to offer. From books to art to music, each part of the world has something new and exciting to offer – and if you introduce your kids to them at a young age, then they’ll end up becoming more rounded adults. But when you’re not travelling, how can you introduce a little culture into your kids’ lives? Here are some tips to help…
Growing up in a musical household is something that will help every child. From the mathematical symmetries of music to the way that you can let loose and dance and be free, no matter what sort of person your child is, music will help them find their truest selves. There are a lot of festivals that are family friendly and that you can take kids along to – take a picnic rug and plenty of water and enjoy the sunshine and live music. You could also take your child along to music lessons – learning the piano can be a valuable skill.
Sloshing around with paints and paper is probably one of your fondest memories of being a child. As we get older, a lot of the time we get more inhibited, and you start beating yourself up about not being able to draw a perfect horse instead of creating the specific combinations of colors and patterns on the page that make you happy. Create art together as a family, from making patterns on the pavement using sidewalk chalk to using poster paints and big sheets of paper to create works of art on your kitchen table at home on rainy days.
A lot of kids don’t want to read and if that’s the case with your child, don’t labor it too much – reading shouldn’t be a task to them. Don’t pressure them into reading the classics if they love the Wimpy Kid or Dork Diaries books – let them find what they love and encourage that. Stories at bedtime and making sure they see you reading and enjoying books is an excellent way to encourage your kids to pick up a book themselves.
We are all built on the history that we came from, which means that it’s important for your children to learn as much as possible so that they can understand as much as possible about why the world is the way that it is – and how they can change it. Introduce them to art games online that will teach them about art history, take them to exhibitions and museums, and keep talking to them about what’s going on in the newspapers. Awareness is the first thing to in focus.
Finally, one of the best ways to become a citizen of the world is to learn languages. A lot of people are more receptive to learning them at a younger age, so take your child along to French, Mandarin or Spanish classes on a Saturday morning before rewarding them with milkshakes or small Lego figures afterward. Immersion in a language is the best way to learn.