Culture and Diversity

Exploring Culture Through Children’s Eyes

Educators can provide many opportunities for children to interact with other cultures within the walls of their classrooms. The more exposure to other cultures they have, the more children will acknowledge these similarities and differences; this will help them to become open-minded and accepting of others. One way to bring other cultures closer to young children is through natural and meaningful activities they enjoy engaging with in their daily lives. People in every culture in the world have their childhood songs, rhymes, stories and games, and so a good starting point is to integrate elements from traditional children’s culture that may be familiar in their own context.


Prevent Bullying by Embracing Differences Through the Art of Storytelling

Starting from the earliest age, we can show children that everyone is different in some way and difference is a part of life. Everyone has things that make them unique — be it skin color, hair texture, body shape, gender, temperament, religious beliefs, ethnic or cultural background, and more. We do this in the early years by modeling an appreciation for individual differences through our attitudes, emotions, behaviors, and body language. Storytelling is also a great way to teach children about the importance of celebrating differences. 


Taking Steps Toward Cultural Competence Through Meaningful Conversations

When we think about representing diversity in classrooms, we often think about including community helper accessories with disabilities in block areas, cloth dolls with various skin tones in the housekeeping areas, and plastic chop suey and pizza in the pretend kitchens. But do these efforts to add diverse materials to classrooms qualify as “adding diversity” to the curriculum? Because ways of caring for and interacting with children are culturally determined, exploring staff beliefs about teaching and caring for children is an important part of developing cultural competence. So, how can busy CNC leaders engage more meaningfully with the experiences and stories of staff, families, and children to understand the way culture and language influence ways of thinking, being, and learning?


March 21st is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recognizes that the injustices and prejudices fueled by racial discrimination take place every day. Here is an infographic that explains how racism can impact child development, and some ideas for how you can talk to young children about race and racism.


Rocking and Rolling. Nurturing Infants and Toddlers with Diverse Language Experiences

Recent research has provided a lot more information about the ways infants and toddlers experience two or more languages. When it comes to processing speech sounds and language, infant brains are surprisingly sophisticated! It is important to support all languages in an infant or toddler’s life to build relationships with them and help them learn. Even if you are not fluent in a child’s home language, there are many ways to provide linguistically responsive support and care. It’s helpful to partner with families from the moment they enroll in a program. 


Resources from Sesame Workshop for Afghan Parents and Children Affected by Crisis

Sesame Workshop has developed new resources in Dari and Pashto for children and families affected by the earthquakes in Afghanistan. They include videos and digital storybooks offering tips for caregivers to promote children's wellbeing, build their confidence, and to adapt to new environments amid challenging times. Global Initiative to Support Parents has compiled the Dari and Pashto resources here.


International Mother Language Day: February 21

Languages are the most powerful instrument in preserving and developing heritage. Every February, International Mother Language Day helps to increase awareness and mobilize partners and resources that support language diversity and multilingualism across the globe. How will you celebrate the linguistic diversity of your CNC program this year?


Fun Ideas for Celebrating Lunar New Year with Kids

The Lunar New Year is the beginning of the Lunar calendar, which is based on the phases of the moon. This year, Lunar New Year starts on Saturday, February 10 and goes for 15 days, ending on Saturday, February 24. 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, which symbolizes honour and success in the Chinese zodiac.  This day is celebrated around the world... Here are some of the many ways that you might choose to celebrate with the children and families in your program! 


How did Black History Month come to be?

February is Black History Month! This is a time to celebrate and remember all the ways that Black Canadians have contributed to Canada’s history and culture. Throughout February, this celebration provides a chance to learn about African cultures.


It’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

The goal of Multicultural Children’s Book Day is to raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity and get more of these books into classrooms, libraries and collections. Here's a list of books and activities... maybe you'll find a new favourite!