The world is much more than your home, backyard, street, and the local school and playgrounds, and if you want to get your child excited about and interested in the wider world, you need to introduce them to things that will grab their attention and develop a lifetime of curiosity.
But how do you do this? How can parents get their kids interested in the world around them when they’d much rather play at home? It’s not about forcing them to learn, but instead showing them how much more is out there, and here are a few ways to achieve this.
Eat Dishes From Around the World
It can be tricky to get your kids excited about dinner time, especially when they’re young and fussy. However, this is a fantastic opportunity to introduce them to different cultures and cuisines that might spark something inside of them.
Whether it’s curries, paella, soups, or indeed any of the other unique meals from all over the world, you can broaden their palate and teach them something about the country where you got the recipe. If you’re struggling to find ingredients, mailboxes can provide everything you need and give you a range of choices every week.
Watch Different Sports
If you’re looking for ways you can make exercise more fun, introducing sports that the UK is perhaps not so good at (and there was a time where you could pick literally anything) can inspire some interest.
This is especially true of sports your kids may not encounter at school. They will place rounders, football, and tennis, but these are standard everywhere. Sports from other countries can offer insight into their cultures and might even encourage your kid to try them.
Learn a Language With Them
Learning a language is a powerful tool that can set your kids up for success in the future. But it can also be challenging and it is hard to maintain motivation.
Learning alongside your kids will help maintain this motivation, whereas resources like Spanish Podcasts or even media from whichever country can make learning the language easier. Some people will even watch classic cartoons with the language dubbed over to introduce natural phrases without making the plot too difficult to follow.
Travel To New Places
Travelling is undoubtedly the best way to teach your kids about the world, even if it’s a little tricky right now. Still, you can plan trips abroad during the school holidays that are much more interesting than sitting by the pool for two weeks.
Looking for unique destinations gives your kids an experience that their friends won’t have, and this can make them passionate about travel, which can follow them through life.
Watch TV About Other Countries
Documentaries are excellent ways to spend an afternoon or evening, and they also make superb background noise if you’re doing puzzles (especially a puzzle of the world map). The sooner you introduce these documentaries about different countries, the sooner your kids will develop a fascination for other parts of the world.
And, there is something for every country, including series that cover a myriad of different nations. There are also plenty of different styles, ranging from the calm David Attenborough approach to those that are more engaging and visually appealing, which would be great for younger kids.
Buy a Globe
Simple but effective, a globe is often the first time kids realise there is more out there, particularly when they are young. This globe is unlikely to ignite a passion for the world, but it will teach them about where countries are.
There are too many people who wouldn’t be able to locate certain countries on a map, so this will educate your kids and help them become familiar with the continents, oceans, and capitals. To take this a step further, an atlas will add further context.
Get Postcards From Friends
If you’re lucky enough to have friends that spend a lot of their time travelling, ask them to pick up and send postcards from the different nations they visit. These postcards could be gifts, or they can come with messages that teach your kids all about the country.
Over time, your kids can collect these in a scrapbook and they might even want to experience these countries themselves. The more friends and family you get involved with, the more they will learn.
Celebrate Different Holidays
The UK has plenty of holidays to celebrate, but you could argue they aren’t as exciting as the holidays that you’ll find in other parts of the world. The Day of the Dead or Cinco de Mayo in Mexico are two common approaches, but there is so much more than this across the world.
The Holi festival in India is a colourful experience for everyone, whereas Thailand’s New Year, known as Songkran is a three-day water fight that your kids will adore, and it happens late enough in the year (the end of April) that the weather might even be nice enough to try yourself.
There are plenty of benefits of setting up pen pals for your kids. It boosts reading and writing skills. It teaches them to be curious about other people.
These pen pals from other countries can be mutually beneficial. They can make friends that they’d never otherwise meet and they can learn about different cultures from someone who has lived there all of their life.
Recreate World Art
If you’re looking for a creative way to teach kids about the world, different art styles are a great choice. Show them pictures of art from all over the world and ask what they would like to recreate.
You can do this over a lazy Saturday afternoon and work in different countries each week. If your kids have already shown a passion for art, this could be the perfect way to get them interested in either country.
The beauty of learning about the world is that there is so much to cover, meaning you will struggle to run out of ideas when teaching your kids about other countries and cultures. With enough enthusiasm, encouragement, and plenty of fun, you can help your kids develop a passion for the world that will give them the drive to travel, learn a language, help others in need, or even all of the above.