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How Do You Teach Children Multiculturalism?

Early childhood is the perfect moment to teach children multiculturalism.This article tells you how to incorporate multiculturalism in preschool.

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Early childhood is the perfect moment to teach children multiculturalism because this is when they begin to know children of different cultures, backgrounds, languages and races. We can address their curiosity using different educational tools and methods as they observe differences between them and other children. This article tells you how to incorporate multiculturalism in preschool.

How Do You Teach Children Multiculturalism?

Although some believe that children are too young to learn about diversity and multiculturalism in preschool, research indicates that children begin to understand notions regarding race, traits or social status by age five. Their understanding relies on what they have learned from adults and their immediate environment. Teaching them by inspiring an open mind, kind and compassionate behaviour, and an empathic attitude towards all peers is paramount.

Diversity in early care and education can be taught by creating an environment that promotes inclusive experiences in the early learning centre, ensuring the educational space and the lessons taught reflect the similarities and differences of all children.
The teaching methods you use in the classroom shape how children perceive multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion.

The Reggio Emilia approach, for example, aims to strengthen the sense of identity in each child by promoting diversity and inclusion in all their needs and abilities. Some of the most relevant methods you can use to teach children multiculturalism are:

These themes allow them to speak about their culture, background and family traditions so that their colleagues learn more about them.
Use learning materials like toys, books, and presentations that showcase the different characteristics of each culture, ethnicity or race in your classroom. This diversity in learning materials enables kids to acknowledge what they have in common with their peers and teaches them how to interact with those different from them.

Holidays are a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the children in your classroom. You can ask them to speak about the decorations and foods their families prepare for the holidays and encourage them to present their customs and traditions during these holidays. You can schedule throughout the year multicultural events celebrations like the Jewish Hanukkah, the Hindu Diwali or the Chinese New Year to showcase the achievements of different cultures.

Children are very responsive to what they learn when you involve them directly in the educational process. For example, by asking them to create artwork that displays how they see themselves and the children who are different, they can express how they perceive the similarities and differences between them and the other kids. 

You can create with the children a large diagram listing the colour of their skin, eyes and hair, their favourite foods, stories, holidays, family traditions and other items that highlight how they are similar or different from their peers.

Display these works somewhere visible in the classroom so the children can learn to acknowledge and value diversity. 

multiculturalism children

Organise regular sessions where children can ask their peers what makes their culture different and unique, from how they celebrate holidays like Christmas to customs and traditions found only in certain cultures. This encourages children to acknowledge their uniqueness and share it with others. 

These “Q&A sessions are the perfect opportunity to promote diversity in early care and education because children can ask potentially sensitive or personal questions regarding the physical appearance of other children in your classroom. By voicing children’s curiosity in this educational-led environment, they learn how to politely formulate questions and respect the traits that make their colleagues different from them. 

Teach children multiculturalism by talking in your classroom about how sometimes it is difficult to be different and how being different can generate feelings of fear or lack of self-confidence. Then ask the children to imagine they are different in a group where all the others are alike and to express what they believe would make them feel better. This enables the little ones to get in touch with and exercise empathy, defined as “the ability to understand or feel what another person is feeling, from their perspective“. Children become more aware of why being different can be difficult, and this helps them generate ideas about how they can help someone experiencing these feelings gain self-confidence and self-esteem. It also shows them how to feel valued instead of alone. 

Most adults acquire a biased attitude when they are children. You can discourage this approach by explaining to children what biases and stereotypes are and how hurtful they can be, especially to those who are different in one or more ways. Help develop a sense of fair treatment, understanding and compassion in the children in your classroom by telling them why they should not treat others differently because of their cultural background, physical traits or gender. These free discussions, where you encourage children to voice their opinions or ask questions, will make them more likely to grow into adults who display fair treatment of everybody, no matter how different they are.

Children are like sponges; their minds and behaviour absorb everything they see in the adults close to them. 

As a teacher, you must manifest a genuine interest in the cultural background and features that make each child unique. Treating with respect, understanding and having an open heart and mind teaches children to do the same now and in their adult life. 

When you help children who struggle to express their ideas or feelings or who display tantrums, regardless of their cultural background, when you explain why certain behaviours are not beneficial for them or for those around them and when you assist children in better understanding themselves, you create an environment of mutual trust, respect and self-confidence that all children appreciate and begin to see as a natural state.

You will always have children of different cultural backgrounds in your classroom. It’s your mission to make them feel accepted, praised and valued for their unique traits, development and abilities and to teach them about multiculturalism and diversity by promoting an environment focused on understanding and respect.

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Our Early Learning Centres

Our early childhood centre environments strongly reflects our inspiration – The Reggio Emilia philosophy, from Reggio Emilia, Italy.

We provide a creative and open ended environment that encourages infinite learning for the children and strong relationships between teachers, children and families.

The day’s routines are flexible. At the same time, care is taken to recognise and respect each child’s needs.

Playground at Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre childcare in Howick, Auckland
Child playing in BBELC - Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre Childcare (1)

Why Choose a Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre?

Here's what our parents say about our childcare centres

Come and visit one of our childcare centres and see for yourself why your child will love it

Talk to the Centre Manager, meet the team, see the natural outdoor play areas and educational rooms, learn about how we develop our programs and find out more about our unique approach to partnering with our families.

Our latest parent reviews from Google

Tanya Vester
Tanya Vester
Our sons attended Bright beginnings early leaning Centre and absolutely loved it. They attended Manuka and Kowhai rooms, and later also Pohutukawa room. The teachers in all three rooms were just SO lovely, caring, attentive and supported their learning journeys and communicated the children’s achievements with us. We are so thankful for the time our kids were able to spend there, and the kids made great memories for life. We highly recommend BBELC to anyone looking for a child care center. We had to leave due to moving overseas and will miss BBELC so much!!!
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
"I don't think I can express in words the gratitude I feel towards you all. My child, Amrin have learnt so much in your care that will stay with her for life. I believe their fondest memories of childhood will include many of you - I truly hope you are all extremely proud your efforts with our children. Thank you for all the wonderful support and care you have given to my daughter. This Centre is a very special place and she has grown so much in your nurturing, inspiring and challenging environment. You are really helping her to prepare for her school foundation." Actually, this is a second home for Amrin, she started her journey from BBELC, Auckland and will leave for school from here. Thanks to all the teachers, If I start typing the names, the list will be so long. In last especially I should not forget Nikita, who is so understanding and caring towards kids as well as families. Thank you with much love."
Anaru Pui
Anaru Pui
We've had our daughter Waikohu pui in the center for over 1 year now And she has Developed into such a beautiful kind person and has gained some great life skills and experiences thank you to all the teachers for there support and care with our baby girl making life alot easier knowing shes getting great education and Aroha (Love) from all the teachers at her Kura ( school ) thanks again ❤️ from the Pui whanau
Jagroop Kaur
Jagroop Kaur
Teachers are very kind and patient. Also they encourage children to learn in different indoor and outdoor activities. I am so pleased in POHUTUKAWA room the teacher do the school transition program, which is really helpful to the kids enter the primary school in the future. Thanks all teacher who support VIRASAT and other kids there quite well.
anne dela cruz
anne dela cruz
We have been with BBELC Hamilton since 2020 during the peak of pandemic and I never doubted to bring my children here knowing that they are on a safe place and the team are all aware of the best health and safety plan to ensure that everyone in the centre are safe. The centre is the BEST for me in terms of CLEANLINESS (the place os very tidy), SAFETY OF CHILDREN (only parents/caregivers can enter the premises on their pin coded door), FRIENDLY STAFF (you will be greeted by a very friendly receptionist, you can talk to the teachers about your concern with your child), OPEN DOOR POLICY (Manager’s door is open all times for parents for any concern or question), NUTRICIOUS FOOD for our kids, SCHOOL READINESS PROGRAM (table activities, book reading, sharing with others, simple literacy), MAT TIME IS THE BEST as the kids learn to socialize, listen to teachers, story telling, yoga, dance time, music time,etc. and they also held PARENTS TIME where we can chat with the teacher about our kids, meet other parents, share experiences and strategies, parents gets treat and gift on special occasion like mother’s day and father’s day that will definitely make your day as a parent. And lastly for few years now, my kids have enjoyed their Christmas party where they get gift and enjoy bouncy castle, it’s simple but the experience and memories will be lifetime. THANKS TO ALL THE STAFF AND TEACHERS OF BBELC Hamilton! KUDOS TO ALL YOUR HARDWORK AND DEDICATION. CHEERS TO MANY MORE YEARS OF SUCCESS! - DELA CRUZ Family ( Robb and Reuben)
I love BBELC and my child love it too. As parents ,my husband and I deeply appreciate the staff being friendly ,kind ,patient ,role models and caring .The educators work well with parents to achieve the children’s developmental goals , the manager Leonie and Teachers Mari, Kathryn, Summer and Emma really care about the children and very welcoming. The childcare is secure and this gives us peace of mind in knowing that our little ones are in good hands and safe . The classrooms are clean and nicely decorated. I highly recommend sending your child to this center. It’s become our second home.
BBELC is an awesome environment for my daughter to learn and grow through different types of activities. All the staffs are friendly, supportive and helpful. Highly recommended to all.
Neda Bolouri
Neda Bolouri
A safe, happy and caring place for our children.
Norvega Bantang
Norvega Bantang
Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre - Hamilton is like a second home to my 2 little girls. They are very supportive of the children’s early learning and individual development. The rooms are spacious, warm and cozy and provide different kinds of resources for the children to explore. My girls are always excited to go to kindy every morning. Since I have also recently become part of this centre, it’s good to know and see for myself how things work in the centre and how very passionate the staff are in looking after every child like they are family. As a parent, it gives me the peace of mind that my children are in good hands and are well taken cared of. Definitely made the right decision to enroll our children here.
Diana Villa-Ignacio
Diana Villa-Ignacio
BBELC is a wonderful centre which caters to quality care and learning of children. We take pride in our relationship with parents , whanau and children having positive environment, open communication, flexibility, catering to children needs and working alongside parent's aspiration for their children. Feel free to come and see our Hamilton centre. We will be happy to show you around and be part of our Bright Beginnings Family.

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