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Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow

Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.

Oct 20, 2022 - 3 min

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3 Easy Ways to Make Your Child More Culturally Aware

Cultural awareness is an essential skill for kids. Get tips on how to raise your child to be well versed in the cultures, adversities and experiences of others.

Why does Dylan eat rice and seaweed for lunch every day? How come Lucie always wears a scarf on her head? Why does my hair look different than Della’s? 

Kids are innately curious and are masters when it comes to asking questions, but how do we, as parents, go about answering them? How can we help our children develop cultural awareness?

Cultural awareness is being knowledgeable and accepting of others’ cultures and identities. It requires the ability to venture beyond one’s local community to discover other cultures around the world and appreciate the ways they are similar and different from their own. Cultural awareness can be attained through life experiences, helping to grow our understanding and appreciation of the world as a whole.

Children around the world live very different lives. Despite that, there are many experiences most children share, things like: getting an education, having a family, celebrating holidays, playing with toys….. Even though these are shared experiences, they are still experienced differently by each child. Understanding these shared experiences and values, as well as core differences, helps children appreciate their own situations and those of others in other parts of the world. This helps them gain a respect for other cultures and be better equipped to have their voice heard and take an active role in shaping the world they live in.

It’s important that we teach children about the world from a young age because it’s continuously changing. Advances in technology, social media, communication, and travel, are shifting the way society functions. As children grow older, they’ll see that cultural awareness is essential in the 21st-century workforce. Being aware of the adversities faced by people all over the world, having the ability to see things from multiple perspectives, and being able to connect with people from various backgrounds are all very valuable qualities employers look for in every field of work.

Here are 3 ways to help your child become more culturally aware:

  • Read! - Stories are a great way to teach your child about the wider world. Read stories set in different countries, about different cultures and customs, that feature children that look different from them. In the Encantos app, kids can go on adventures around the globe with the Tiny Travelers and discover the incredible diversity of countries and cultures near and far.
  • Expand their horizons - This can be done in many ways: eating at restaurants with different cuisines, visiting museum exhibits, attending cultural events around your community, and traveling (whether to different countries or nearby neighborhoods), are all great ways to help your child gain a new perspective for the world they’re living in.
  • Teach them a new language - Learning another language allows your child to form a deeper connection to another culture, and will open up a world of possibilities for them in life. Here’s another area where the Encantos app can help! Storyworlds like Canticos, Cleo y Cuquin, and La Petite Petra teach kids multilingualism through games, activities, videos, songs, and stories.

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Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

How can my child learn language through play?

What are the social and cultural benefits of bilingualism?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?

What are some strategies for raising bilingual children?

What are some common misconceptions about raising bilingual children?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?