Recent research indicates that children who are very young notice physical differences between individuals and make meaning of those differences. How young are they when this happens? Six months old. This brings home to us the need to be proactive in building each child's positive sense of identity — along with a healthy respect for everyone else's.
What do our lessons, activities and conversations at Healthy Toddlers Care encompass in this regard?
In a broad sense, teachers or children may at any time find themselves in a conversation that touches on race/ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, economic class, or physical ability.
Our daily, weekly and monthly lesson plans celebrate diversity and inclusiveness. Many of our conversations grow out of our month-long studies of different cultures. These are not isolated, once-a-month or once-a-year activities. Instead, the regular curriculum includes a range of cultural perspectives that are woven into each day.
Healthy Toddlers Care helps children develop the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary to live and work successfully in a complex, diverse world. Special efforts are made to create a positive environment which acknowledges and values human differences and that helps our children learn positive, appropriate responses to differences.
At Healthy Toddlers Care, we make our learning environment inclusive and reflective of the diverse society in which our children will live.
Our Multicultural Curriculum:
Our multicultural studies select from the diverse customs and traditions that have been practiced and maintained by various groups of people throughout history.
- Geographic regions: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America
- Social identity: All About Me
- Celebrating diversity: Holidays around the world
As noted above, we focus on different multicultural themes each month. Students participate in the following lessons and activities.
- Multicultural arts and crafts : Each week, our students explore culturally themed arts and crafts and learn more about the world around them.
- Multicultural foods: We offer diverse foods and styles of eating, which makes our meals and snacks an interesting and enjoyable learning experience for our students. Exposing children to a variety of foods from different cultures is a great way for children to begin to savor the differences between people!
- Monthly books with lessons in diversity: Children’s books are wonderful resources for helping children develop an understanding of differences such as race, family composition, religion, and ability.
- Multicultural objects in the classroom: The use of manmade objects specific to a particular culture sets the stage for inquiry and investigation, providing real-life connections to a lesson.
- Multicultural music and movement: One of the great values of teaching young children folk dances is exposing them to the rich diversity of national, regional and ethnic music. Representing cultures around the world, our authentic music activities provide a popular pastime for our students.