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It may be confusing when we talk about human differences, but it is a natural part of life. To be different!  All flowers are not the same, all dogs are not the same, so why would all people be the same?   As Marshall alludes in his story:  

We are all one human race, so let's embrace!

  • Diversity is the difference between two or more things.

  • Inclusion means to be sure that everyone has equal access to opportunities             and activities, in spite of any differences in the person.

  • Equity is the quality of being fair.

To help children understand these terms, and the similarities and differences in people, explore the following. This will create opportunities for a child to see that not everyone MUST be the same and that differences do help the world turn!

Recently the world is defined as having people that exhibit:

  • Cultural diversity

  • Racial diversity

  • Gender diversity

  • Physical Disabilities/Diversity

  • Interest-Intellectual Diversity 


Kids love to learn and even make new things...try some of these.

Children ages 2-5 years:

  • Community helpers: Talk about the various “jobs” people have who are familiar to the child, such as the dentist, a teacher, a gardener, a mailperson, a fireperson, etc. Point out what is the same about the jobs and what is different. Visit some of the places these various people work.  Add more careers to the discussion regularly. 

  • Celebrate various holidays: Even if the holiday is not one the family regularly participates in, the learning that takes place about expanding world knowledge is valuable.

    • Cook different foods

    • Learn new songs and dances

    • Read stories about the history of the holiday

  • All About ME!   Help the child learn what is special about self and how others are the same as self

  • Discuss family members and friends: Talk about how each member is the same or different (hair color, eye color, interests, etc) Discuss what is different about the child, what is special and unique compared to friends.

  • Introduce basic concepts:

    • Colors/numbers-can be different, but also similar

    • Opposites-like tall-short, large-small, etc.

    • Five senses: touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste

    • Items that are in the same category but different such as fruits, buildings, and vehicles. 


Children ages 5-8 years:

  • Celebrate multiple cultures: Learn about various countries around the world.

  • Read stories from other places

  • Cook a variety of different foods

  • Learn to say a few words in another language like: please, thank you, yes, no, hello, goodbye

  • Practice songs and dances from another country

  • Enjoy various holidays from other places and make something for each 

​       Examples:

          Chinese New Year: make a paper dragon or lantern

          St. Patrick’s Day (Ireland): learn to dance the jig

          Hanukkah: make latkes or play the dreidel game

          Japanese Culture Day: learn origami

  • Create a passport booklet: Include a page for each country, with the flag, a recipe, the language, etc.  Add to the book each time a new country is studied

  • Compare and contrast various art mediumsSuch as chalk, colored pencils, oil, watercolor, fingerpaints and crayon.


Children ages 8 years and over

Learning about similarities and differences is a lifelong project. As a child matures, there will be many conversations that may take place about diversity, acceptance and respect.

  • Study various types of music and perhaps learn to play a unique instrument

  • Explore various artforms emerging from different cultures and locations

  • Research the global society, government, languages, currency, etc.

  • Visit museums, cultural events and community celebrations

  • Volunteer with those who have disabilities such as at a Special Olymics event

  • Read books and folktales from various parts of the world

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