A truly wonderful resource is the book Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World by Homa Sabet Tavangar. The author bases the book on her time working on diversity and cross-cultural issues around the world and her experiences raising three girls. The book (now also a website) is full of practical advice for parents on how to bring the world into their homes through games, activities, toys, websites, and other resources. While many of the activities are for older kids, there are also lots of suggestions for young children as well.
One of the main suggestions in this book is to form a group of parents that support each other in their efforts to raise global citizens. Luckily for me, I am already a part of such a group! These wonderful ladies hail from all parts of the globe, and most of us are part of cross-cultural marriages. As one of our activities, we recently started a book club dedicated to Growing Up Global. In our first meeting, amid the babble and tumble of our kids, we discussed topics like how to expose even babies to other cultures (through foods, for example) and how to expose your children to other cultures without them losing a sense of their own. Wonderful stuff!
The internet also has a number of great resources for raising your child with a global orientation. Kidworldcitizen has a constantly growing database of multicultural activities that you can use to introduce your child to the vast, wonderful world we live in, from crafts and recipes to field trips, literature, music, and more!
Worldwide Culture Swap is an amazing program that will give your child a tangible, personal connection to other children around the world. Participant families are teamed up with four other families from different countries. Each sends a package to the other families (mainly addressed to the child or children) with items that will give them a feel of what it is like to live in their country – such as inexpensive souvenirs, local crafts, native seeds, and so on. If you’d rather have a longer-term, one-on-one contact for your child, you can also use this website to find an international pen pal.
One of my favorite blogs is by Tallulah of Bilingual Babes, who did a guest post for us on how to help kids deal with being “different.” She has done extensive research on multicultural products for kids, which is a wonderful resource for anyone with children in their lives. (You can find a full list of products on the sidebar of her main page).