5 tips on how to create an inclusive environment for children
The close environment has a big impact on how children interpret social structures, and how they interact with each other. Movies tell them what a princess look like. Playing cards teach them that the King always have the highest rank. And books show them who’s important enough to be the main character.
It’s up to us adults to create an environment that reflect what we’re trying to teach our children, that we’re all equally important.
We often forget the importance of the main character when we talk about diversity in books, toys and movies. At the same time children often play based on these characters, and hierarchy is directly reflected in their interactions. Which often results in children being excluded because of their skin colour or hair type.
We all need to work together to create an environment for children showing them that we’re all equal. Here are 5 tips on how you create a more inclusive environment for children:
Here are 5 tips on how to create an inclusive environment for children:
1. Look through the children’s books you have at home, how diverse are the main characters?
- What different perspectives are represented? Does it reflect today’s society?
2. What kind of toys does your children play with?
- How does the toys you play with affect the children’s play?
3. What games are usually played among their friends, and what effect has in on their interactions?
- What movies and tv-shows do the children watch, how diverse are the main characters?
- What structures and hierarchies are children learning from the characters represented?
4. Follow up with school/ pre-school how they make sure to create an inclusive environment.
- It’s a mandatory part of their responsibilities, but when you get used to your surroundings it’s easy to miss this perspective.
5. Be aware of how you talk about minorities and other cultures.
- As we all know children don’t to as we say, but as we do. So, it’s important to think about how we talk about other people. How do we comment if someone talks louder than you like in another language? How do we talk about cultural clothes or traditions we can’t relate till?
If you work in a business where you have a waiting room or a play room, take a few minutes to look through what books and toys are on the shelves. These rooms are often forgotten from a diversity perspective and aren’t always in line with communicated values.
If you realize you need to add more diversity in your environment, please visit our online store www.elsaochsam.com, or reach out to us, we’d love to help you out.