Raising Globally Aware Kids: Getting Started

raising globally aware kids

It’s easy to start a conversation with kids about world cultures when their parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles have all lived overseas. But you don’t need these connections to raise globally aware kids! Here are three easy ways to create ties to foreign countries that don’t require personal connections:

Start simple

Learn country names, or continent names. Teach them where your home is on a world map. Look at different world maps – flat ones, globes, pictures of the earth from outer space. Make your own felt map of the world! I also love the LeapFrog Tag World Map for learning names of countries with simple facts – and so do my kids! Find a nice children’s atlas – readers, do you have one that you especially love?

Follow a Theme

My kids love looking at the weather from around the world. It’s an easy way for them to understand how similar and different life is at any given moment, all around the world. We have also used food to teach our kids about world cultures. Stories are another fun theme, and Kid World Citizen recently ran a very fun series looking at Cinderella stories from around the world! Other themes I want to try with my kids include looking at traditional dress, national anthems, and national plants and animals.

Take a Virtual Trip Around the World

Pick a starting point, and try to travel through as many countries as possible before returning home. Or visit by continents. Spin the globe with your eyes closed, and virtually visit the place your finger lands on when it stops spinning (a favorite from my own childhood). The internet makes it very easy to see clips from all around the world! I do recommend parents viewing clips beforehand so that you know what your kids are going to see – descriptions are not always accurate!

What are your favorite ways to learn about the world alongside your kids?


  1. says

    Hi, Your ideas are so great! I babysit my grand daughters and are going to the library today to see what we can find about different countries and cultures. Will keep my eye out for Leap Frog Tag maps too. Thanks

  2. says

    I don’t think it will come as a big surprise when I say that my favorite way is reading. Not a week is passing by when we are not reading a book or two set in a different place and/or a different time. It does help to have a family far away too and get postcards from different places around the world…

  3. says

    I second the recommendation of the DK World Atlas.

    We started sponsoring some children through Compassion International recently, which has sparked my children’s interest in their culture, location, etc.

  4. says

    Some great tips here! I’ve never heard of the leapfrogs map so might have a look to see if they stock in any of the toy stores near by. I’ve always wanted a globe though but think my toddler would destroy it thinking it was a bouncy ball!

  5. says

    We like to map the books we read – putting post-it notes on a map with the book title once we locate where the book takes place. We also have the global See and Say that the kids have used for YEARS! Such a great learning toy with cultural tips, languages and maps. And during the summer, we have ‘heritage’ weeks where we read books, watch videos and try new recipes from countries where our ancestors hailed. LOVE your post!

Thanks for taking the time to comment!