How to Raise Globally Aware Children

Globally aware children learn to appreciate the differences between cultures and understand their place in the world as global citizens. They are the world changers who know the world is vast and everyone has something valuable to teach. However, kids only gain this knowledge when they’ve been introduced to the world.

Here are some of the things I will do with my son that can help you raise globally aware children, too.


Letting Your Kids Ask Questions

When your kids start noticing the differences between people, set the tone and discuss their questions openly. Teach them that difference is good — it makes everyone unique. Explain in terms they understand. Your response to their questions will pave the way for their attitude toward learning about difference.

Armchair Traveling

Buy a word map or globe and pick one country to learn about over a month or two. Do some research about their food, holidays, traditions and dress. You can use Google Earth to visit capital cities and landmarks or view museum websites online and explore their archives.

Another fun way to “travel” at home is watching kid’s movies or reading stories from different countries. If your kids are old enough to read, play a movie in the original language with subtitles.

Exploring the World through Subscription Boxes

You can also explore the world through subscription boxes. Little Passports sends a kit that focuses on one country with a letter that has recipes, pictures, activities or crafts related to the country and explanations of sightseeing experiences.

Little Global Citizens sends a box with crafts and activities focused on one country. For example, the Kenya box has a traditional bean stew recipe, a Swahili language card, a book and a piece of candy inspired by a spicy mango Kenyan treat.

Trying New Foods

Make it a point to visit different restaurants selling food from other cultures. It could be a Nigerian restaurant selling Jollof rice or a Korean restaurant serving kimbap and japchae. You can also make recipes together from different countries. Take them to the grocery store and check out the international foods aisle or visit a market that sells the ingredients unique to your recipe.

Traveling to Different Places

Travel expands young minds. One Student Youth & Travel Digest survey showed that kids who traveled became 52% more respectful and tolerant towards different ethnicities and cultures. Kids exposed to different cultures will live and view the world from a lens of appreciation and tolerance.

Listening to Music and Attending Cultural Festivals

Festival and holiday celebrations are such an immersive experience that involve traditions, language, music, food and culture all in one. What better way for your kids to learn than to experience? Look for festival celebrations in your community and find ways to participate.

Reading Culturally Diverse Books

Books are a great way to expand your kid’s horizons by building familiarity with characters different from what your kids may be used to. They get to learn about other people and their experiences and can build empathy by imagining themselves in another child’s story. Look for books set in different countries with children of different races or cultures. As you read, ask encouraging questions about differences and similarities.

Encouraging engagement rather than spectating

When you teach your kids about other people and cultures, encourage them to engage with and learn from others. As they grow, they’ll be able to develop meaningful and respectful relationships with people who are different from them. When other kids celebrate important festivals and celebrations like Diwali or Kwanzaa, they will know to appreciate and engage appropriately.

Raising Globally Aware Children

I recently watched a video on social media of a young man who helped his friend during a Ramadan fast. Since he knew how challenging the fast was, he made breakfast before 6 a.m. so his friend would have something good to eat before starting the day. Exposing your kids to the world and encouraging your kids to engage produces understanding and empathetic adults who celebrate with others.


Jack Shaw is the senior lifestyle writer at Modded with and a single father with a special interest in navigating the ins and outs of being a parent. As fathers, the work we put in isn’t always recognized, but it’s absolutely essential to the health and well-being of our children. You can find more of Jack’s work in publications like Tiny Buddha, Daddy’s Digest, Simply Family Magazine and more.