How to Raise Your Kids as Global Citizens

"I am a citizen, not of Athens, or Greece, but of the world." — Socrates

As parents, it's our goal to raise children who feel a deep connection to their community — both locally and globally. By raising kids as global citizens, we're not only exposing them to fascinating world cultures, we're also teaching them to be kinder, more compassionate, and more inclusive individuals. Because that's what global citizenship is all about, isn't it? Embracing our part in communities and the wider world while working cooperatively to make this planet a better place for all. 

While these goals may seem lofty, they're certainly achievable — especially for children. In fact, you can easily nurture your kids' natural tendencies towards morality and empathy in a few simple and achievable ways.

What Makes Someone a Global Citizen? And Why Does it Matter?

You don't necessarily have to travel the world to be a global citizen. Rather, a global citizen is someone who recognizes that there are no boundaries to our shared humanity, and that human rights and civic responsibilities transcend our individual cultures, communities, and countries. Global citizens tend to stand behind common goals that benefit everyone, like greater ecological sustainability, human rights, and the end of world poverty.

raising-global-citizen

Obviously, there are many benefits to raising children who think like global citizens. Firstly, kids raised like this will find it easier to be more open and inclusive in social situations. They'll understand that other members of the human community are just like them, which will deepen their empathy and compassion. And when you teach your kids about other cultures and ways of life, you'll help foster in them a lifelong love of learning, education, and curiosity.

Finally, it's more important than ever to prepare kids for a future in which they're comfortable interacting with people of different backgrounds. This sets them up for a lifetime of good citizenship, and even prepares them to pursue careers and educational opportunities in pursuit of the greater good.

5 Ways to Raise Your Kids as Global Citizens

Every family is different, but some of these tips might help your kid on their path to becoming a global citizen:

1. Teach the Core Values: Empathy & Curiosity

Global citizenship requires a person to look outside themselves and their own limited community in order to extend their energy and compassion outwards to others. This requires a healthy knowledge about other peoples and ways of life, which is something your child will naturally want to explore if you encourage them to remain open and curious.

Sometimes children ask questions about other people that they perceive to look or act different from themselves. Instead of shutting these questions down, work with your kid's curiosity by taking the time to explain people's differences — and underlying similarities.

Most importantly, encourage your children to think and act with empathy. Validate your child's emotions ("I see you are feeling frustrated/sad/excited") so that they can identify feelings in themselves. By teaching them the value of their own feelings and emotions, you're setting them up for the next step — extending that compassion and understanding to others. 

2. Read Books on Global Citizenry 

You don't have to go that far to teach your kids about different cultures around the world. In fact, incorporating children's books that celebrate other ways of life is an easy, inexpensive way to expand their horizons. Here are just a few to get started:

  • What is Your Language? by Debra Leventhal. Geared for pre-K to second grade children, Leventhal's delightful children's book celebrates music, language, and communities the world over.

  • What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers. It's so important to teach your young global citizen about what citizenship actually means, and Dave Eggers' book seeks to do exactly that.

  • Babies Around the World by Puck. Looking for something for babies and toddlers? Babies Around the World is a simple and colorful celebration of the world's babies, suitable for little ones.

While books that teach children about diversity as a whole are great, it's also important to find children's books that celebrate specific cultures. If your child is bilingual or learning another language, consider foreign language versions of treasured classics. 

3. Teach Your Child A Foreign Language

"Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where it’s people come from and where they are going." ‒Rita Mae Brown

Learning a second language can support your children's development in so many ways: it helps keep their brains active and sharp, boosts memory, and improves listening skills

When it comes to supporting young global citizens, learning a second language can also create a powerful connection to another culture. Understanding a foreign language helps foster a deeper connection to another culture's art, music, literature, and lifestyle. And when you can communicate with another person in their native tongue, you improve social connections and enrich relationships with others.

In addition, learning a foreign language sets your children up for future educational opportunity, internships, jobs, or initiatives that involve speaking a different language. If they want to make a global difference as adult citizens, a bilingual background will help them reach their goals.

4. Set Goals to Travel as Often as Possible

Of course, almost nothing can beat travel as a way to support your children on their way to becoming global citizens. Not only is travel a fun and enriching experience for the entire family, it offers children a way to immerse themselves in another culture. Make sure you get creative while traveling:

  • Visit playgrounds and parks so your child can play with other children

  • Go to museums and events that highlight culture

  • Engage openly and respectfully with the people that you meet, encouraging your kids to do the same

  • Enjoy local cuisine, art, and music 

More than anything, it's important to bring your curiosity with you when you travel. Encourage your children to remain open to learning about a culture from the individuals who live in that culture daily. Often, the most important traveling experiences won't take place in a museum — they'll happen in a local marketplace or on line at a cafe.

5. Explore Your Community: Art, Music, and Volunteerism

If international travel isn't necessarily in your budget — or you simply want to take advantage of opportunities close to your home, then you might find that your community is a surprisingly rich place to teach your kids about the world at large. To get started:

  • Check with your local library to see if they have any upcoming classes, workshops, or events celebrating diversity or world culture

  • Scan your local news outlets for any parades or events that highlight a particular culture in your area

  • Many universities have multicultural events and resources; check out the schedule of events at your nearest institute of higher education

  • Keep an eye out for the arts: any upcoming international musical festivals or art exhibits upcoming in your area?

  • Celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity every May 21st with your family

Volunteer. Celebrating art, music, and dance is an incredible way to connect with your larger community. However, one of the best ways to explore your community while strengthening the key values of global citizenry is to volunteer with your children. Even elementary-age children are mature enough to visit a local nursing home, clean up your local community, or participate in a food drive. Volunteering helps them understand how their individual actions can make a difference in the world at large — and helps them see the value in global citizenry.

Get Started Today

Children have a unique and incredible ability to absorb new information, develop their neural pathways, and strengthen their compassion and empathy. By exposing your children to other cultures, teaching them to learn a new language, and celebrating multiculturalism in your community — you can help raise your child as a true global citizen. 

 

Little Pim's Easter Coloring Page [PRINTABLE]

Hop, hop, hop into a new language with Little Pim! Celebrate the upcoming Easter holiday by printing out this free Little Pim Easter Coloring Page for your little ones.

We’d love to see their finished creation, so please share your photo with us using the #littlepim on Instagram, Twitter, or tag us on Facebook! Also if you’re teaching your child a new language with Little Pim - Languages for Kids, post a photo or video of them watching our series and we’ll send you a free panda plush!

We hope you all have a fabulous Spring and Easter holiday for those celebrating!

If you’re interested in teaching your child a foreign language, take advantage of our Spring sale for 50% off your first 3 months of Little Pim’s Unlimited Subscription with code HOP50.

How To Use Little Pim Effectively

How To Use Little Pim Effectively

Congratulations on choosing the most effective method for introducing babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers to a second or third language at the time they learn best. The series is especially designed to take advantage of the critical window when young minds are hard-wired to learn up to three languages with ease, which is up to six years old.

Why Should My Child Learn a Foreign Language?

There are numerous benefits of learning a second language early in life. Children who are consistently exposed from a very young age to the sounds of a foreign language are more likely to achieve native or near-native fluency in adulthood and have a much easier time learning other languages later in life. Research shows that these children also tend to have stronger verbal, cognitive and analytical skills – giving them a head start in school.

Simply put, learning a second language boosts brain power, even if the child does not achieve total fluency.

2019 New Year Resolutions for Foreign Language Learners

With 2019 rapidly approaching, now is the time to think about resolutions that can help make your family's language-learning goals more attainable than ever. Check out these ideas, inspired by an article last year on Eurocentres.com-  

  • Spend an hour a week practicing speaking with a native speaker in the target language

  • Go out to eat and order a meal in a restaurant using the target language

  • Watch one foreign- language film every week (with or without subtitles!)

  • Keep a diary in the target language and write in it at least three times a week

  • Learn all of the lyrics of a favorite song in the target language

  • Read a book or news article in the target language on a scheduled basis (i.e. once daily or weekly)

We love these ideas as they would also be great for family-time together studying another language!

From all of us here at Little Pim, we wish you and your families the very best for a happy 2019! :)

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for your Little World Explorers

Photo by  freestocks.org  on  Unsplash

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

It’s hard to believe how quickly the holiday season has come and gone this year! For the last-minute gift, check out a few ideas for further cultivating your child’s love of learning using gifts to reinforce knowledge of other cultures and languages!

Books

As a non-native speaker in a few foreign languages, some of my favorite books are those that I can’t yet read to my children. Audiobooks that teach popular songs in a target language can be helpful for hearing pronunciation in a slow and repetitive fashion, while being catchy and sticking in one’s head. For older children, parents can also work together with them on translating the text. One great example is from a company who produces a variety of French books for young kids (their Christmas edition is Mes premières comptines de Noel - My First Christmas Stories [ French ] ). Each book typically has short snippets from six songs opposite colorful artwork.

Another company that has similar books has some in Spanish and will soon have some in Chinese. Or, for recommendations on music in a few other languages, check out this recent blogpost from Multicultural Kid Blogs on Christmas Music in Different Languages, which mentions some other audiobooks and CDs.

Activity books such as sticker books are another idea for young kids to learn about other cultures. There are some wonderful ones such as this one about Flags around the World.

Games

Growing up, one of my favorite games was a board game called Passport to the World, which had an talking airplane that would ask questions about the 7 continents, and whoever gathered a token from each continent first won the game. While that game is now a collector’s item, another item that appears to have a similar concept and would probably be good for older kids as well as adults is Passport to Culture.

For younger kids, options like bilingual versions of Scrabble or Bananagrams are often other great ideas and can encourage one to think in a foreign language.

Globes

I haven’t been able to purchase this toy globe yet myself, but another site recommended it and it sounds like a great idea for exposing children to foreign language and other countries- apparently it plays authentic music from 39 different areas around the world!

Other ideas

Integrating second language vocabulary while doing activities with your child, such as colors and shapes through arts and crafts or kitchen vocabulary while baking or cooking, can be wonderful ways to show the real world applicability of another language. Any product that can bring enhance a parent and child’s bonding is ultimately the best way to go!

For even more gift ideas, check out one of our previous blog posts all the way back from 2011, which has ideas even for babies under a year of age, as well as for adults who are looking to share their love of language with their children.

Best wishes for the happiest holidays from all of us here at Little Pim!

12 Days of Little Pim Giveaways - 2018

In the spirit of the holiday season, we're giving away Little Pim Digital Discovery Sets ($49.99 value) in your choice of 12 languages during our 12 Days of Giveaways event. The set includes your choice of Little Pim's award-winning foreign language videos available in 12 languages and our Little Pim Panda Plush. The videos are sent instantly to your email address and the Panda Plush will be mailed to you. 

You can enter to win a free Little Pim Digital Discovery Set up to three times per day by liking or sharing our post on our Facebook page, Instagram, or by retweeting our tweets on Twitter. Twelve lucky winners will receive the gift of a new language for their little ones this season.

Dad and boy with panda.jpg

The more your participate, the greater your odds of winning! Starting Saturday, December 14th, we will choose one lucky winner per day at midnight EST.

You can also enter the giveaway, by filling out the form below (limit three entries per day per household):

Check back here daily to see if you're one of the lucky winners. Winners will also be notified via email and/or social media. Comment below with any questions. Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

Day 1 Winner: Randi W. from Instagram

Need a last minute gift for kids? We've got you covered! Subscribe to get unlimited access to our 12 language learning programs designed for kids ages 0-6, plus NEW episodes & content when released. Shop Now >> www.littlepim.com - Little Pim Team

ENTER TO WIN A LITTLE PIM DISCOVERY SET

Fill out the form below for (1) entry per day and be sure to visit our social networks for additional entries to increase your chances to win!

Name *
Name

Fostering bilingualism for babies of monolingual parents

It is not uncommon that many monolingual parents want to give their children the opportunities they may not have had to learn a second language from an early age. Yet not being fluent in the target language themselves, they hesitate as they think they can't possibly be successful at achieving such a hefty goal. Some advise hiring a native speaker and letting them do all the work, but this is not always possible for a variety of reasons. What then, is the eager parent to do? Is it even worth thinking about?

Photo by  Sue Zeng  on  Unsplash

Photo by Sue Zeng on Unsplash

One study published last summer displayed that it is indeed possible for little ones from monolingual homes to successfully acquire a second language. The study reviewed a play-based curriculum in Spain that sought to teach English to children under age 3 using "parentese" or a speech technique commonly employed when speaking to babies through simple vocabulary terms in a high-pitched sing-song type voice. With an hour of English sessions a day in under 5 months, the children receiving this form of instruction had significant improvements compared to the control group in a standard bilingual program, producing over 5 times as many English words or phrases per child per hour compared to their peers. Follow-up testing months later again reinforced these results. The lead researcher concluded that even the youngest of children from monolingual homes can develop bilingual skills. 

“With the right science-based approach that combines the features known to grow children’s language, it is possible to give very young children the opportunity to start learning a second language, with only one hour of play per day in an early education setting,” Dr. Ramirez said. “This has big implications for how we think about foreign-language learning.”

Studies repeatedly display that the earlier a person learns another language, the easier it will be for them. No age is too young. Babies have a fantastic ability to learn, and, whether from a monolingual or bilingual environment, learning a second language is certainly possible!

Visit https://www.washington.edu/news/2017/07/17/bilingual-babies-study-shows-how-exposure-to-a-foreign-language-ignites-infants-learning/ for more information about this study and its significance for our children!

2018-2019 Best Homeschooling Program Award

AWARD-2018-Best.png

We’re delighted and honored to announce that we have won the Best Homeschooling Programs & Resources of 2018-19 award from HowToHomeschool.net. With hundreds of nominations and rigorous criteria to win, we’re deeply grateful for this recognition and remain committed to the homeschooling community for yet another year.

With the launch of our new online subscription, you receive unlimited access to all videos (both past and future) in 12 languages (currently 30+ hours of content), instructor guides, printable weekly lessons, and fun activities! Whether your child is studying a second language at home or school, consider a free 3 day trial to get started today!