Reading with children

a blog by Magic Tales

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Illuminating Rainbows: Sparking Your Child's Interest in Diversity Through Books

Nurturing the ideals of diversity and inclusivity in our children isn't just about raising politically correct individuals. It's about raising empathetic humans who will carry these values with them into the future, creating a world that is kinder, more accepting, and just. Here's how to pique your child's curiosity in the wonderful world of diversity through children's books and reading.
1. Choose the Right Books
First, it's important to expose your child to a variety of diverse authors and books with characters of different races, ethnicities, cultures, abilities and backgrounds. Books like 'The Colors of Us' by Karen Katz and 'We're Different, We're the Same' by Bobbi Kates are perfect examples. But don't just stop at racial and cultural diversity; choose books that also explore gender diversity, different family units, different abilities and more.
2. Deepen the Discussion
Simply reading diverse books to your child is a great first step. However, it's equally important to link conversations about diversity to these stories. Ask your child how they think the character might feel, or emphasize the shared traits and emotions between the character and your child. This promotes empathy and understanding.
3. Mix and Match the Formats
Opt for diverse formats in addition to print books. Graphic novels, audiobooks and e-books are an engaging change of pace and can make reading more exciting for kids.
4. More than Just Stories
Use diverse books as springboards for learning more about the cultures and experiences they depict. You size this opportunity to prepare dishes from the cultures in the books or perhaps visit cultural events. This way, your child will see diversity as a tangible, everyday reality.
5. Developing a Reading Habit
Inculcating a habit of reading is in itself a great way to expose your child to diverse perspectives. Don’t rush this process. Let your child take their time to develop a love for reading, which will ultimately open countless doors to diverse literature.
Diversity is not about filling quotas on our bookshelves; it's about incorporating stories that mirror the authentic, diverse world in which we live. By adding diverse books to your home library and using them as tools for meaningful discussion, you can help your child understand and respect the value of diversity.
Remember, a diversified mind is a beautifully cultivated mind!

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