How to Turn Taco Night Into a Kids' Culture-Awareness Party
When your child asks 'what's for dinner?' and you say 'tacos,' how many times have you gotten an eye roll?
Okay, there must be a few kids out there, but not many. Most kids consider taco night a bright spot in their week.
And it takes minimal effort to make taco night even better. Poke a few toothpick flags of Mexico into the taco toppings or use colorful plates (get creative!), and voila! You've turned taco night into a cultural-awareness celebration!
We put together a simple list of more ways you can subtly weave 'cultural awareness' into household activities.
- Art - Start by giving your child a piece of paper and colored pencils (or crayons). Ask them to draw a diversity flower (or a train or whatever). This will give you a good sense of where they stand on diversity. Take it further. Origami? Sidewalk chalk art? Cardboard castles? Multicultural paper dolls? Just make sure their art has a 'global' theme. Check out these unique ideas for 'around the world crafts' for kids.
- Books - Create a family bookshelf and fill it with kids' books about other cultures. Common Sense Media is an outstanding resource for books (all reading levels) that promote diversity and inclusion.
- Language - Words like 'ketchup' that we use all the time actually originated from another language (Chinese). Try to call out the language that words like this come from. Here's a list of English words with foreign origins.
- Music - Play a game with the music of a foreign country playing in the background. Here's a link to one hour of free world music.
- Foreign travel - Don't worry - the Internet made this one free. Traveling to foreign countries (virtually) has gotten so realistic, it's almost like you're actually there. Here’s a collection of world tours for kids. You could also do a search on YouTube for 'virtual world travel for kids' - there are tons of choices.
- Food - Take taco night up a notch with miniature flag toothpicks and/or colorful plates. Let your kids decorate their food before they dig in. If they like the idea, ask them for suggestions for other international food (pizza, waffles, Chinese dumplings, etc.). Make it fun!
- Trivia - Lots of kids are captivated by weird facts. Hopefully facts from other countries will be equally fascinating. Here's a fun website with Q&A for world geography trivia.
- Clothes: Wear clothing from another culture (it doesn't have to be an entire outfit). Even when you're just wearing your robe, mention that American robes originated from Japanese kimonos. Or if you're wearing a raincoat/poncho - remember to call out South American waterproof clothing.
Any of the activities above will help your child learn more about different cultures. Get Creative! Make learning about world cultures fun!