Fun Ways to Introduce Culture to Your Toddler

If there is anything I have learned over the past 30 years it is that culture shapes and influences us from very early on and practically never stops.  From the food you eat to the music you like – culture helps to create open-minded and just straight up awesome human beings.  Since toddlers are little mean learning machines, now is the time to begin this fun cultural introduction. But how, you ask! Well, let me tell you 🙂

Here are some ways to introduce culture to your toddler:

Language

language speach cloud

Learning more than one language has shown benefits to intelligence and memory, while also being the open door to new cultures. I mean really, what is better than a baby who knows more words than you do! My mom was a bit late on this choo choo train as she didn’t start introducing German to me until I was a kid. As a result, well, I can ask “Can I go to the Jager” and ” Can I get a shot of the toilet“. Not super impressive.

Fun Ways I Introduce Culture:

We read books in both English and German.
He enjoys educational shows such as Dora the Explorer.
I accidentally cuss in German a lot? That counts, right?

Food 

Mediterranean food for culture for toddler

Speaking of food, food is by far the most delicious way to introduce culture. Presenting different types of cuisine to children at a young age helps to expand their taste buds and curiosity for taste. However, you do not just wake up one day and crave Indian food without previously being exposed. If anything, the longer it takes to get familiarized the more likely you will be closed minded and negative towards the unknown food.  I believe food is a gateway to possessing an open mind, so the younger you can get them to try new food, the easier the next 18 years will be on everyone!

Fun Ways I Introduce Culture:

We often go out for something new and exciting like Korean BBQ or Thai.
He eats 5-star Kraft Mac and Cheese, so he fully understands American Culture.
I occasionally smear a teeny tiny amount of Vegemite on his toast because duhhh, he’s Australian!

Reading

Reading a book from Language Lizard

Books have to be one of the best ways of discovering culture. Whether it is a book of history, a book of religion or a book of that sexy Don Juan wearing nothing but a cloth wrapped around his waist.. oops, that one is for momma.

Babies are hard-wired to understand early reading, making it the perfect opportunity to squeeze in that culture. Reading books that combine both foreign language and English, like from Language Lizard, makes merging reading and language super easy and fun. Introducing culture to your toddler has never been easier!

 

Fun Ways I Introduce Culture:

We read together nightly as part of our bedtime routine.
He is constantly surrounded by books in his play area to read… well, and eat. Yeahhh.. he mostly eats them.
I always read restaurant menus to him as we both drool at the pictures.

Music

Music for culture and toddlers vinyl

Music and song are something we all love and integrate into our daily lives. Babies need music more than anyone as it helps shape their brain and even helps develop emotions.  Listening music with your little one will help bring you together and get their imagination to start running wild. It doesn’t matter if you have good taste in music or bad taste in music, just play it and play it often! Well, unless that music is Nickelback, of course. Don’t play that. Or I might have to call child services…

Fun Ways I Introduce Culture:

We listen to a new classic vinyl during each meal.
We sing Raffi together every morning to start our day.
I scream out all the wrong lyrics to Justin Bieber while driving in the car…Yeah, this one is mostly me 🙂

Dance

Dancing as a form of culture ballet

Whether it is the polka or swing or Riverdance, dancing with your baby not only gets them laughing but gets them understanding music and movement. Their movement will most likely be pretty rough. For example,  my son’s best move is… what’s that called again? Oh yeah, FALLING! But at least he falls in new ways with each dance. So besides the normal nursery rhyme dances, get up and get moving with your baby and lead them into the exploration of her own movements.

Fun Ways I Introduce Culture:

We have weekly walks to listen to live music and tushies off!
He tries to make up his own moves while listening to the radio.
I show him a bunch of my old dance team moves because well…he has no choice!

For Kids Mother Baby Travel Cute Lovely Daughter

Getting your little one out into the world is great to introduce them to culture and so much more.  It fuels curiosity and awareness of new things. It gets them out of the house and into that travel stroller you have been waiting to use.  New environments that will stimulate their brains in ways watching Barney never can. Introduce them to a train ride, a hike, new people, interesting food, a new language.  By traveling with toddlers and getting out in the world,  they get to experience the very best of all these aspects of culture.

Fun Ways I Introduce Culture:

We adore hitting the road for weekend getaways.
He loves experiencing new gardens and hiking trails.
I am currently planning our first international trip!

Want to start reading different languages to your little one? Click here for 10% off Language Lizard Gift Certificates used for bilingual books in over 50 languages!

This post is part of a sponsored program with Language Lizard. I received a free product in exchange for my thoughts on the books.  This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsor and mine alone.

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