Children can start noticing differences in the appearance of others at a very young age as they typically gravitate to others who look like mom, dad, or people that they see regularly. Teaching children about cultural and racial differences should also start from a very early age. As toddlers and preschool-aged kids, they can learn about important concepts like diversity and treating people equally.
Depending on the area that you live in, your child may not be exposed to a variety of skin colors, cultures, and ethnicities. Showing them books, television shows, or movies with other children of different colors will help them to understand that there are many people with different features that make them all unique and beautiful.
Here are a variety of books that help bridge the divide of racial diversity and let children understand how to be inclusive of one another, celebrate each others differences, and treat everyone with kindness and respect no matter what they look like. These books are especially good for toddlers and preschool-aged children as they are light-hearted and easy to understand.
One Big Heart celebrates all the differences every individual has and the uniqueness it brings to all of us. It instills the act of acceptance and unity among children everywhere.
Shades of People is a simplistic book teaching littles ones about skin color and that what’s inside is all that matters. I love that it uses real peoples faces so toddlers can truly understand the differences in real life.
We’re Different, We’re the Same uses your child’s favorite Sesame Street characters to celebrate our differences, but shows that on the inside, we’re really the same.
All Kinds of People is a simplistic book that will show your toddler pictures of real people and the differences in their skin color, but demonstrates how we can still all come together as one.
Whoever You Are urges us to accept our differences, to recognize our similarities, and-most importantly-to rejoice in both. Every day all over the world, children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. They may not look the same. They may not speak the same language. Their lives may be quite different. But inside, they are all alike. Stirring words and bold paintings weave their way around our earth, across cultures and generations.
Strictly No Elephants is a beautiful story that displays a gentle message of including all and helping others when you can.
All Are Welcome shows children of all different colors, races, and ethnicities in their school and lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.
In Chocolate Me, the boy is teased for looking different than the other kids. His skin is darker, his hair curlier. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is.
It’s OK to be Different teaches kids that we all have differences and that’s what makes us beautiful and unique. Embrace each other’s differences and always show kindness to everyone.
Say Hello describes a little girl walking through her neighborhood and greeting people of all different colors and races. She learns to say hello in all different languages, showing children that all people speak and look differently, but to be kind to them all.
We can easily do our part in teaching our young children about diversity, acceptance, and love. The conversation should start as young as toddlers and can be brought up as they head through preschool and beyond.
Enjoy talking about diversity with your children and the wonderful insight and awareness that it can bring for your family and the community as a whole.