Academic journal article Childhood Education

Making Cultural Connections through Ethnic Toys in the Classroom

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Making Cultural Connections through Ethnic Toys in the Classroom

Article excerpt

Early childhood teachers and educators in the state of Virginia have realized that multicultural education must be more than incorporating a week-long theme on Mexico or China. They have realized that multicultural awareness for young children needs to be naturally accomplished through play activities. Allowing children to play and grow in a multicultural environment that includes authentic toys will expose them to other cultures in a natural way. They also will develop a deeper respect and curiosity toward different cultures while they play with multicultural toys. This optimal learning environment helps children to develop aesthetic perceptions about different cultures.

In addition, they will appreciate both the diverse cultural heritages brought to the classroom by other students and their families, and being part of an increasingly pluralistic society. The ideal results will be less ethnocentrism, and improved intercultural consciousness and race relations. Multicultural exposure for young children starts by providing classrooms with toys and games from around the world. Teachers can make learning in this type of classroom child-initiated, making the experience more fun, interesting, and developmentally appropriate for young children. …

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