Circle Time: Diversity & Inclusion

Circle Time: Diversity & Inclusion

Circle Time: Diversity & Inclusion

PlanToys Circle Time: Diversity & Inclusion

We are lucky to live in a world of individuals. Like all organisms on Earth, humans are constantly changing as we grow and learn. As our minds and hearts expand, we learn what is most important to us and how to express it. Being different is part of being human. 
For this Circle Time session, we discuss the beauty of diversity & inclusion and how you can help children relate to and embrace others, regardless of their background, lifestyle, or appearance. This blog is meant to help guide adults to introduce this topic in a way that children can relate to it.


Understanding Diversity & Inclusion


Diversity:

Diversity is a range of differences, not all which are visible. It runs through ethnicity, gender identity, physical ability, religious values, language, social and family dynamics, and more. Diversity spans beyond physical appearance. When we discover more about people on the inside, it's an opportunity to learn and make connections.

Inclusion:

Inclusion starts with understanding people and refraining from forming opinions based on someone's appearance. As people, we all have different perspectives and navigate the world differently, yet we all share a desire to be safe, comfortable, and welcome.

An inclusive community is a group of supportive individuals that can contribute their perspectives and experiences to the community without judgement. By retaining inclusion in our communities, we teach children acceptance, empathy, awareness, and the benefits of community building. 

Embracing Differences



Children are receptive to any concept, no matter how complex it can seem.  Nature and animals are great ways to introduce more in-depth concepts and make them more relatable. 

Introduce the topic of diversity with children by taking a child on a walk through nature and identifying all the different trees, animals, and bugs, and what makes their differences essential for the health and beauty of their ecosystems. 

Incorporate some of a child's favorite toys to talk about nature and animals that aren't local to your area. 

Sea Life Set - 12M+

Oceans are one of the most diverse places on the planet. Unlike land, there are not many barriers that can separate species from one another.

 Animal Set - 3Yrs+

Explore the wilderness with a variety of animals, habitats, and trees.

Farm - 3Yrs+

Farms consist of various animals that work hard to support their farm and community.

Gardening Set - 3Yrs+

There are over 400,000 different types of flowers in the world. Their beauty makes them attractive to many organisms, serving as their main food source.

Plant different flowers in your backyard. As they grow, note their differences and learn their benefits.


Community Engagement


How To Incorporate Diversity Into Your Child's Routine:

  • Children are incredibly perceptive. Encourage them that it's normal to notice differences and the positive aspects.
  • Educate children on the types of questions they can ask. Keep them appropriate and open-ended to grow the conversation rather than closing it.
  • Incorporate lessons and activities surrounding diversity & inclusion into a child's standard curriculum at school and at home. Work with teachers and other caregivers to obtain the resources you need.
  • Get involved in your community to find local events to attend as a family to celebrate different cultures. Contact the community board if you notice a need for it.
  • Visit your local library to read books on diversity.
  • Engage in storytelling to begin or navigate more thoughtful topics. The following PlanToys can help spark conversation:

 Storytelling Dice - 3-99Yrs+

Part of the Better Aging Series, this game is designed to bring generations together to form bonds by creating new stories, or learning about someone's true stories with illustrative dice and figurines to help with story building and recalling memories.

Build A Face - 3-99Yrs+

 

Part of the Better Aging series, this activity helps children and adults practice facial recognition and identify different physical features in people. The face is two-sided which offers two different skin tones.

Beaver Tumble - 3-99Yrs+

Another game in the Better Aging series, Beaver Tumble is not only fun, but it's an inviting way to get people thinking and talking. Take turns pushing the log out of each side, all while introducing a new concept or practicing speech and listening skills.

 

Be An Advocate  


Children can identify when someone is hurt and show compassion at the earliest age of 2. Talk with children about how they can identify discrimination and wrongdoing and as a community, what we can do to keep it out.
  • Find out who your child feels safe talking to at home and outside the home. Remind them that their feelings and experiences are valid and they have a safe outlet to express themselves and report something they believe to be wrong.
  • Give relatable examples of how they can¬†identify when someone is hurt either emotionally or physically.¬†
  • Help them identify a pattern that could be unjust, ex: being chosen for soccer at recess every day.
  • Discuss events that have happened in the media and what actions were taken to relieve¬†the situation.
  • Remain calm and talk to children in a safe¬†and quiet space.

 

Show Compassion & Love For Others

Practice compassion in your everyday life and children will follow your lead. Remind them of the joy they are capable of spreading, and the importance of expressing it as often as they feel comfortable. 

  • Be a model for positive action.¬†Stay aware¬†and offer help when someone is in need without waiting for them to ask for it. Offer comforting words, or words of inspiration to those around you.
  • Inspire children to meet new people and learn about them. Notice details that can help spark conversation such as a character on someone's¬†backpack¬†or what they enjoy eating for lunch. More times than not, we can¬†find something we have in common with each other.
  • Help children identify when they can make a positive difference in someone's day. Think about ways in which you can approach a classmate that plays independently or is not often included in group activities.
  • Get creative! Express your feelings for someone or send encouraging words through letters or drawings. Need some inspiration? Follow this tutorial on how to make a unique card for someone special or someone¬†in need of a smile.¬†

Below are helpful resources to help you and your family navigate diversity & inclusion. We encourage you to continue self-educating through trusted sources and speak directly to an educator or child expert to suit your family's needs. Below are a few of the sources we looked to when compiling this information: 

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