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under5s - Multicultural Resources on a budget!
In the National Standards for Childminders it states "The registered person and staff actively promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice for all children." 

One way of insuring this is by providing a range of activities that help children appreciate and value each others similarities and differences, and by providing resources which reflect our culturally diverse society, but how can we do it on a budget?

Providing multicultural resources is not just about providing books for children which reflect different cultures, displaying a welcome poster in several different languages, or by having a box just for inspections, containing a range of 'suitable' items. It is about providing everyday items and images that the children enjoy looking at and playing with.

The Wider environment

Check out what is happening in your local community, in the last few months we have had an international food market, a street parade, and a forest open day complete with Indian Tepee. What is planned in your area? 

Perhaps you could visit a local place of worship, look at a display or spot the street lights of divali, or invite someone in to your setting to tell you about their national costume or traditional foods?

Do you provide snacks/meals for the children?

Here is a great opportunity to experience different cultures, you can introduce different types of bread to make snacks, cook recipes from different cultural backgrounds, eat with chop sticks, sit cross legged on the floor to eat, or  introduce more unusual foods.

Take a closer look around the supermarket, you can purchase Naan bread, pitta bread, Chinese prawn crackers, tortillas and so much more. The packages often show different languages and can be used to make your very own supermarket, and trying different foods is a great way of finding out about each others likes and dislikes.
Crafts

Craft activities are a great way of reflecting different cultures, and the Internet holds a wealth of information and ideas waiting for you to discover, you can make crafts for a particular occasion such as a red envelope for Chinese New Year, or candles for Hanukkah.

My favourites include:

Music

Singing songs is also a relatively cheap way of celebrating other cultures - children love singing and quickly learn the words, by learning a 'new' song, they have something to take homes and share with their families, and that helps build their confidence and self esteem.

For ideas check out Mama Lisa's web site, as this will help you start your repertoire, or if you need help with the tunes, maybe the underfives shop can help.

Books

If your budget is limited, why not use the resources of your local library, many have dual language books, big books, audio books and more, which you can borrow on a special pre-school or childminders card. 

An excellent multicultural Internet book shop can be found at :http://www.willesdenbookshop.co.uk/
 

Toys

Providing multicultural toys really depends on your budget, but have you considered...

  • Looking for resources when your are on holiday, bring a children's book home showing that country's language, or visit a toy shop and bring home a authentic toy. 
  • Visiting Chinese and Asian supermarkets and seeing what they have. 
  • Charity shops, particularly in areas that are cultural diverse. 
  • Talking to parents - have they something which they can share, or would like to talk about. 
  • Provide material scraps in the dressing up box, that could become anything. 
  • Supplementing your toys with small world people reflecting different backgrounds. 
  • Making a scrap book with the children. 
  • Borrowing resources from your local toy Library 
Providing the children with a multicultural foundation and fulfilling this standard is probably easier than you think...

Helen Renouf 
Accredited Network Childminder.

under5s - Multicultural Resources on a budget!
home > Multicultural Resources on a budget!