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14 Ways to Focus on Culture

Adopted Children and Their Roots

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Take time to get to know all about your adopted or foster child's homeland and culture. Celebrate and embrace the differences in your family.

Here are some ideas to help you get started on this wonderful growing experience.

  1. One day a month have a special dinner that would be a traditional meal in your child's home country. Check out these resources:

  2. Seek out and celebrate holidays that are significant to his/her culture. For example, in Russia May 9th is Victory Day which is very similar to our Veteran's Day.

  3. Learn a new language! Growing up I had a friend who was Polish. His family had a rule that while at home only Polish was spoken. This was one of the ways his family was able to keep their culture alive. There are many videos to help kids learn languages and make it fun as well as games, books, and flashcards. Don't know how to get started?

  4. Display maps of the country in his/her rooms or their country's flag. How about a collection of dolls in traditional dress? Art? Make culture something they see every day.

  5. Learn through a neat Web site called Multicultural Education Through Miniatures. Here you will find pictures of dolls dressed traditionally, stories to go with the dolls and will learn how the dolls were made.

  6. Game night! Play games from his/her country. Great for family bonding and a wonderful way to learn.

  7. Create crafts that are symbols of home. At Christmas time try this book - Christmas Crafts from around the World - reviewed by the Family Crafts Guide.

  8. Read bedtime stories that are folk tales common to their area. Try these stories -
    Cultural Bedtime Stories for Interracial Adoptive/Foster Families

  9. Our daughter always enjoyed singing before bedtime. Her favorites were Old McDonald or songs from Sunday school. Consider learning a song or two that is popular for children to sing from their country. Play music that is popular in his/her country during nap or quiet times.

  10. Lean about animals from his/her country. Make a picture book for the child. If the child is old enough he/she could create their own books. Cut out pictures or draw your own.

  11. Make a book about his/her country. You could include a picture of the flag, map of the country, picture of the leaders, or common animals.

  12. Join a group of adoptive families who have adopted from your child's country as well.

  13. Visit museums and libraries to learn more about your child's birth country.

  14. Plan a family vacation back to your child's homeland. Read about Madhu's trip back home to India with his adoptive mom.

To find information for any of the above projects see Interracial Families for links to different countries.

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