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10 Things To Teach Young Children On International Women’s Day

At Kidz Kabin we think every culture, every gender, every type of person is worth learning about. So for International Women’s Day we thought we’d recommend 10 ways to teach young children about some of the best women in history and great things about women in general.


1 – Teach them about lots of strong, brave women.


Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and a writer. She was the first female aviator or aircraft pilot to fly solo – that’s all on her own –  across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross for doing this. How amazing to be able to want to fly across the sea all by herself and then to be smart enough and brave enough to do it?! There are lots of very cool women to teach your kids about from Michelle Obama or Malala to Queen Elizabeth I, Serena Williams, Emmeline Pankhurst, Coco Chanel, Jane Austen, Rosa Parks and many more…

2 – Football


It might sound crazy but football is something that is often seen as being “for boys” but there are real fitness benefits and teamwork skills to be learned from this popular game at such a young age. When girls and boys are split up for fitness, the great divide begins. Getting boys used to seeing girls play football is also a good thing too! It’s good for health, good for coordination and good for socialising. What’s not to like?!

3 – The book Zog by Julia Donaldson (suitable from age 2)


In this book, the main character Princess Pearl doesn’t want to just be a pretty Princess – she wants to be a doctor. This book challenges the assumptions of what girls can want to be and is good to read to your child however they identify in their own gender.

Other books you might want to read are Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The WorldGoodnight Stories for Rebel Girls (also suitable for boys) and books by Andrea Beaty such as Rosie Revere, Engineer or Ada Twist, Scientist.

 

4 – The classic film Mary Poppins (currently being remade – watch out for the updated version!)

 

Lots of us remember marching around singing “Well done! Sister suffragette!” but not really knowing what it means. So why not tell them? Tell them that women wanted to make their voices heard, not just by singing loudly but by getting to have a say in how the whole country is run! And then teach them the lyrics. “Our daughter’s daughters will adore us, and they’ll sing in grateful chorus…”

5 – Toys and dressing up can be for anyone

 

Girls can play with toys in the “boys” section of the toy shop and boys can play with toys that have the colour pink on them. The idea that boys only want to play with cars and girls only want to play with dolls is nonsense and is actually something that happens because those are the toys they are given. At Kidz Kabin we share all the toys and we see boys rocking babies and girls zooming trucks around. Some things might be nature, but this one is definitely nurture.

This original lego advert might have put the kids in gender stereotyped colours but they’re showing that lego is for anyone.

6 – British Values in Early Years Education

 

One part of Early Years education is learning about British values and the government’s initiative called Duty to Prevent. These values are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Part of supporting their learning could be introducing them to how different cultures value and see girls and what different opportunities and roles they could have as they grow up.

 

7 – Consent

 

It’s been a big topic in the media lately that consent is something that isn’t taught or understood very well and there are ways to start teaching this early on. Not every kid wants lots of affection all the time. There might be some relatives or friends your child isn’t as comfortable with. Rather than insisting that they have to have kisses and cuddles when they don’t want them, maybe let them know they have autonomy and ownership over their body. Let them get comfortable with the idea of being asked if Great Auntie Susan can have a cuddle before she goes in for it. Teach them that it’s ok to say “No thank you, not right now.” If this is framed well and respected by the adults around them, it could give children much more confidence in their relationship with their body in later life.

 

8 – Talk PANTS: Pantosaurus 

 

The NSPCC has released this fun video and campaign to keep our children safe and strong. I’ll let Pantosaurus do the talking…well, singing for himself.

9 – Creativity

Similar to encouraging girls to explore their adventurous sporty side, let your boys explore their creativity. Expressing yourself whatever your gender is beneficial in developing personality, identity and emotional awareness. Whether it’s art or making up stories, music or playing make believe games, engaging with creativity and their own imaginations has been shown to prepare children better for dealing with unexpected situations and developing their ability to empathise with others due to emotional maturity.

10 – Teach them about surprising role models

 

Men who are nurses or care workers, women who are CEOs – show your kids that even though some people might say that cooking is for women, the majority of chefs in the restaurant and TV cooking businesses are male. Encourage them to look for their own role models and see who they admire and why.

Ok this man plays a nurse but he’s from Grey’s Anatomy so that has to be worth something.
This is Kharma / Awesome Kong and she is a very real wrestler.

Above all, listen to your child when they tell you who they are and what they need. By listening to them and hearing them, we teach our children to go out into the world and take that quality and value with them. We teach respect and understanding. When trying to build more equal opportunities for our children – be that job options and equal pay for women or expression and equal parenting engagement for men, the best way forward is to listen and learn from other people’s experiences and hear them with compassion.

 

Happy International Women’s Day from Kidz Kabin!

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