How Play Rugs Can Be Used To Teach About Inclusion
Tue, Apr 06, 2021
Main image: @sarahtreed
By Cameron Eittreim
We live in a bright, colorful, and diverse world. For our children, this means that making friends and having fun comes in all shapes and sizes. You don’t want to raise your children with a monochrome view of the world, and as such teaching inclusion at an early age will prevent headaches later on in life. Inclusion can mean several things, from incorporating gender-neutral toys into playtime to learning about sharing. Boys and girls should be able to play together without the fear of being bullied or discriminated against. Racially diverse dolls show that the world is not one-sided, and they can teach your children about inclusivity early on.
Start With The Play Rug
To show your children that there is a world beyond our front door, you have to teach them to look beyond themselves. A play rug is a great way to start the process of teaching this in an easy manner that young minds can understand. Play rugs lay the foundation for what you want to teach your children. You can create inclusive towns, teach sharing and make the point of what inclusion should be. Young children don’t learn at the same pace as an adult, but a play rug can be a great way to lay everything out.
The IVI World Mini City play rug is perfect for doing just this, it teaches children a foundation for playing town and inclusion all in one. Of course, you’ll want to help your child set up their little city on the rug and have it laid out well. The accessories that you add to your play rug make a difference too, and this is where the inclusive dolls come in. You want to make sure that you are accurately representing all genders and races. You don't want to just have your children playing to where they will see a one-sided view of the world.
What is Inclusive Play?
Inclusive play means that every child will feel just as important as the other. Whether they suffer from special needs, have a problem with their hearing, or look different from the others. Inclusive play doesn’t have to be something that we fear about teaching, it can be fun and educational at the same time. You just want your children to be able to differentiate between fair treatment and something wrong. Understanding the difference between the wrong behavior and the right is not hard to teach with these tools.
You don’t want to start inclusivity teaching late in the game, the earlier the better. Toddlers are like a sponge they learn all kinds of information. Likewise the same can be said for introducing different dolls into the play area. You need to take the time to choose dolls that represent all walks of life, and you’ll see that teaching the child is a lot easier. Adding a multiracial and multicultural spectrum to your child's toy box will introduce them to an entirely new walk of life where they will have an appreciation for the other person.
Games and imaginative play
Reflecting on my childhood I can remember playing outside for hours and using my imagination, the same thing came when I played inside. Understanding the roles of different people such as doctors and police officers helped me to shape my town. Imaginative playtime will allow your children to experiment with different roles in the world. Maybe they want to be a doctor, and the next day they could be the patient.
It doesn’t take any time at all to set up an imagination-focused playroom that will cultivate creativity. Reading alongside the playtime also helps to ferment these positive thoughts in their heads. The evergreen style of natural learning makes for a natural progression to understanding right and wrong. Creating a conversational place where children and parents can interact together and learn about issues like race and equality. Imaginative playtime can do this and make the process a lot easier than you’d think.
Why Is Inclusive Play Important?
Well, as you know we don’t all live in a bubble. Unless you are going to shelter your child from the world there are real-world issues that are going on daily. It's never too young to teach your children about compassion and caring for everyone. Laying the foundational building blocks for understanding that no one gender or color is superior to the other. You have to be willing to trust the intelligence of your children, while at the same time giving them space to ingest all of the new information that you are throwing at them.
Inclusive play doesn’t just happen overnight, but it is a process that will take a bit of time. You’ll learn that you can teach them about being inclusive in a safe and friendly manner. Play rugs are a welcoming place where you can do this. Sort of natural ground for what the children will learn and expect when they get to grade school. As parents, we know that we will never be the world's best teachers, but learning how to adapt and teach our children is the most important thing that you can do.
Most Of All Have Fun!
The world is such a serious place, so don’t take teaching your children anything too seriously. Young children should expect to have a fun experience with mom and dad, not just a cold learning session every time. Again, this is why a play rug is such a nice tool to have because you can teach your children the finer aspects of learning about being inclusive. Life isn’t a box of chocolates, but it's also not as bad as some portray it to be. We can shower our children with love and acceptance at an early age and they will blossom later on in life.
Incorporating a fun experience into the learning session will make the process of teaching much easier. No matter which play rug you lay down, you’ll know that it's a safe, clean environment to teach your children all of the pressing issues. Thus, setting them up for a healthy and happy school time and laying the foundational building blocks for the rest of their lives. Enjoy teaching your children and remember that the most important aspect of teaching is to have fun and enjoy the time that you have together. They only stay small for a minuscule amount of time, and then poof they are out the door.