How to foster global citizenship in young kids

Do your students understand what it means to be part of an international community? Bringing a worldly perspective to your lessons or daily activities can nurture empathy, respect, and cross-cultural awareness. Here are a few ideas for fostering global citizenship in kids of all ages:  

Understand the importance of global citizenship 

Being a global citizen is far more than just collecting travel stories. It’s about being cognizant of the larger world around you and knowing the importance of learning about communities other than your own. In this learning activity, students will conduct research and watch videos on global citizenship before creating a collage to reflect on what it means to be part of an interconnected society.

Explore different cultures 

Younger students may have a harder time understanding what it means to be a citizen of the world, but you can still invite them to research their own cultural backgrounds and learn about others. This lesson plan is a good place for kids to explore different nationalities and traditions.

Outside of academic settings, you can help children embrace diversity and expand cultural awareness by introducing them to food, toys, music, and books from around the world. Creating additional opportunities to learn about diversity and inclusion in everyday activities can promote inclusive behaviors and a global citizenship mindset!

Travel the world at home 

Though traveling is a straightforward way to gain firsthand exposure to diverse cultures, it can be inaccessible. Fortunately, you don’t need to plan an elaborate or expensive vacation to an international destination for children to expand their worldview! These six travel activities allow students to discover the world around them without having to leave their desks.

Additionally, try expanding your kids’ horizons by exploring neighborhoods of various heritages in your hometown! Visit your city’s Chinatown, attend a cultural festival, or tour the museum to become immersed in diverse traditions and customs.

Study another language 

Knowing a second language can undoubtedly be extremely helpful for engaging and communicating with people across cultures. On top of not having to worry about a language barrier, kids will also enjoy the many cognitive benefits of learning another language.

Although achieving fluency can be difficult, any amount of exposure to a foreign language can be beneficial and rewarding. Through the process of learning a new language, students will begin to empathize with immigrants and other language learners. Get started with’s foreign language worksheets—perfect for mastering the basics of Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, and more! 

Looking for more K-8 global citizenship educational resources? Check out’s Learning Library!