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Unlocking the Power of Play, Curiosity, and Interactive Learning to Nurture Racial Literacy and Intercultural Competency in Children

Lucretia Berry  •  December 12 2023 

How do we practically nurture cultural competence and racial literacy, enabling open and developmentally-appropriate conversations about phenotype, race, culture, ethnicity, etc. that are essential for shaping positive attitudes, reducing biases, and fostering belonging in children without overwhelming them or us?

Research shows that the children are ready. 

But how do we create the conditions that nurture a generation that not only understands but actively shapes the world they live in?

We can begin by embracing and integrating the many effective ways that kids learn:

  • Play is essential for cognitive and social development. Through games and imaginative play, children can learn important skills and concepts.
  • Encourage Curiosity. Foster a child’s natural curiosity by encouraging them to ask questions and explore new ideas.
  • Hands-On, Interactive Activities make learning more enjoyable and practical and keep children engaged.
  • Exploration provides countless opportunities for learning about science, biology, and the environment.
  • Educational “Words to Know” introduce kids to a range of topics and spark their curiosity.
  • Drawing, Storytelling, and Creative Writing foster creativity and self-expression and enhance language and writing skills.
  • Critical Thinking through playing games and problem-solving.
  • Active Parental Involvement, parents showing interest, participating in their learning, and providing a structured environment that supports learning.
  • Adapt to Learning Styles such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.

We know all of this can seem overwhelming, so we have created and curated helpful resources that support how children (and we) learn!  

Designed to support instruction for preschool and elementary aged children, the LET’S LEARN ABOUT course helps learners develop positive, inclusive language and a framework for observing and describing skin tones and hair types while building empathy, respect, understanding and connection. The course has five lessons. Each lesson includes a recorded video read-aloud of a featured book, an activity, and a list of enrichment resources.

HUES OF YOU – An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You Are In  offers a smart and honest starting point to help kids, families, schools, and communities have natural, effective, and meaningful conversations that build connection and positive pathways regarding diversity within humanity. This activity book provides caregivers and kids an interactive, engaging, and developmentally-appropriate way to build understanding and appreciation around phenotype, culture, ethnicity and race. Divided into four main sections – Hues of You, Hues of Your Family, Hues of Your Ancestors, and Hues of Your Friends – each page gives kids space to explore their identity in a variety of social contexts, empowering them (and their adults) to openly recognize, embrace, and celebrate our multi-hued world.

GLOBAL GLORY CHASERS offers a curated exploration of books, recipes, music, dances, games, and video recommendations for you to learn about countries and cultures.  Global Glory Chasers is for the parent or educator who longs to make learning interesting and relevant for kids. Taste buds will be tantalized as kids are turned on to history and culture with these curated resources. Now more than ever we need to listen to one another’s stories, learn about our diverse histories, and engage in each other’s cultural traditions.

Peering through the windows of books, music, food, and cultural practices helps us not only understand our interconnectedness with our global neighbors, but also helps us develop a positive and belonging framework for how we see and experience the world. Through learning about our neighbors, we also grow to know ourselves. 

Nurturing and nourishing connections with the world broadens our perspectives and our horizons. Through a widened world view, we learn through our neighbors and grow in new ways. 

Add these resources to your toolkit to help shape positive attitudes, reduce biases, and foster belonging in children without overwhelming them or yourself! 

After all, the future is brighter when we bring these conversations out of the shadows and into the light. 


Lucretia carter berry
Lucretia Carter Berry, PhD, is a distinguished author, educator, and speaker, as well as the visionary founder of Brownicity, a nonprofit dedicated that fosters education designed to inspire a culture of true belonging and justice for all. Lucretia is also a valued contributor to incourage.me, sharing her insights and wisdom on topics of faith, resilience, and personal growth. Through her books, Teaching for Justice and Belonging – A Journey for Educators and Parents (2022), Hues of You – An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You Are In (2022), and What LIES Between Us – Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing (2016), her impactful TED Talk, and her commitment to building just communities, Lucretia encourages meaningful engagement that transcends boundaries, fostering personal development, resilience, and the transformative capacity within each of us.