Children are people in development. As adults, educators and parents, it is our duty to provide them with a safe and sensible world in which to grow up safely and happily. With this in mind, let’s look at some resources to explain peace to children.
Peace is a concept that may seem foreign to the young mind of a child. So how can you concretely define it for them? Perhaps it is a state of social stability and balance. Or maybe something that arises when different groups work together harmoniously. Other experts consider it the absence of war, violence and inequality.
Means to explain peace to children
A large part of society is very aware of the benefits that a culture of peace offers for our coexistence. If we want this to stay that way, it is important that children make this their own, the sooner the better.
Peace is a guarantee of personal and social harmony. Through peace, we create an environment in which violence can be prevented and conflicts resolved through instruments such as dialogue.
If this peace education begins in the family and extends to the school, we can raise balanced children and adolescents who are able to overcome emotional and social conflicts. We will create a very valuable “fire extinguisher” when faced with episodes of risk and violence, such as cyberbullying and bullying.
To this end, all activities related to peace are of great importance. Values education is fundamental to continue moving towards a more balanced and peaceful society.
Children usually enjoy playing things out and feeling like they are on stage. Both at home and in the classroom, you can take the stage for something we call “conflict theatre”.
For this activity, improvise a simple scene and imagine a list of common conflicts between children. This could be an argument over toys, the last bite eaten by an older sibling, or the disagreement between parents who have to work and children who want to play.
Once you have envisioned the conflict, it must be acted out on the (improvised) stage by a group of children to identify it. Once identified, they discuss and debate the emotions generated by the conflict and the best way to respond peacefully.
Cooking can be an excellent means of explaining to children how to achieve peace, as confrontations can arise when it comes time to decide how to cook something.
One way to “symbolically cook” is to organize the ingredients. For example, to make a cake, you need certain ingredients and others don’t. We can link a different concept to each ingredient.
Here’s an example. To make a cake, you don’t use salt, so you associate this product with the term “violence,” for example. However, you do use eggs, so you associate this ingredient with the term “respect”. Continue until you have a list of products, both used and unused.
When you’re done, invite the kids to choose the elements you’ll use to make a peace cake. That way they will discover what the corresponding values are.
Here’s another way to explain peace to children. Reading stories, both classical and modern, is a useful exercise in this case.
Once they’ve chosen a story, it’s a good idea to read it out loud for everyone to hear. Then you can start a conversation about it in which the children can express their opinion, analyze it and discover the values that are conveyed in the story.
All these means of explaining peace to children are useful and necessary to create a peaceful world and a positive environment in which they can develop happily and safely.