“When history is taught in a way that is balanced, honest and inclusive, everyone gets to see themselves as worthy and important.” — AYANNA GREGORY
This month is nationally recognized as Black History Month, a time devoted to learning and discovering accomplishments of African Americans throughout our history. It is a great time to introduce and include the little ones in your own exploration of history. Here are some suggested activities or resources to use:
Start with an understanding of the concept:
If your children are younger and may not have been introduced to the concept of Black History Month, talk to them about what this month is meant to honor. Check out this video by PBS Kids or this article by National Geographic Kids to help start the conversation!
Honor the beauty of different skin colors:
Anyone with sight, including kids, can see that humans comes in all shapes, colors and sizes. We are all different; if we all looked, thought, and acted the same, this world would be a pretty boring place. But having diversity is what makes the world such a beautiful place. Sandbox Academy has some creative ways to help kids honor the beauty of our different skin tones.
Research based on your child’s interests:
The best way for a child to learn something new is to learn it through something they are already interested in. Do they love baseball, space science, art? Hone in on their interest and then research how African Americans have influenced, contributed to or broken glass ceilings in these areas. Find books, online information or simple videos about these historical figures. National Geographic Kids has a great place to start with their collection of African American Heroes.
Find age-appropriate books that honor African Americans:
When in doubt… read! Whether it is a picture book, a chapter book, a book of poetry or a novel, find an age-appropriate book and read it with your kids. Have discussions, talk about what you learned, what you see and why it’s important. Here are some books by age range:
- Hidden Figures: The true story of four black women and the space race (picture book) by Margot Lee Shetterly
- The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
- I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer
- Under the Same Sun by Sharon Robinson
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
- Family Education 25 must read books for Black History Month
*Ages 9 – 14
- Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford
- Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
- The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes
- The Gold Cadillac by Mildred Taylor
- Through my Eyes – Ruby Bridges
- 12 Engaging Books to Read During Black History Month (or any time of the year!)
- March: Book One by John Lewis
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- For Every One by Jason Reynolds
- Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson
Something for the littles:
If your children are on the younger side, check out these Black History Month free coloring printables by Classroom Doodles.
Looking for more ways to celebrate Black History with your kids. This article from Parents.com How to Celebrate Black History Month with Your Kids, has great ideas along with links to all the activities!