Celebrating Black History Month with Kids
February is Black History Month, and we want to help provide fun family activities to celebrate and explain the importance of honoring black history to your children.
“African American history is American history, and when kids understand the fuller picture of history, it will also help them understand the fuller picture of today. That said, Black History Month is a perfect time to bring young children into the conversation.” -Parents.com
Why is Black History Month Celebrated in February?
Historian Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, established Negro History Week to promote the accomplishment and achievements of Black people in 1926. The week he chose was the week of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Negro History Week has expanded to become an observation and celebration throughout the month of February.
Activities to do with Kids:
- Make a handprint heart: Pick up some construction paper in different skin tones and trace your child’s hand multiple times. Cut a heart out of butcher paper and glue the different shaded hands on the butcher paper as a wreath to celebrate diversity. Preschool Lessons – Sandbox Academy
- Experiment with eggs: This is a great experiment for younger children. Gather two eggs, one brown and one white. Crack the eggs open, and children will see they are the same on the inside, regardless of their color on the outside. Mom Loves Best – Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby Information
- Create a collage: Allow your children to cut out pictures of black inventors and paste them onto a posterboard. Look into the inventor your child picks out and do some research together. Afterwards, you and your child can cut out more objects and put them near related inventor.
- Cook a special meal together: Do some research for meals that come from predominantly black countries like Hitti, Jamaica, South Africa and Nigeria. Look5 at a map and discuss where specific spices from. Create a list and grocery shop together, while you cook and eat, discuss the history of the dishes.
- Read a book that celebrates black history:
- Carter Reads the Newspaper by Deborah Hopkinson
- A is for All the Things You Are by Anna Forgerson Hindley
- Come Look With Me: Discovering African American Art for Children by James Haywood Rolling, Jr.
- A Child’s Introduction to African American History by Jabari Asim
- I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James
- Undefeated By Kwame Alexander
- Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson
- Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson
- Watch a series together:
- Cue up the online read-aloud videos from Sankofa Read Alouds on YouTube
- View the Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices series on Netflix
- Watch Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum on PBS, especially the episodes on George Washington Carver, Zora Neale Hurston, Jackie Robinson, Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, Wilma Rudolph, Arthur Ashe, Jesse Owens, and Ella Fitzgerald.
If you have questions on how to talk to your children about racism, read our blog “Talking to your Kids about Racism”