This February, teach your kids about Black History Month with some fun crafts, books and ideas from Penfield Children's Center! Natasha Griffin and Katie Beckett from Penfield Children’s Center are here to share their ideas to celebrate the history and contributions of Black Americans this month.
Celebrate African American leaders with fun art projects for kids.
Garrett Morgan, is famous for one of his inventions we use every day – the stoplight! Make this cool stoplight craft with your little ones. In addition to teaching them history, this craft helps develop fine motor skills, color recognition, and shapes. Perfect for all the preschoolers in your life! Make sure to point out stoplights as you drive and ask your child if he remembers who invented them – it’s Garrett Morgan!
Read about African American leaders and culture:
· Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison
· The ABC’s of Black History Coloring Book
· Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke
Take this month to have meaningful conversations with your kids about race:
· Let children know it’s ok to ask questions and have open conversations about race.
· Allow children to share their feelings.
· Use age-appropriate words: Start by talking to children about their own personal experiences and then broaden the conversation to more general social issues.
· Write out your family values. Include information about fighting for equality and ask kids how they might work these values into their lives, even outside the home (ie. At school, on the playground, etc.)
· Keep talking. Just one conversation isn’t enough. Call out injustice when you see it and celebrate diversity every chance you get.
Make a black history collage at home:
Print out your favorite quotes by African American leaders, cut out pictures from magazines that celebrate African American music, food (find some delicious recipes), and culture. Paste all the pictures and quotes on a large sheet of paper and hang up in a prominent, well-trafficked area of your home. It’s important for little ones to learn about black history by using their senses. HEAR the music, TASTE new foods, SEE pictures of black leaders. A collage or idea board is a great way to inspire kids and adults.
Celebrate diversity throughout the year!
As a family, learn about holidays and cultures that are different from your own. Read books that celebrate diversity in race, country, ability and lifestyle. Teach children about what makes them unique and what makes others special as well.
For more great ideas for celebrating diversity with kids, visit the Kohl’s Building Blocks site, penfieldbuildingblocks.org