February gives homage to Black History. This is a time to enhance your children’s knowledge about the vast accomplishments of African American people who paved the way for current and future generations. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and recognition of their central role in U.S. history. Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. This year’s Black History Month theme is “Black Health and Wellness,” which explores the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other roles such as doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc. A month to learn, acknowledge and celebrate!
Black History Month Activities for Kids
Here is a range of Black History Month activities for kids that can be done with children from pre-K on up through the upper years of elementary school.
Take a Virtual Field Trip
Visit the Slavery and Making of America Museum, a virtual museum created with donations from a number of members of the Association of African-American Museums. The free “field trip” includes resources for kids to make their own virtual museum exhibits.
Or head to the New York Public Library — virtually of course — where exhibits from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem are free to browse and introduce kids to historic figures from Nat Turner to Emmett Till.
Do the books at home reflect the faces of the children and youth in your child(rens) classroom and the people in your community? These powerful books are perfect to celebrate Black authors and Black stories.
- I Am Enough by Grace Byers – This beautiful story from Grace Byers is all about loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to each other.
- Skin Like Mine by Latashia M. Perry – Latashia gives us a heartfelt story about appreciating everyone regardless of their skin color. This is a lighthearted way of breaking down the barrier when talking about different skin tones and loving the body you were given!
- Teammates by Peter Golenbock – Peter Golenbock brings us the moving story about Jackie Robinson and part of his journey on becoming the first Black Major League baseball player.
- The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson – Jacqueline tells us a story of two young girls – one black and one white – who, despite the barrier of a fence and the ‘grown-ups’, manage to develop a strong friendship.
For more books, check out Marley Dias’ expansive list of 1,000 Black Girl Books featuring Black girls front and center. Dias was just 11 when she created the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive, collecting books for schools while also bringing attention to the importance of including Black girls in literature and the lack of diversity in children’s books.