Black History Month isn’t over yet folks! And if you haven’t taken the time to at least talk to your children about what Black History Month is and why it is so important, I encourage you to do so. And please don’t think that this is something that only Black or African American children need to learn about because it isn’t. I truly believe that children of all racial backgrounds need to gain knowledge of struggles and triumphs experienced by African Americans (and non-American Blacks) to help them better relate. Today, I’m sharing 4 ways that we can teach our children about Black History Month.
For centuries now books have been used to educate our children. So, why not use that as a starting point to get conversation started about Black History Month? I think this is an especially great place for non-Black families to start because they may find it difficult to find an angle to introduce the topic their families or simply might not know how a lot about the topic themselves. After all you can’t speak on what it’s like to be Black unless you’re well…Black. Thankfully, there are tons of children’s books out there about famous African Americans and Black History Month.
A few of my favorites are:
Now, what child doesn’t like music? From babies to teenagers they all like a catchy tune. And you’d be amazed at how many songs today sample lyrics and beats from older songs. So, why not use music as a way to introduce children to Black History Month. You can talk about how Louis Armstrong was one of the founding fathers of jazz or learn the words to ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’.
I’ve come to learn that nothing excites younger children more than a trip to playground or candy except crafts. They absolutely love arts & crafts time. Therefore, seize that excitement and jubilee as a teachable moment. Going back to music, you could make instruments like the African harp or fiddle out of items like paper towel rolls, boxes and other household materials. Or you could keep it really simple and do coloring pages. Kids love crayons! Check out this gallery of printable Black History coloring pages: click here
I come from a hometown that is rich with history from slavery and the Civil War to being the home of Dizzy Gillespie. And every year, we have tons of tourist who come through for our Spring Festival to take tours of our historic district and visit our only museum all in the name of learning more about the past. And much of that past has to do with Black History, slavery and the Underground Railroad. As a child, I remember going on several different walks (tours) of my hometown and seeing houses that were used to help hide slaves on their journey to freedom.
It was definitely interesting for me. And I think that as long as you keep trips to the museums or tours under two hours, kids will be interested too. Also, it helps if you try to go to places that are kid and family friendly. They tend to have items that children can touch or interactive displays.
So, there you have it, 4 simple (and inexpensive) ways to teach your children about Black History Month. And remember that Black History is something that can and should be celebrated 365!
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