February is Black History Month. The month honors the cultures and contributions of Black Americans in the United States. It provides a great opportunity to teach children about the history of the month and try out new activities to build appreciation and allyship for others.
Here are ideas.
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1. Get out the globe and explore the geography of traditionally Black countries.
Learn more about the population of countries in the continent of Africa from Worldometer. In addition, World Atlas shares information about countries outside of the continent of Africa with large Black populations. Share stories if your family’s heritage is from these countries.
2. Take a deeper dive with Black History Month websites.
Check out the National Park Service’s Black History Month website, which links to lots of other resources. For example, you and your child can learn about U.S. parks, memorials, and historic sites that honor groundbreaking Black Americans. In addition, the PBS Kids website offers information to help parents celebrate Black leaders with their kids.
3. Read children’s books that feature characters, are written by authors, or are illustrated by artists who are Black.
There are lots of great book lists out there: In addition to your friendly local librarian, PBS.org has a list of recommendations, and so does the School Library Journal. Social Justice Books breaks down categories for early childhood, upper elementary, young adult and adult readers. You can check most of them out from the library.
4. Celebrate Black History Month Through Music.
Incorporate music into your celebration of Black History Month! Noodle Loaf offers five echo songs with music tracks that you can try out with your kids. You can also sing along with your favorite Sesame Street characters in this Black History Month Compilation. And, try adapting this PBS lesson plan on the history of the Blues for use at home.
5. Check out museums and exhibits dedicated to Black history.
Many museums offer virtual gallery tours, like the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
6. Try some recipes from traditionally Black countries.
7. Make kid-friendly arts and crafts in honor of Black History Month.
There are plenty of crafts you can make with your children to celebrate Black History Month. Check out these ideas!
8. Plan a virtual vacation.
Pick a city, country or region to “visit” in honor of Black History Month, then check out this how-to post by Connecticut Children’s developmental pediatrician Robert Keder, MD. Your family will get to take an unforgettable journey and celebrate Black History Month… all from the comfort of home.