June is Pride Month in the United States, a time to celebrate and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) community.
It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about the different ways that people can identify and love one another, and how to lift their own and others’ voices for a more inclusive world.
Here are ideas.
1. Attend a Pride parade, festival or event as a family.
This June offers plenty of opportunities to be an ally to the LGBTQIA community, and for the LGBTQIA members of your family to celebrate their experiences. Search for local Pride parades, fun runs, story times, drag shows, festivals, and other events.
To get you started, check out this list from Connecticut Tourism Office.
2. Read a children’s book with LGBTQIA characters.
It’s important for your child to see lots of different identities represented and affirmed in the world around them, including the books they read.
Ask your local library for books that capture a variety of LGBTQIA experiences, or check out Common Sense Media’s reading recommendations, broken down by age:
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3. Choose inclusive movies, TV shows and games.
Common Sense Media can help you find media that shows a range of backgrounds and experiences in movies, TV shows and games too (for books, see above). During Pride Month, check out these recommendations.
And don’t forget – from books to games, many of these titles are available for free at your local library.
4. Get crafty with rainbow art and decorations.
The rainbow is an iconic Pride symbol, celebrating the diversity of the LGBTQIA community. And it’s easy to incorporate into kid-friendly arts and crafts! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Rainbow chalk on the sidewalk
- Rainbow drawings using dry erase markers on the windows
- Construction-paper rainbow flags
- Rainbow bracelets using beads or string
(Need more inspiration? Try a quick Google search.)
5. Have a Pride-themed dance party.
Search for curated Pride Month playlists from free streaming music platforms, like Spotify’s Pride page, which features empowering music by LGBTQIA artists. (Just preview the selections first for age-appropriate content.) Then clear a floor in your home, dress to impress, and plan some time to listen, celebrate, and dance!
6. Learn about the history of Pride Month.
- If your child is age 5 to 8 or so, try “Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution” by Rob Sanders, which explains a defining moment in the LGBTQIA civil rights movement.
- Kids ages 5 to 11 can learn about the meaning of the letters LGBTQ in this National Museum of American History video.
- Point older kids to trusted, age-appropriate resources like the History Channel.
7. Share or watch personal stories from LGBTQIA individuals.
- Invite LGBTQIA family members and friends to share their experiences with your child, and what Pride Month means to them. Help your child lead these conversations in person or over Zoom, and consider turning it into a family history project.
- Encourage teens ages 13 to 18 to explore the It Gets Better project, where they can watch testimonial videos by LGBTQIA individuals and share their own.
- For older teens, try Ted Talk’s “Love is love” playlist, seven talks about love and commitment in the LGBTQIA community.
8. Keep the conversation going.
Use the Pride Month activities on this list as a way to talk with your child about the importance of respect and empathy for all, and create a safe space if they ever want to talk to you about their own identity. (If you need help explaining sexual orientation, gender identity or other topics to your child, Amaze.org and Amaze.org/jr/ offer brief, kid-friendly videos.) Then keep the conversation going.
After all, Pride Month is all about community and inclusion – and that’s worth celebrating all year round.
From our Connecticut Children’s family to yours, happy Pride Month!