If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair. – Shirley Chisholm
I would like my children to view it as their strength.
I do not like placing too much emphasis on race. But I do think that a strong sense of family, culture, and heritage does nothing but instill confidence in a child. It is something I never had and something I would like to give to my boys if I can.
Black History Month was touched on at my son’s school and many questions followed, so I took the opportunity to expand on this. We took some time to explore this part of our heritage with these Black History Month printables for kids. A way to get to know some of the great leaders in our history, some of the lessons they taught us and continue to teach us, all while keeping it fun and light for our littles.
Celebrating Diversity & Getting Messy!
A super simple concept, that was not my favourite. Lol. So messy! But it is an exercise in diversity and working together in harmony. I got this idea from Smart Class and knew the boys would be into it.
It’s all about working together to make something amazing! First, you paint your hands, a colour of your choice, then you mix and then you create! Pretty great eh?
Smart Class did this activity on Martin Luther King Day and each student wrote down a quality about Dr. King, but you could choose anyone you’d like to learn more about. We chose Booker T. Washington.
I Can Dream Like Dr. King
The idea of this writing activity is to get your child thinking about ways that they can give back to the world. Dreams for the world as a whole to make it a better place. It’s a great way to get them thinking outside of their own little sphere.
But at the ages of 3 and 5, that can be difficult, so I allowed for some dreams that were a little more selfish as well. Tristan says to get the Mighty Jet toy, and Kai wants a lifetime supply of play-doh.
They’re not so selfish dream was that everyone would have enough food and a house. That was courtesy of Tristan. This activity was a little over Kai’s head, but still a great idea to have him participate, all this food for thought is getting in there, I just know it!
Black History Month Printable Bundle
A few of these activities you may have to do with your child, but if they are a bit older, they could definitely handle by themselves. They can spend a bit of time researching each person and then complete the following activities. They are a great way to start some conversations and will lead to great questions. (So many questions, lol.)
Children’s Books To Celebrate Black History Month
And finally the books! These are some great books to add to your home library to celebrate Black History Month but have stories and lessons that will resonate at any time of year. Enjoy!
This book takes a look at the common links that bind us all together. Barack Obama writes to his daughters, a tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped the nation. From the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within children all over the world.
This series of books written by Brad Meltzer, highlights some of the most iconic members of history. Each book focuses on a character trait that makes the person memorable and that can be adapted into our own lives or the lives of our children. This is the story of Rosa Parks, a woman who dared to stand up for herself and defend her rights and the rights of all black people living at that time, by staying seated, and as a result, she helped end public bus segregation and launch the country’s civil rights movement.
This picture book is written by Jackie Robinsons’ daughter Sharon. Sharon Robinson gives African American history a powerful new perspective when seen through the eyes of modern-day African children. AG Ford’s luminous oil paintings reflect all the warmth and spirit of this moving story.
Bring some music to storytime with This Jazz Man. This book will delight both you and your kids. It tells the story of some of the era’s best musicians and the story is meant to be read to a beat. It includes the brief biography of each musician and the illustrations will lift your spirits.
This book conveys the message of togetherness in a beautiful way. Both it’s message and illustrations are breathtaking. No matter who we are, where we are, what we do every day, we are the same and we are connected. It is all about accepting each other for what we are and realizing we are more the same then we are different. A personal favourite, your kids will love this one.
What Does Black History Month Mean For You?
My boys don’t see colour yet. And I hope they never will. I know this hope is naive, and that the innocence of youth will one day end. But when I teach them about these great black historical figures, I really don’t like to focus on race. But on the amazing people that they were.
Because in the end that is what it is about, there perseverance and strength and fortitude to endure no matter what and find there place in the world and make their mark. The reason these people are in the history books is that they were remarkable people, not remarkable black people. They were black, yes, and in the times they lived made what they achieved so much more difficult, but doesn’t that just prove my point? They were flat out just amazing human beings.
The quote featured on this post is from Shirley Chisolm, America’s first black female member of Congress, elected in 1968. It’s a powerful thought. Most people do not have the strength or courage to do this. Stand up for themselves and tell the world, “I don’t care what you think of me, I belong here.” That is what I think was so remarkable about Shirley, not necessarily that she was the first black, female member of Congress, (which obviously is no small thing) but that she had the guts to say “I belong here” when she was being told by everyone around her the opposite.
That is the lesson that I take away from all these examples that we hear about so often during black history month, and that is what I want my boys to understand. They belong. They are remarkable and they can make a difference in this world. No matter what they are told by others.
That is what Black History Month is for me. What does Black History Month mean for you?